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16 Ways to Make Your Workday More Productive

It can be easy to get comfortable at your job and start slacking off. But in order to succeed at work and move forward in your career, you need to push past that and continue to be productive. Here are some tips to lead you on your path to domination!

  1. Identify distractions and remove them
    If you have one coworker who won’t stop talking, put headphones on and zone out. If there’s a clock that ticks and drives you mad, take out the batteries or move it. If your brain is focused on something else, you won’t accomplish your task.
  2. Get in the zone
    Set yourself up for success. Before you start each task, make sure that you go to the bathroom, refill your water, have your playlist going, and are ready to rock!
  3. Make lists
    Keep lists for everything. To do lists, goal lists, plans, etc. This will help you organize your thoughts and keep the thoughts out of your head while you are trying to accomplish something else.
  4. Create measurable goals
    Give yourself a certain item to finish by a specific time. Don’t make a broad list of goals with no plans to achieve each step to that goal.
  5. Stick to a schedule 
    If you have a plan at a certain time, stick to it. If you let yourself get behind, the entire rest of the day will be off schedule.
  6. Teamwork 
    If you are stuck on an idea or unsure of how to accomplish something, try asking your coworker or friend what they would do. They might have some great advice that leads to getting your task done more efficiently.
  7. Take breaks
    Do one hour of hard work and then take a 10-minute break. Step completely away from the project and the area to clear your mind.
  8. Do your most daunting tasks first
    If there is something that you are dreading, start your day with it. That way you can feel accomplished when it is done and you avoid having it on your mind for the rest of the day.
  9. Say “No” 
    If you are too busy, don’t take on the task that your boss asks you to at the last minute and finish in an hour. Be honest and say that is not enough of a warning to get the project done. On the other hand, if you can make time for it, you boss will probably really appreciate it!
  10. Stop multitasking
    Start one project and finish it before moving on to the next. If you switch between three projects at once, you lose your spot in each one and spend a lot of time remembering what you already learned.
  11. Make notes of things that pop into your head during work
    If you get a random thought about the watermelon you need to cut for your weekend plans, write it down. That is taking up space in your brain that could be used toward your task at hand. Trying to remember it all day will only distract you.
  12. Clear the clutter
    Don’t leave too much clutter on your desk or in the room even. If something can be thrown away or filed, do it! This means digitally too. Trash all of your spam emails and keep your documents in folders to stay organized.
  13. Make an inspiring environment
    Decorate your space with things that inspire you. Essential oils, candles, and lighting also can brighten your mood.
  14. Only schedule useful meetings 
    Meetings are great time savers if they are productive. But come in the meeting with an agenda and stick to it. If other problems arise, that calls for another meeting.
  15. Get more sleep
    Sleep is the key to making your brain function properly. With enough sleep, good eats, and lots of water, you will be at optimal brain power in no time!
  16. Zone out negativity
    Don’t allow negativity near you. If someone in the workplace comes to you looking to vent, be honest and say that you don’t feel comfortable talking about that subject. Or if you are not confrontational, just simply listen, but do not feed into the problem. Chances are that they won’t choose you to complain to again.

If you feel like you have tried everything, but can’t seem to stay focused on any tasks, it might be time to ask for help. 

16 Ways to Make Your Workday More Productive

Madison Ferry

Madison Ferry is a Digital Marketer for Happy Dog Web Productions. She is a guest writer for Allison Holt & Associates, a Twin Cities-based psychiatry practice serving children, adolescents and adults. The views expressed in here are Madison’s, and do not necessarily reflect those of Allison Holt & Associates.

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APA Reference
Ferry, M. (2018). 16 Ways to Make Your Workday More Productive. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 20 Jun 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.