Do you review and refresh your views on productivity thinking and creativity on a regular basis by reading up on the latest? Well, I don’t but thank goodness for writers and journalists who comb through science journals to discover new studies that changes our productivity thinking and the way we think about work. Sometimes these studies provide something of a basis or a template for the rest of us to follow along to. Much of the advice being given out on productivity and creativity is really based on 3 key studies as outlined below that have changed productivity thinking. (Image credit: Flickr)
The Marshmallow Test
In this landmark 1972 study of delayed gratification, Stanford researchers selected a group of children and offered them a deal: the child could be given a single marshmallow immediately or, if they chose to wait 15 minutes, they would be rewarded with two marshmallows.
This simple test of willpower ended up being a powerful indicator of the child’s future success.
Takeaway: Willpower is vital to our success. We have a a limited supply so use yours to focus on things that matter.
The 10,000 hour rule
Popularized by Malcolm Gladwell, this 1993 study by Florida State Researcher Dr. K. Anders Ericsson suggested that to truly master our craft we need to spend 10,000 hours practicing.
Takeaway: Select key and difficult aspects of your work and practice and repeat endlessly until it has been ingrained as a habit.
The Grit Scale Indicator
Angela Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania and Christopher Peterson of the University of Michigan took the Stanford Marshmallow test to the next level. In 2007, they developed a test that would measure a person’s “grit,” that is, an unassailable desire to see a goal or project through to the end. The test asked participants to read questions like “I have achieved a goal that took years of work” and rate its truthfulness on a five point scale.
Those who were shown to have more “grit” outperformed their less gritty peers. High grit scores correlated to higher GPAs, spelling bee winners, and West Point graduates.
Takeaway: IQ is not a predictor of success. Grit pays off and can be increased so incorporate it into your productivity thinking and work on it.
Have these studies contributed to your current productivity thinking? If so how? Are there ways in which you could further implement this for yourself and your employees?