The Science of Productivity Cycles
Why we get tired of our workspaces, and why new environments stimulate productivity. A few months ago I wrote about productivity cycles — my experience of the regular fluctuations in my productivity levels. Over time, I’ve noticed something interesting about these cycles: when I’m in a productivity low, it tends to bleed into my environment. That is, when I’m not being productive it’s as if procrastination is in the air. Sluggishness is woven into the fabric of my seat. I can see avoidance reflected in the glass of my desk.
When I’m in a productivity low, it tends to bleed into my environment. Sluggishness is woven into the fabric of my seat.
It gets so bad that I can’t even bear to think about my workspace. The minute I lay eyes on it my stomach clenches.
An old friend of mine from high school is getting her PhD in psychology. She offered to help me read through all of the scientific literature.
We found seven papers that are relevant to the question, and I learned a lot. I’m going to summarize our findings on the question at hand.
As your satisfaction with your work environment increases, your productivity will also increase. Non-work time (or downtime) includes things like waiting for elevators.
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