9 Productivity Killers in the Studio and How to Avoid Them

Get those berries into you. Credit: Public Domain, by Ed g2s

Learn how to put a stop to the things that are stopping you! Would you like to get more done in a shorter time span? Would you like to have more free time to spend doing things you love? Perhaps you would like to be more financially competitive by spending fewer hours on projects? There are many incentives to increase your productivity in the studio. Here we share with you the top productivity killers in the studio and show you how to avoid them.

Productivity Killers

9. Lack of inspiration Chefs constantly taste their food. They also regularly taste other chefs’ food. Would you want to eat a meal prepared by a chef who never tastes any food? With impending deadlines and a work culture that praises long hours spent in the studio, it can be tempting to never venture outside. But it is vitally important that landscape architects regularly visit the landscape and take inspiration from it. Taking a few hours out to regain your inspiration can make a world of difference to your productivity in the studio.

Landscape-architecture - Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

Go for a walk and stay inspired. Image: Mont Evrin Park. Credit: Urbicus

8. Poor diet Yes. Poor dietary habits can have a drastic effect on productivity in the studio. We are all aware of what a healthy, balanced diet should be, but when it comes to working long hours on that demanding landscape architecture project, a healthy diet can fly out the window. Experts agree that skipping breakfast can be a major productivity killer. According to Business Insider, foods that can increase productivity include:
Get those berries into you. Credit: Public Domain,  by Ed g2s

Get those berries into you. Credit: Public Domain, by Ed g2s

• Berries — Their antioxidants can help fight the ravages of stress • Eggs – They contain choline, a natural compound found to help maintain brain cell membranes and thus aid brain function • Salmon — Rich in omega fatty acids, salmon can help strengthen the central nervous system • Dark chocolate — Yes, chocolate can be beneficial to your health. Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure and increase blood flow to the brain (thus aiding productivity). 7. Failing to take regular breaks Generally speaking, we do not take enough breaks throughout the day. Studies show that even a short break of two minutes every hour can increase productivity by more than 11 percent. Even a 15-second break every 10 minutes is enough to reduce fatigue by 50 percent. Longer breaks have greater benefits, including reducing Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI), resting eyes, and benefiting the creative process. Schedule regular breaks away from your computer throughout the day in order to stay productive in the studio. 6. Monotony
Listen to music improves performance Credit: Listed under CC, source

Listen to music improves performance
Credit: Listed under CC, source

The “Mozart Effect” is a term first coined by French researcher Dr. Alfred A. Tomalis in 1991 to describe the short-term, positive mental effects of listening to the music of Mozart. It is purported that listening to the recordings of this particular musical genius can increase mental ingenuity and spatial-temporal reasoning for a short period of time. The good news is that it is not only the music of Mozart that can bring about this rousing effect. Listening to any music that you find exciting and uplifting can have a positive impact upon productivity. Related Articles:

5. Poor work flow


Image from 10 SketchUp Hacks That Will Turn You Into a SketchUp Ninja. Image credit: Kevin J. Pfeiffer

There are a plethora of software packages available to the landscape architect. Finding the right packages and knowing how to use them to create the most productive work flow is vital. Even something as simple as investigating the relationship between packages such as LandF/X and Sketchup can cut hours off your modeling time. It is always worth asking around and seeing what other people do to increase their productivity in the studio through effective work flow. 4. Multi-failing There has been a lot written about the myth of multitasking in recent years. Yet it can still be strangely compelling to try to do everything all at once. The fact is that when we try to do two things at the same time, both are likely to take longer — with poorer results. The answer is prioritizing. Try writing a daily schedule or use a program such as Desktop Calendar and Personal Planner, available as a free download from CNET. 3. Bad work environment A bad work environment can have far-reaching effects on productivity in the studio. Everything from poor lighting and ventilation to color schemes and flooring material can make an impact. While we might not have the power to change the lighting or decor in our studio, one important thing we can do is to bring plants into our working environment.
Get your work space planted up for better performance. Credit: Kelly Cookson, CC 2.0, source

Get your work space planted up for better performance. Credit: Kelly Cookson, CC 2.0, source

A recent paper published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, concluded that having sufficient plantings in the office can increase a worker’s productivity by up to 15 percent, as well as increase workplace satisfaction by 40 percent. This is in addition to a whole host of other benefits, such as increased air quality and noise reduction. So get the pencil out and design a planting scheme for your own studio. 2. Specific websites The thing about distractions is they are unique to each individual. If you find yourself constantly distracted by a certain website, then Stay Focused (the free Chrome plug-in) could save you hours. It works by allowing users to specify periods of free access to their most distracting websites, then blocking access to those websites at all other times. 1. Social media According to Statistic Brain, we now spend a shocking average of 15 hours and 33 minutes of our “free” time on social media alone (not including all those other internet distractions such as email and news sites)! It can be tempting to “just quickly check Facebook” when in the studio working on your latest assignment.

Anti-social to the rescue. Credit: Screenprint from

Here’s how to overcome the temptation: Anti-Social is an app with a free trial and 60-day money-back guarantee that will block those pesky social media websites from your PC and/or Mac for any given period of time, allowing you to work distraction free. There’s a lot to be said for working smarter, not harder. We often overlook simple things such as taking regular breaks and going home early enough to take a walk through the park. Unfortunately, there are several productivity killers in the studio. But the good news is you can make simple, positive steps to enhancing your productivity, such as eating well and increasing the number of plants in your studio. Failing that, there are more immediate measures you can take, such as installing website and social media blocking software on your computer. Whatever you chose to do to increase your productivity in the studio, we guarantee it will be worth it. Recommended Reading: 

Article by Ashley Penn Return to Homepage

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