When people consider how to increase productivity at work they invariably think of activities or tools they can implement on the job. And to be sure, such an approach can produce results. But there is another approach to increase productivity that complements this approach and focuses less on what you do at work, and more on what you do when you’re away from work.
Recent research has shown that the way you spend your leisure time has a major influence on how effectively you recover from the demands and stressors you experience at work, which in turn has a dramatic effect on how you perform when you’re back on the job and how productive you are. This body of research can be summarized with the acronym ReNEW, the letters of which stand for the Resources people have, the physical and psychological Needs people have to satisfy to feel recovered, the need to effectively Escape from work demands, and the Well-being we all require in order to feel good and be happy. People who are able to satisfy these ReNEW elements during their time away from their obligations return to those commitments revitalized, refreshed and more productive than those who spend their time away from work in less fruitful ways. Let’s consider these elements in more detail.