There are only so many hours in the working day. That’s a fact you can’t get around, no matter how long your to-do list is. So making the most of every minute is critical.

The good news is it’s not rocket science. Being more productive at work can be as simple as changing some of your current working habits.

So here are 11 easy ways to boost your productivity in the workplace:

1. Turn your email notifications off

Few of us can resist an email ping. Even if we don’t read the email right away, a notification is often distracting enough to break our focus. According to Alex Moore, CEO of email productivity solution Boomerang, it takes 64 seconds to recover from being interrupted by an email notification. That adds up to a lot of wasted time, considering how many emails we’re sent every day.

Your best bet is to turn off your email notifications and commit to only checking your inbox at set times, like first thing in the morning and straight after lunch.

2. Put your phone away

It’s ironic that the very tools that enable us to maintain contact with people also distort our priorities, break our concentration, and scatter our attention. Yes, checking our smart phones every five minutes kills productivity.

As with your emails, allocate specific times during the day to make personal calls or to check Facebook. Keep your phone off or out of sight outside of those times.

3. Minimise interruptions

Interruptions at work are inevitable, but try to minimise them as much as possible. Having a colleague pop their head into your office to chat may seem innocuous. But even a brief interruption can produce a change in work pattern and drop in productivity.

Minimise interruptions by keeping your door closed, letting your colleagues know not to interrupt you for a couple of hours, or working from home on time-sensitive projects.

4. Take regular breaks

If you find yourself staring blankly at the screen after a long stretch in front of the computer, you’ve been doing it for too long. The average person’s attention span is between 25 to 45 minutes, so it’s important to take breaks, ideally every 30 minutes, to reboot.

Get up, grab a drink, and focus your eyes on something else. Even a couple of minutes away from the screen will stop your attention from waning and keep you fresh.

5. Drink caffeine in moderation

Caffeine is magical. It can make the working day so much easier to get through. But what many people forget is too much caffeine can cause adverse reactions. Slam three coffees before work and you’ll suffer a caffeine crash within a few hours. Pacing yourself and moderating the amount of caffeine you drink will not only help you avoid this, you’ll sleep better too.

6. Do some exercise

Exercise isn’t just good for your body: it can have a positive impact on your productivity too. Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain, which sharpens your awareness, making it much easier to tackle that big, important project.

If you’re lucky enough to have a gym within walking distance from the office, 20 minutes on the treadmill can be enough to re-energise you. If not, a simple walk around the block will have a similar effect.

7. Cut back on alcohol

We all enjoy a relaxing glass of wine or two after work. But if you drink more than a couple, it can be counterproductive. As we all know, hangovers and lack of sleep are not conducive to a productive day’s work.

To get more done at work, save the booze for the weekend.

8. Use to-do lists

When you get to work each morning, make a list of everything you need to do that day. Start with the most difficult tasks, so the day gets easier with each passing hour.

And gradually ticking items off your list will provide you with a sense of accomplishment. 9. Follow the ‘two-minute rule.’
When you’re writing your to-do list, keep the two-minute rule in mind. If you see tasks that can be done in two minutes or less, do them straight away.

This helps you overcome procrastination by making it easy to start taking action.

9. Follow the ‘two-minute rule.’

When you’re writing your to-do list, keep the two-minute rule in mind. If you see tasks that can be done in two minutes or less, do them straight away.

This helps you overcome procrastination by making it easy to start taking action.

10. Reduce your multitasking

Although multitasking seems all the rage, trying to accomplish more than one task at a time can be more harmful than helpful. Studies have shown that people who try to do two or more activities at once end up becoming distracted, and the quality of their work suffers.


Focus on one task at a time, complete it properly and then move on to the next.

11. Use Trello

If your to-do list consists of countless post-it notes with tasks scribbled on them, it’s time to update your system. Trello is a free web-based organisational tool that enables you to organise your daily tasks in a visual, user-friendly way.

The advantage Trello has over post-it notes is you can’t give post-it notes a due date and tell them to jump off your desk when a deadline is looming. With Trello, you can assign due dates to tasks and get reminders when they’re approaching.

So there you go. Eleven sure-fire ways to increase productivity at work. Why not give them a go and see how much more work you get done?