How to increase your productivity at work: 12 Personally tried and tested ways

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Struggling to increase your productivity at work? You’d be surprised to know that almost everyone you meet is sailing in the same boat as you are. Therefore, if you’re looking for a quick productivity formula, I’m ‘afraid I have none.

But instead, I’ve laid down the best 12 of the techniques that I use to increase my work productivity daily. Let’s delve into the details of it, shall we?

1. Have a to-do list:

You’d be surprised to know how much effort and time you can prevent from going waste just my having a to-do list in hand. It is almost as if your brain gets into an auto-pilot mode when it sees a list of the tasks that you need to accomplish for the day.

You’ll have a clear representation of how much is completed and how much needs to be done before you retire for the night. And trust me, you’re missing out on a big technique to increase your productivity at work if you function without a to-do list.

2. Find out when you’re at most productive:

Some at their absolute best in the wee hours of the morning while some others find their productive bone in the dead of the night.

It doesn’t matter when you’re at your most productive. What matters is you identify and use this time to its maximum potential to scale your won productive for the best.

3. Do it now:

I have an extremely bad habit of putting off tasks until later, especially when I find myself running ahead of schedule. Procrastination, as we all know, is the thief of time. However, very few of us address this thief and keep it at bay.

The most effective way to get rid of procrastinating is to do it now. Not 1 hour later or 5 minutes later, but right away. Start a reverse countdown of 5,4,3,2,1, and started with your task or activity at 1!

4. While working, work; while playing, play:

This is, by far, one of the biggest hacks you can possibly employ to increase your productivity at work. It also happens to be my personal favorite. I am guilty of thinking about work when watching a movie or reading. And I’m also guilty of wanting to go watch a movie or read a book when I’m at work.

This way, I was neither able to work in peace nor carry out recreational activities without having my work cross my mind.  Therefore, make it a point to only think of work when you work. Eliminate all other thoughts and simply focus on finishing the task at hand.

Similarly, do the same when you may be doing anything other than work. This will not just get you rid of any guilt but will also increase your productivity at work tenfold. It worked for me, it will definitely work for you as well!

5. Busy may not always be productive:

Understand the difference between being busy and productive. Productive people may not always be busy and busy people may not always be productive.

Aim to do the maximum amount of work in a short period of time to enhances your productivity and take it up by several notches.

And you needn’t be seen busy doing so. Most successful people use this hack for increased productivity meaning better work performance and greater outcomes.

Therefore, don’t fall into the illusion of believing that being busy means that you’re being productive as well.

6. Eliminate inefficient tasks:

Or delegate them. If you have certain mundane and inefficient activities to carry out daily, you can either choose to do them once every two days or simply assign someone else to do the work for you at a cheaper rate.

For instance, a homemaker may feel the need to vacuum their home each day. but doing it once a week will also suffice. Better still, get a maid to do the cleaning. 

This will not just save time and increase your productivity at work, but you can also channel your efforts in the right direction. Consequently, you can then extract better results from your activities in the overall scenario.

7. Give yourself a break:

You may watch a video, read a few pages of your book, or simply get up and take a walk around. A short break of 5-10 minutes every 2 hours is an ideal way to keep your mind fresh and active for long. Even if you’re at your workplace, you can always get up, stretch, take a walk, and resume your tasks for the day.

8. Keep your phone aside:

…and any kind of distractions that get in your way. It can be your phone notifications, emails, YouTube popups, or your collogue stopping by at your cubicle for a “small” chat.

This becomes even more difficult if you’re a freelancer with no specific workplace to get your tasks going. If at home, there can be so many distractions to rob you of your productive hours.

To combat this issue, identify your triggers and work on them accordingly. Eliminate all possible distractions, for at least 2-3 hours every day, wherein you can focus entirely on the task at hand.

9. Prioritize your tasks:

As mentioned before, delegating your tasks is an efficient way to get your work completed and also to increase your productivity at work. But how do you tell which tasks to delegate and which ones to carry out yourself?

You need to prioritize what your important activities are for the day. And once you do so, carry them out one by one in regular intervals of time.

10. Focus on the task at hand:

Multitasking is a myth. Our brains are not designed to concentrate or more than one task at a time. And even if you do manage to multitask, you won’t be as efficient as you possibly can.

At the most, you can carry out a simple mundane task along with one that needs your mind, like walking or eating when talking.

Your best bet to increase your productivity at work is to set a long-term goal, break it down into short daily and hourly goals and focus only at the task at hand. Concentrate on laying one brick at a time and, very soon, you’ll have your castle ready!

11. Set deadlines:

I don’t mean the official deadlines assigned to you for completion of certain tasks. You need to set your own deadlines, challenging deadlines, to help achieve the task at hand.

Here is an interesting exercise that I always carry out whenever I start working on a project. And you can also do it to increase your productivity at work. List down the stuff you need to do for the work and write down the time you’ll need to finish it completely.

For instance, an hour, a day, a week, or 2 weeks. Here comes the challenging part: Ask yourself what’s stopping you form completing this project in half the time you mentioned? Assess that possibility and try to finish the task in half of that time.

The result will be one of these 2 scenarios: you’ll either be able to achieve your goal or you may need a little while extra.

According to the consequences, you can increase or decrease your time henceforth. This productivity formula is based on the Parkinson’s theory which says that work expands itself to fit the time available for its completion.

12. Stop planning, start doing:

In other words, stop looking for the perfect time or the perfect resources to get going. Start where you are and with what you have. Perfection is a mirage that has no real meaning. In fact, increased productivity meaning better work performance can only be achieved if you start and build yourself a long the way.

Most people while away their time and energy looking for the perfect means while some others use it as an excuse to delay their actions.

Instead of falling into the trap, start executing your plans. A weekly goal is enough to get you started, and you can plan the rest a long the way. 

Summing it up:

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start implementing these techniques to increase your productivity at work today. Also, you’ll need to be consistent at it for at least a week before you start witnessing the good results come to life. Until then, stay committed to your goals and watch yourself being at your productive best!

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