How to boost your performance at work? The surprising (or not so much surprising) answer to this question is do things other than work. The first answer to this question might be: “Work more, work hard, don’t give up, collaborate with others and be creative.” All of these things really matter, but what matters more is to step aside, avoid a burn-out and do things outside of the work.
New research suggests that we should do things that are seemingly completely unrelated to our work like climbing a mountain or visiting a museum. All of these activities can improve your job performance and overall lifestyle.
In a recent study, researchers randomly split into two groups 36 first-year medical students at the University of Pennsylvania. One group of participants was given to do lessons on observation at the museum of art. They were also given lessons and exercises which included identifying shapes and colors in paintings, analyzing art and supporting certain claims about the art. From the other side, the second group of participants was just given a free membership to a museum without any specific instructions.
Both groups were tested on their ability to describe works of art. The group that got the training on art and descriptive and observational skills was more successful than a group that was just given a museum membership. The first group was even better at analyzing any type of images such as medical ones. They were better at analyzing anything different types of work such as different documents or spreadsheets.
The research and its implications are more about the power of hobbies.
When we are solely focused on work and we don’t do or think about anything else except work and daily mundane duties, then we are not boosting our performance, we are actually lowering down our performance and the quality of our work. Once we step out of the box, we start thinking out of the box. Meaning once we start doing different things completely not related to our work, and then we return to work, we become more productive, less stressed and we see different angles and approaches to problems we face daily.
Stress is also a very important reason why we should log out and work outside of the box, outside of the work that we are doing daily. If we are overwhelmed with work and we have no time for anything except work, paying bills and family obligations we are taking the one-way road to stress.
One of the main reasons why we are stressed out is becoming occupied by work and only work. This is completely not related to the fact do we love or hate our job, but we have too much work. Often, if we love what we do, we might be so occupied by work that we don’t see it as awesome work. However, to stay productive, creative with innovative ideas, we must take a step back and do something else.
Again, whether we like our work or not, we must not allow for work to become our life. It’s not a matter of how many hours we work but how productive we are within those hours. If you notice that you are working a lot and you are not getting anywhere, you need to stop, take a break and do something else, something different. While you are somewhere else, living your life and enjoying your time off, you will have those amazing aha moments which will boost your productivity and help you do a better job.