3 Counterintuitive Ways to be More Productive

Last Updated Jun 15, 2010 11:55 PM EDT

You've heard it all before. In fact, I've spouted the standard advice many times myself: To be more productive, you should do things like reduce distractions, stop multi-tasking, and choose music that will not distract you.

Not everyone agrees, though. Indeed, I recently ran across some refreshingly counterintuitive advice for becoming more productive. The best part? It's more fun than the all the usual clean room-style distraction-free stuff.

Here's what WebWorkerDaily had to say about how to be more effective. And, as promised, it's the opposite of what you'll generally hear. But on a deeper level, I think you'll agree that it actually makes a lot of sense.

1. Stop scheduling your day. Most people think that they thrive on a fixed schedule -- knowing what, when, and who helps you work more effectively and efficiently. But especially for creative careers, a little randomness and unpredictability can be invigorating. Try making a to-do list of the top five things you need to accomplish and work without a wire.

2. Open yourself to distractions. Every living thing needs playtime -- from kittens to people. Studies show that people benefit from leisure-time Web surfing at work, and common sense says that you need a few minutes to recharge occasionally through the day.

3. Ignore the work-life balance. Do you enjoy what you do for a living? If you do, then you might derive personal energy from working beyond what seems like a reasonable work-life balance. Indeed, trying to cut work off too soon might just be an additional source of stress. Celebrate your love of your career and make it as big a part of your life as you think it deserves. Even if your mom tells you that you work too much.