Article in brief: Does working in a strict, controlled environment increase our productivity? Omar Al Owais explores.
I do not consider myself a very athletic person. I only recently took up the hobby of running, which I practice in the gym, charity walks, cross country races and marathons. I recently participated in The Color Run in Dubai, which sparked thoughts of productivity. Unusual combination?
The Color Run claims to be the happiest five-kilometer run in the world (I agree). Its concept mainly revolves around the splashing of colors at the happy runners (as the organization refers to its participants) at the completion of every kilometer. A thought that I pondered upon was that I remember being breathless at the annual three kilometer cross country runs at my school, however, I wasn’t as breathless after completing all five kilometers of the Color Run, which I ran most of. I associated my opposing reactions to the conditions in which the runs occurred. The cross country run was of a shorter distance, but had no spice to it. The Color Run was of a longer distance, however, the color stations made it worth the while.
That guided me to think; will we achieve productivity by working long hours nonstop? Or will we achieve it by adding a fun factor to it?
Do not let these thoughts about productivity fool you, for I am not a very productive person! Looking back, I realize that when I studied in a controlled environment (in a different room than novels and electronics, in my case) I often caught myself daydreaming or scribbling on my paper. Not to mention, I was often tired and lacked the motivation to work. In a session of four hours, I completed one hour’s worth of work!
I decided to experiment The Color Run technique, which was proven to be successful with me. I allowed myself five-minute breaks after the completion of each task. In those five-minutes, I would have a quick stretch, read, or check my phone. This way, I was re-energized and ready for my next task. Nevertheless, it is important to remain focused and work with conscience when applying this technique.
When looking at The Color Run technique, the five kilometers represented my workload, the separate kilometers represent the small tasks I’ve broken my workload down to, and the color stations at the end of each kilometer represent my five-minute breaks.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why The Color Run is better than cross country runs – I’ve participated in both of their Dubai versions for that reason itself. It is noteworthy that the little breaks between your tasks at work or school will boost your productivity, because they drain away your exhaustion and keep you fuelled and motivated for what is yet to come. These splashes of fun are what will keep you going; they are your fuel, they are your motivation.
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