Ever wonder how beer affects productivity?

Well, I tried, here are the results.

A while back I came across research done by the University of Chicago. They found that drinking two beers helped accomplish creative tasks. Their reasoning was that it broke down barriers of critical thinking and helped them think outside the box to reach more solutions to the problem solving task they were given.

Here’s a table of how many correct answers each team was able to give:

drinking-creativity

As someone who does a large amount of creative writing on a daily basis, this was a statistic that I contemplated and bore in mind.

As I carried on with my daily tasks, it hit me. That one task, that one piece, that no matter which angle I approached, just couldn’t get done. And it’s one of those things that saps your energy, your motivation, when you’re stuck in a rut and unable to find the ladder out.

I tried everything. From taking a break, changing up the environment, taking a walk, writing it out on paper. Nothing worked. Then I turned to the last resort, last ditch attempt to make it happen. To try out the beer theory. 

The study said that the productivity level was increased when the blood alcohol level was at 0.07, or approximately the amount of two beers. So off I went to the store. I chugged the one beer immediately, and took the second beer to my computer to casually sip as I worked.

beer

Chillin with the first beer. Life is good, no?

The effect of beer on writing – strangely liberating

I sat down to attack my task – writing a lengthy blog post for a picky client. The first beer was already kicking in. As I approached the keyboard, my hands seemed to instantly know what do. All of a sudden all of the barriers that were keeping me back before hand, which seemed to be so insurmountable, came crashing down. Words flowed like the river Thames and my article quickly took shape.

But when the second beer started to kick int, the ability to concentrate began to fade. Sentences became disjointed – ideas, non-sequitur. It was time to throw in the towel.

The result – a solid wave of productive work, followed by a total crash

Within 45 minutes of working I had over 1000 words of new content I had written – about two pages worth. Admittedly, it didn’t have an ending (due to the tipsyness of having that second beer), and required a good deal of polishing. But all in all the process opened the door to being able to put down the largest chunk of work that had to be done.

This brings to mind Ernest Hemmingway’s thought as he famously put it: write drunk, edit sober.

“Write drunk, edit sober.” Turns out there’s scientific proof that it works.

Based on the study done by the University of Chicago, this doesn’t apply only to writing, but to any creative problem solving. Next experiment? Try this out with programmers, designers and project managers and see what happens.

Conclusion – ride the wave while you can, but don’t expect more

If you’re looking to deal with a big problem you’ve been working on, of if you’re looking to find a new, creative way to solve a problem, or make a big push on a project you’ve been stuck on, then you may very well find that the beer technique works for you. But this is very much an end-of-the-day option, not to be done from the very morning. Because after an hour of work, it’s very likely that you’ll just want to head over to the closest happy hour.

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When it comes to work and productivity, is social media really so evil?

According to DeskTime, social media, and especially Facebook, is on the top of the most-used unproductive apps in 2014. Together, time spent on social networks accounts for about half of all of the unproductive time spent at work.

Salary.com did a survey to find out what employees themselves consider their top time wasters at work, and 14% named social media, which ranked them the socond, right after the news. It’s been calculated that allowing social networks at work, company loses up to $ 28 billion on productivity-loss per year.

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Conflicts at workplace erode productivity, a study shows

Conflicts at workplaces are inevitable, and even necessary for progress. However, if handled poorly, it can lead to significant productivity loss, a recent study shows.

A study in New Zealand found that 24% of employees surveyed have had at least one disagreement or argument at work that distracted or prevented them from doing their job. Because of conflicts employees become less focused on their jobs, they make more mistakes and tend to miss deadlines. Other consequences include loss of motivation and self confidence.

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The rules of effective lunch breaks that boost your productivity

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”Lunch time? I’ll just grab a sandwich and eat quickly at the desk, not to waste the precious time than can be spent on answering emails or finishing the project whose deadline is approaching inexorably…’’

Okay, now stop right there. Because if that’s your kind of lunch break, you’re doing it wrong.

We already wrote about breaking at work and why it’s important for your productivity. And just like any other break you’re taking at work, your lunch break is the time you can spend to relax and recharge. It boosts energy, improves concentration, and let you become more effective when you get back to work.

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Stress Less – Managing workplace anxiety

Four in five workers feel stressed in their daily job, and nearly half say that they need help in learning how to manage stress. This year European Safety Week kicks off on October 20th and the theme for 2014 is how ‘Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress’. To mark this, the infographic below explores some interesting facts regarding workplace anxiety and demonstrates some simple tips and tricks you can use to help eliminate workplace anxiety and create a stress-free environment.

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10 Steps to a More Productive Workweek

The most common thing employees all around the world have, is the fact that they hate Mondays. No joke there, according to the statistics, nearly 80% of people don’t want to go to work on Monday.

So, we asked our Weekdone users and did some research to figure out what’s so difficult about the start of the week. Turns out, people hate Mondays because:

  • They have too many things to do.
  • There is not enough time to finish all of it.

Therefore, we tend to procrastinate. We enter the office in the morning and find huge workloads, have not enough time or idea where to start. Keeping this in mind, no wonder we hate Mondays. But whether you like it or not, Mondays are here to stay, so you need to adjust. The best way to cope with it is to stop worrying about the work and start taking maximum out of the work hours. How?

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Long Working Hours: Not a Road to Productivity

It’s safe to say that the question of longer working hours as leading to greater productivity is far from being solved. The first step in clarifying this issue is understanding that productivity is not just about the actual time devoted to work – it also involves and is affected by nutrition, exercise and, perhaps most importantly, sleeping habits.

What Does the Research Show?

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6 Productivity Hacks Backed by Science

Productivity is the key ingredient to making the most of your time when studying or working. If you’re tired of long hours in front of your computer or you feel you might not be maximizing your potential, this infographic can point you in the right direction and help you improve your productivity by applying a few small changes in your daily life. Ready to learn the secret of getting and staying productive at work or school? Prepare for some science-based pointers that actually work.

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How to deal with the ‘’big brother’’ feeling in the office?

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That moment when you realize that the working day is almost over and you still haven’t done anything… It’s frustrating, we agree. And this is when that scary ‘’big brother’’ feeling may come up.

You know, the one which makes you think that your boss will come at your desk in a minute, and ask why did you spend 45 minutes on non-productive apps today. Facebook and Youtube, specifically.

If your company is using DeskTime, then you should know that it highlights only extreme cases. So, only if you are spending hours on non-productive apps regularly, or come to work late every day, it will be noticed. Still feeling uncomfortable with the time-tracking software on your desktop? We summarized a few tips that will hopefully help you to deal with that anxious feeling.

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