Join Dave Crenshaw for an in-depth discussion in this video How snacks and scents affect productivity, part of Time Management Tips.
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- I'm a fan of considering all of the five senses when it comes to your productivity. Now, many people are good with the senses of what they see, or what they hear, or what they touch, yet often neglect smell and taste. These do have a huge impact on your ability to be productive and focused. The idea is that we want to reduce distractions. For instance, from an unusual odor, or just being hungry in the middle of the day. Every time you switch your attention to one of these things we have to pay switching costs to refocus back to whatever you're working on.
So, let's take a look at these two neglected senses. First, smell. Well, this is fairly simple, just take a whiff. What do you smell in your workplace? Is there anything that you'd change, or is there something that you'd add? Or, perhaps you just need to clean something. We want to regularly assess how things smell in the workplace, and if we have customers, the impact that that smell is having on them. Now, what about taste? We start with the snacks that you have close at hand.
Do you have things that give you energy? Or do we have lots of sugary snacks that will cause a sugar crash? I've also seen situations where snacks create a distraction. For instance, a person has a bowl of snacks or candy in front of their workstation and so everyone comes to take things and it's a constant interruption for them and for that employee. Instead, keep snacks reasonably far away and not in a place where it will distract you. We do want to have things close at hand and we want to have snacks that are filled with protein, and also have water and other hydration options to keep us focused during the day.
Also, be considerate of others, especially when it comes to the sense of smell. Avoid wearing any kind of perfume or cologne that's so strong to the point of distraction. Little changes to these often neglected senses can have a huge impact in productivity and helping you stay focused.
Have an idea for a future video from Dave? Submit it using our course feedback form. If you want more time management strategies now, we recommend watching Dave's Time Management Fundamentals course.
- Reducing interruptions
- Dealing with feeling overwhelmed
- Responding to quick questions
- Making the most of meetings
- Following up
- Implementing a closed door, open calendar policy