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#MondayMotivation: The 3 Strangest Ways to Trick Yourself Into Being Productive

Topics: Career Advice

Leap Day, Schmeap Day – if you get an extra 24 hours, but it’s a Monday, it barely counts. If you’re having trouble using this “extra day” for anything other than complaining about how much you have to do and how little you want to do it, good news: there are plenty of oddball methods of forcing yourself to get stuff done. We’re not talking to-do lists and work sprints, here. These motivation tricks are different enough to throw you off-balance and into productivity.

cute hammy

(Photo Credit: Peter Hutchins/Flickr)

1. Look at cute animals on the internet.

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cute animals

“But wait,” we hear you say, “weren’t we supposed to stop procrastinating?”

Well, yes. But according to awesome scientists, looking at photos or videos of adorable animals can actually make you more productive.

The positive feelings evoked by looking at bucket of baby sloths or a tiny goat in pajamas translates to greater friendliness, say researchers at Hiroshima University, as well as greater productivity.

Kawaii [cute] things not only make us happier, but also affect our behavior,” wrote research team head and cognitive psychologist Hiroshi Nittono. “This study shows that viewing cute things improves subsequent performance in tasks that require behavioral carefulness, possibly by narrowing the breadth of attentional focus.”

2. Gameify your workday.


How do you spend your day? If you’re like most of us, you don’t really know. You have a vague idea of spending X hours in meetings and Y minutes answering emails, and you’re probably scared to find out how much time you spend on things like looking at social media. But actually tracking your time could be eye-opening and productivity-enhancing.

“By tracking your time, I don’t mean messing around with egg timers or Pomodoro apps,” writes Nick Loper at Lifehack. “Instead, keep track of how long you spend on each particular task. This has the psychological effect of ‘game-ifying’ your work time. Sometimes simply knowing that the clock is ticking is motivation enough to try and see how efficiently you can get something done.”

3. Laugh more at work.

laugh at work

How does humor help you get more done? By combating the stress that can derail your productivity.

“In fact, it’s a triple whammy,” Humor at Work president Michael Kerr tells Jacquelyn Smith at Forbes. “Humor offers a cognitive shift in how you view your stressors; an emotional response; and a physical response that relaxes you when you laugh.”

So there you have it: track the time you spend laughing at baby animals on the internet today, and you’ll reach new heights of productivity. You’re welcome.

GIFs by Giphy.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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