The Productivity Secret Nobody is Talking About

Psychiatrist and Entrepreneur in Residence Dr. Samantha Boardman makes a case for being less busy and more productive.

From Samantha: How to get more done in less time? Productivity is on everyone’s mind and there is an ever-growing supply of “productivity porn”—apps, books, and wearable devices—created to help us cram more into each day. The Productivity Secret Nobody is Talking AboutFrom the Ivanka Trump Collection: The Dorado Satchel (shop similar here), Rose Dress (shop similar here), and Brita Pumps 

We assume that by working harder and doing more, we will become more efficient. Research from Harvard Business School suggests the opposite to be true. A study entitled, Learning by Thinking: How Reflection Aids Performance, demonstrates how taking time to reflect on work, rather than immediately switching to a new task, improves job performance. As the lead researcher, Francesca Gino concludes: “Now more than ever we seem to be living lives where we’re busy and overworked, and our research shows that if we’d take some time out for reflection, we might be better off.” Related studies underscore the benefits of taking breaks throughout the day. Contrary to what you may believe, seeming “time-wasters” like a walk around the block, watching a funny video and lingering at the water-cooler, will recharge you and enhance focus. Socializing deserves a special mention. Students who took a 10-minute break from studying to have a conversation with a friend did better on a test than those who kept their noses buried in a book. Yes, you read it correctly; less studying and more social interaction yielded better results. Just a short period of interaction resulted in improved problem-solving skills. The Productivity Secret Nobody is Talking AboutFrom The Ivanka Trump Collection: Pleated Floral Blouse and One-Button Knit Jacket

Pressing pause leads to greater productivity. Here are seven counterintuitive strategies to get more done by doing less:

1. No eating “on the go” or at your desk

Take a real break for lunch.

2. Get some fresh air

Just 10 minutes will help clear your head.

3. Is Jon Snow alive?

Chat with a co-worker about something non-work related.

4. Make a coffee run

Volunteering to do a favor for others will boost your energy.

5. Go have a conversation—face to face

Instead of emailing a colleague, get up from your desk and interact with them in person.

6. Breathe, just breathe

Taking time to reflect on a task will enable you to see the bigger picture.

7. Lose the stopwatch

Measure productivity by results, not the number of hours you spend on a given task. Be productive, not busy.

For more from Dr. Samantha Boardman, read her recent articles or visit her online at

Images Courtesy of Ivanka Trump
Photographer: Kenneth Grzymala
Model: Reid Kastyn
Hair & Makeup: Vassilis Kokkinidis