10 Ways to Boost Your Productivity at Work
Looking for ways to boost productivity at work? We asked ten professionals, including Founders and CEOs, to share their top tips. From investing in time-blocking, planning tools to implementing a power hour for focused work, discover the strategies these experts recommend for maximizing efficiency.
- Invest in Time-Blocking, Planning Tools
- Maintain a Personal Work Calendar
- Boost Productivity with a Second Monitor
- Streamline Workflow with Task-Batching
- Choose Tasks by Priority
- Turn Off Alerts and Schedule Tasks
- Motivate with Physical To-Do Lists
- Align Tasks with Peak Performance Times
- Eliminate Distractions Before Starting Work
- Implement a Power Hour for Focused Work
Invest in Time-Blocking, Planning Tool
One of the best ways to boost your productivity at work is to invest in a planning tool so you can manage your day with time-blocking. Simply put, time-blocking is when you plan your day and assign a time frame to each task. This strategy will help you figure out how long each project should take, which will make it easier to create a realistic plan.
Beyond planning realistically, planning your day will also boost your productivity because it helps you stay focused on one thing at a time. Research shows we tend to get more done if we focus on one thing at a time instead of multitasking.
Maintain a Personal Work Calendar
When I first started working during my high school years, I quickly realized that one of the best tips or tricks I could give to any coworker or fellow employee would be to have a personal calendar available at work. This can be a paper or electronic calendar of any kind, but you must be able to place it somewhere accessible in your workplace.
Having a personal calendar is key to keeping up with daily tasks, important meetings and projects, reminders for employees, and more. It can be quite a bit of information to remember during a busy day. You should be able to get tasks done much faster and more efficiently if you have reminders and notes jotted down on your calendar to quickly glance at.
To keep productivity boosted, any smart employee will also keep their calendars updated daily and make changes and add extra notes when necessary.
Boost Productivity with a Second Monitor
Adding a second monitor to a setup is an excellent productivity hack. Laptops are popular, and while they have their place, they may not be the best choice for serious, all-day work. The reason being, the screen real estate is often not enough.
For some types of work, a second monitor may not provide a significant advantage. However, for many, doubling or tripling the space available for opening apps and keeping them within view saves a lot of time. With only one small screen, there’s a constant need to switch between apps, especially when reading from an article, copying data from an Excel spreadsheet, or doing something similar. For programmers, more screen space means more visible code without needing to scroll.
There may be a point where the gains from additional monitors become minimal. For instance, three monitors are currently in use, but most workflows don’t require this many.
Streamline Workflow with Task-Batching
If you want to increase your productivity at work, consider using task-batching. This means grouping similar tasks together based on their nature, which streamlines your workflow and reduces the mental effort required to switch between different tasks. Focusing on related activities one after another helps you complete them faster and more efficiently.
By maintaining a continuous flow, you can take advantage of the benefits of immersing yourself in a specific mindset for an extended period of time. To ensure your writing is easy to understand, keep it clear and simple.
Choose Tasks by Priority
Following a to-do list is a great way to boost productivity at work. It allows you to prioritize the more urgent tasks and track your performance for the day. Create an attainable to-do list and find ways to work around it throughout the day. You will find fulfillment in ticking off each task and feel more productive overall.
Turn Off Alerts and Schedule Tasks
The biggest culprit undermining productivity is a combination of incoming requests (even alerts—which are “requests” of your brain) and not knowing exactly what to work on at any given moment.
Turn off all alerts and simply schedule time to review email, check Slack, and respond to requests. This handles problem #1: Requests. Get rid of your to-do list and, instead, schedule each task into your calendar with enough duration to make real progress. This way, you pre-commit to the things that matter.
With longer projects, you can back into the individual tasks and schedule them in blocks. This handles the uncertainty of what to work on. Decide in advance instead of trying to do it on the fly. Once it’s in your calendar, no decision is needed. However, it’s a discipline. It means ignoring the urge to waste time scrolling email, and obeying your calendar when it tells you what to do next!
Motivate with Physical To-Do Lists
Making to-do lists is a great way to remind yourself of the tasks at hand. I still prefer writing out my lists on a notepad or sticky notes, as nothing is more satisfying than crumpling up that little piece of paper after a task is completed.
To-do lists provide that extra inspiration and motivation to get things done while also helping you visualize and plan out your day. I have found this to be effective in prioritizing my tasks as well since I can see all of my tasks in one place and I can then number them and tackle them accordingly.
Align Tasks with Peak Performance Times
Identifying your most productive work time can be a powerful tip for boosting productivity at work because it allows you to align your tasks with your natural energy and focus levels.
By understanding when you’re at your peak performance, whether it’s early morning, midday, or late afternoon, you can strategically schedule your most important and challenging tasks during those periods. This maximizes your efficiency and helps you tackle tasks when you’re most alert and motivated, leading to better results and reduced chances of procrastination.
Moreover, it enables you to plan breaks and less demanding tasks during your lower energy periods, maintaining a consistent level of productivity throughout the day. Ultimately, this self-awareness and time management can significantly enhance your overall work performance and satisfaction.
Eliminate Distractions Before Starting Work
There are a wide variety of factors that can prevent us from working to our potential and drain our energy. For example, we’re all aware that we have less energy when we’re sick, but environmental factors, such as temperature or noise, can also zap our energy. Before starting a task, take some time to scan your environment and eliminate any distractions before starting your work.
Implement a Power Hour for Focused Work
The Power Hour!” It’s simple—every morning, we set aside one hour for hyper-focused, intensive work. During this time, distractions are banished, phones are on silent, and our creative warriors delve into their tasks with gusto. It’s like a productivity sprint, and the energy is contagious!
The best part? After the Power Hour, everyone gets a well-deserved break to recharge their creative batteries. This unique approach not only boosts productivity but also infuses the team with a sense of accomplishment and a much-needed jolt of motivation.
Submit Your Answer
Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, “Give one tip for boosting productivity at work?”