What Are the Best Tips for Improving Work Productivity?

Dan Cavallari

A common misconception in the business world is that more hours at the office translates into more productivity. The opposite is usually true, however, as most people become less productive and less engaged the longer they spend at the office. A good way to boost productivity is to take short breaks throughout the day to re-focus and relax; a calm, relaxed mind will be more likely to be productive, while stress and too much information can prevent efficient thought processes. Taking vacations away from work for days or weeks at a time can also help improve relaxation and improve brain function.

Working long hours at the office commonly leads to a decrease in productivity.
Working long hours at the office commonly leads to a decrease in productivity.

Procrastination is a productivity killer, and most workers are guilty of it. To avoid putting off dreaded tasks, it may help to tackle them first thing during the day. Getting the difficult task out of the way first will reduce the worker's stress for the rest of the day, improving productivity and, in some cases, job satisfaction. Sometimes workers try to do these tasks alone, which can be a mistake; developing partnerships can make tasks seem less stressful, and another set of eyes and ears can lend new perspective to a difficult task.

Providing direction to employees may help increase worker productivity.
Providing direction to employees may help increase worker productivity.

Perhaps one of the biggest stumbling blocks to productivity is the to-do list; while staying organized is important, most people tend to clutter their to-do lists with irrelevant activities. re-assessing one's list and simply eliminating tasks that really do not need to be done can lower one's stress level and boost productivity throughout the day. Some tasks on that list may seem menial, but they have to be done at some point. It may be a good idea to delegate such tasks to someone else if possible. Letting go of control once in a while takes the burden off the worker and allows him or her to focus on more important tasks.

Tackling difficult tasks early during the day could help improve work productivity.
Tackling difficult tasks early during the day could help improve work productivity.

In the age of the Internet, distractions are everywhere. Establishing a set time period every day during which internet access is forbidden and phones are turned off can help a worker concentrate on important tasks that require focus. The worker can make a list of common distractions that prevent him or her from boosting productivity, and establish a time during which these things are untouchable. It may be just 20 minutes, or it may be two hours, but during that time, the worker should focus on important tasks that require concentration. It helps if the worker takes note of his or her peak time of productivity throughout the day so he or she can align the no-distraction time with that peak.

It's important to schedule breaks throughout the day to maintain productivity.
It's important to schedule breaks throughout the day to maintain productivity.
Allowing work distractions to bleed into time outside of the office can impact a person's productivity.
Allowing work distractions to bleed into time outside of the office can impact a person's productivity.

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Discussion Comments

anon960004

I use special software to increase my productivity. It is mostly used for employee time tracking, but I also use it personally. It runs in the background on the computer and tracks the amount of time I have spent on apps or websites. It also evaluates my productivity.

When I visit Facebook or something like that it shows as unproductive time in a percentage of the daily productivity. I can check my statistics online and receive daily or weekly reports. So it is easy to analyze what takes my time. It is a really useful tool.

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