But, some recent research reveals that many of us are actually facing a productivity crisis of sorts.
Bevi, a startup that provides smart and connected water coolers to offices, worked with YouGov to take a closer look at productivity in the American workplace. And, some of their findings might surprise you.
Nearly half (42%) of Americans are working late, often instead of taking care of personal obligations -- such as grocery shopping or going to the gym. Additionally, 46% skip their lunch breaks entirely in favor of cranking out more work.
Less common -- but arguably more shocking -- stats provide a different rude awakening.
One in every 10 Americans report taking legal stimulants (like Adderall or caffeine pills) to increase their productivity. Even further, 11% of workers consume seven or more cups of coffee per day. And, 8% actually take naps at their desks in an effort to get more done.
What Can You Do About it?
Even if you don't go to the extremes that some other American employees do, there are still a few proactive things you can do to increase your focus and productivity -- no insane levels of caffeine required.
1. Stay Hydrated
Step away from the coffee pot and instead chug a glass of water -- or eight. Staying adequately hydrated can have a huge positive impact on your productivity.
In fact, Bevi reports that workers can achieve a 14% increase in overall productivity just by drinking an adequate amount of water.
But, despite that fact, an astounding 75% of Americans are actually chronically dehydrated (I'm guessing this is where those seven or more cups of coffee come into play!).
2. Take Breaks
It seems counterintuitive to abandon your to-do list when you're feeling overwhelmed by work. Shouldn't you stay glued to your desk until you get enough accomplished?
However, forcing yourself to stay put can actually hinder your productivity and focus. Science says that pressing pause every now and then can help you to maintain a more constant performance level -- meaning you're more likely to actually get more done.
So, make sure to schedule in some brief breaks every day -- including at least a half hour or so for a healthy lunch.
3. Stop Glorifying Busy
These days, "hustling" has become a buzzword of sorts. You're not committed unless you're working all hours of the day and night. You're not successful unless work ranks first and everything else comes second.
But, it's time for you to take a step back and stop glorifying being stressed and busy. And, while you're at it, remind yourself that busy isn't necessarily synonymous with productive.
Instead of spending your day running around and putting out endless fires, begin each morning by listing the three most important things you need to get done that day.
Zoning in on your most important tasks (instead of the endless distractions that crop up) will help you end your workday feeling less frazzled and like you actually got something accomplished.
We all want to get more done. And, as this research from Bevi shows, some of us are willing to go to extremes to do so. But, rather than popping caffeine pills or chugging coffee, implement these three more practical strategies and you're sure to feel more level-headed and productive!