Being productive is more than just checking off boxes on to-do lists. You'd be surprise on how simple it is to trick your brain into getting stuff done without really trying. Below are our top unorthodox tips on how to become more productive at work:

Start your morning off with funny videos

Laughter helps relieve stress and can relax the muscles, making you a happier, better worker. In one study, the video above was found to make participants the happiest of all.

Look at cute things

Researchers at Hiroshima University in Japan have found that looking at photos of cute animals boosts both productivity and friendliness. The theory is that cute things encourages you to be more attentive, which in turn improves the performance of non-motor perceptual tasks.

Read less news

Nothing grabs headlines like bad news, but trying to keep up with it all can be distracting and depressing, which is something that's definitely not going to help with your productivity. You can always catch up on headlines at home when you don’t need to be as productive.

Listen to music

This really depends on what your job requires you to do. Studies have shown that doctors and surgeons, who perform tasks that they're experts on over and over again, find that listening to music they like helps them calm down and focus. Listening to unfamiliar music may also be a better option as well.

Surround yourself with yellow

The color yellow helps in decreasing melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy in the evening. This will give you a much needed energy boost to accomplish your tasks while at work.

Sniff on some peppermint

Studies show that the scent of peppermint improves performance of clerical tasks like typing and alphabetization.

Take a real lunch break

Fewer than half of workers leave their desk for lunch each day. Getting out of the office and taking a break for lunch can really increase productivity.

Take a Nap

A perfectly timed nap can help boost your memory and cognitive ability, thereby enhancing your overall performance. The best time for a power nap is between 1:00 and 3:00 PM in the afternoon, and you should keep it at about 15 to 20 minutes for maximum benefit.

Play a brain game

Like all other muscles, your brain also needs exercise. Playing games like sudoku or crossword puzzles is the perfect warm up as it can help build focus and creativity.

Cut your workday short

Ending a workday just half an hour early once a week pressures you to be productive, since limits assign a deadline for your goals. This kind of "time budgeting" does the same thing as money budgeting, as it forces you to be more efficient with what you have. If your company doesn't allow you to leave early, try to arrange so that you arrive later in the morning as it can have the same efficiency-boosting effect.