When it comes to learning, science has proven that the more senses you use to engage with information, the more likely you are to retain that information.
While many students today may opt to simply record lectures or take notes on a laptop or tablet, the truth is, they are making learning harder on themselves. Taking notes by hand will actually help embed that information deeper into their brain for better recall later.
Just like engaging all of your senses helps you study better, it can help you work better remotely as well.
Here are 5 tips for using all of your senses to increase productivity.
In 1902, a Russian scientist named Ian Pavlov conducted an experiment that made history. Through Pavlov’s work with dogs, he discovered that dogs will automatically salivate when they see or smell food.
His most famous experiment involved ringing a bell or buzzer every time he fed his dogs. Over time, they began to salivate every time they heard the bell or buzzer because they had been conditioned to associate that sound with being fed.
You can use this same principle to increase your own productivity. Set an alarm every morning when you want to begin work or transition from “home mode” to “work mode.”
While it may be difficult at first, eventually you will almost automatically go into work mode as soon as your alarm goes off. Similarly if there are other times when you need to make a specific transition of one type or another, you can condition yourself to make that transition automatically in response to some type of audial cue.
There are a number of ways to boost productivity by filling your eyes with images of what inspires you.
For some, this may be placing your desk facing a window with a spectacular view, while others may need to face away from a window because it presents too many distractions. Some may be motivated by covering their walls with inspirational quotes or images or even posting a new inspirational quote each day on a post-it note on your monitor.
Perhaps it is goals or dreams that inspire you. If you have a specific goal or dream you are working towards fulfilling, surround yourself with visual reminders of that goal or the dream to help supercharge your ability to accomplish it.
Retailers will often fill their establishments with certain scents that have been proven to make people more inclined to buy and even real estate agents often use scent as an inducement to buy a home. And there is more than adequate scientific evidence that suggests that it actually works.
You can use some of these same principles by filling your office with scents that motivate and energize you or calm and relax you when you have a busy, stressful day ahead of you.
While your sense of taste in and of itself may not have a direct effect on productivity, the types of foods that you eat most definitely will. When people work in an office, it can be all too easy to hit a vending machine for a sugary or fatty snack.
Sugar and fat, however, can have a profound effect on productivity thanks to their effect on your blood sugar and brain chemistry.
Sugar can essentially create a “high” followed by a crash in much the same way a drug can. Snacks that are high in protein, however, can actually keep both your energy levels high throughout the day by stabilizing your blood sugar levels.
Some snacks, like blueberries or pumpkin seeds, can even give you a brain boost to help you think clearly and stay alert throughout the day. While you can’t always control the types of foods you are surrounded by in an office, the great news about being a remote worker is you can surround yourself with healthy food options for when you need a snack.
Like taste, your sense of touch will not necessarily in and of itself have an effect on productivity but indirectly it does.
Some people need to sit at a desk in an office chair to truly be their most productive, while others may find they are most productive sitting on a couch wrapped in a soft blanket. Rather than sitting on a couch in the living room, however, you might install a small love seat or sofa in your office. Some people prefer to work in a warmer room, while others prefer a cooler environment.
How you dress is also going to have a direct effect on productivity. While some people will just always be more productive in more formal business attire, others may find they work best in softer, looser, more comfortable clothing.
This doesn’t mean you should wear pajamas every day. In fact you will most likely be far more productive if you don’t. It does mean, however, that you should dress in a way that helps maximize your productivity.
While working in an office can sometimes feel like working in a fishbowl, it does have the advantage of a certain level of peer pressure. We may be more motivated to be productive in an office simply because there are always other people around watching us.
As a remote worker, however, you have to create your own type of pressure to be productive. Finding ways to engage all of your senses can help you do just that.
About the Author
Eric Gordon is an independent business development and marketing specialist for SMEs. He loves sharing his insights and experience to assist business owners in growing their revenues. You can find Eric on Twitter @ericdavidgordon