Achieving Productivity in the Workplace: Part 2

By: Marie Donlon

Decline Invitations

It is universally understood that meetings can often be time-sucking, mind numbing circles of inefficiency where little is accomplished. Whether you agree with that or not, sometimes it isn’t necessary for you to attend. For instance, if department heads are meeting to discuss a new process, perhaps ask to only be included when a clear plan has been devised. Opt out of meetings where you have only been asked as a courtesy or if you have no impact on the final outcome. This measure will free you up to complete work that you can affect the outcome of.


If your commute into work involves public transportation, consider using this time to organize yourself for the day ahead. This time can also be devoted to reading and answering emails or other “busy” work before you actually get to the business of work.


Instead of repeatedly checking your emails throughout the day, make sure instead to remove any notifications or alerts for new emails that pop up on your screen. These can serve as a significant distraction, making it harder to go back to what you were working on before. Designate a specific time of the day to deal with all correspondence if you can (say, during your commute).

Don’t Multitask

The myth that multitaskers complete more than non-multi-taskers is just that: a myth. You will accomplish very little trying to juggle several things at once. Handle one project through to completion before beginning another.

Clean Up

When you are in the midst of tackling a time-consuming project, it helps to have your desk cleared of clutter and distraction. Consider removing piles of paper that aren’t connected to your current tasks. One possible way to achieve this is by taking a few minutes at the end of each day to clear your desk in anticipation of the next day. It is a symbolic fresh start and you are not greeted with yesterday’s project/problem. 


While shortcuts in your work aren’t typically advisable, take advantage of shortcuts on your desktop that might help you simplify certain tasks. Ask your IT department if there is an easier way to accomplish a task (online or on your computer) that you just aren’t seeing.

Eat Right

Just as important as sleep is how you are fueling your body. Make sure to eat right and fuel yourself so that you feel prepared to take on the day.

Early Riser

If you have personal activities such as reading and exercising that you feel are being neglected, try waking up earlier so that you can do those things. Not only will this help make you feel less deprived, it will also serve to start your day out right by being able to do something that you enjoy or that helps to regulate your stress levels.


Remember to always reward yourself for your hard work. Whether it is with the purchase of a new handbag or with a trip to the ice cream parlor, make sure you have something to look forward to after you have reached the proverbial finish line.


Forbes—4 Ways to Be More Productive at Work

Inc.—15 Ways to Increase Productivity at Work

Snacknation—26 Things Successful People Do To Increase Their Productivity at Work