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9 killer ways to improve productivity in the workplace

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

For those of us recently entering the workforce, it can sometimes be a challenge to stay on task and be productive at the workplace. However, being efficient with your time and energy and prioritizing getting all of your work done is paramount to a successful career. Learn all the ways in which you can get more out of your workday by implementing some simple changes to your schedule. You’ll be surprised just how much you can do! Check out our top tips on how to improve productivity in the workplace:


9 ways to improve productivity in the workplace


1. Learn how to prioritize

At the beginning of the week take some time to consider what must be finished before you leave on Friday afternoon. Decide which tasks are more crucial than others and then use that as a guide during the week so that you get the most important tasks done when you have the most energy and earlier on. Also, think about how much time each task will require of you and decide early on how you’re going to plan your week.


2. Use routines

Our brains are good at establishing patterns. Having a daily routine really can help us manage our workload. One way you can establish a routine at work is with your email – set up alerts so that you go through your email and respond at set times every day. It will keep you productive, focused and less distracted when you’re doing other work.


improve productivity in the workplace


3. Stay away from motivation killers

An important component of staying productive at work is also staying motivated. It can be difficult, though, when there are external factors that are leaving you complacent or frustrated. A toxic employee, for example, can pass on their negative attitude about the workplace and leave you unmotivated. Faulty communication is another common motivation killer. Make sure to avoid these where possible.


4. Eliminate distractions

The single biggest distraction at the workplace these days is the internet. There are so many different ways our attention can be diverted from our work with Facebook, Buzzfeed, Instagram – you name it. You know it’s bad when there’s literally a website called “Distractify” out there. The best way to get rid of all that temptation is to set up hard limits for yourself. Only allow yourself one time a day to surf around, for example. Even better – wait until you get home. One great tool that can help limit your time browsing is the Chrome extension StayFocused, which will block the websites of your choice after you’ve spent a set amount of time on the site each day. Once your time is up – no more Facebook for you.


5. Make sure to take a break

Taking small breaks throughout your day are an excellent way to stay refreshed and productive. Instead of scrolling through Facebook, it’s a good idea to use this time to do something away from your computer screen and get your blood flowing. Go take a short walk, have a snack in the lunch room, call for a secret dance party in the bathroom with your iPod… There are so many ways that you can really unplug from work in order to start back again refreshed and more productive.


improve productivity in the workplace


6. When you’re tired, pick easier work but stay productive

Everyone’s agenda has a list of items – some are easier than others. When you’re feeling worn out, opt out of your more demanding projects and focus your energy on a simpler task, that won’t take quite so much out of you. When you’re feeling refreshed again, that’s the time to really commit to the more mentally taxing work.


7. Avoid multitasking

Multitasking is one of those strange habits that makes you feel like you’re getting a lot done while the opposite is actually true. Focusing your attention on multiple tasks is a great way to waste time, split your focus and end up performing at a lower level than normal.


8. Take pleasure in your work and workday

Enjoying your work is the key to really investing in a job and being as productive as possible. Find ways to make your daily tasks more pleasurable – and take time to acknowledge the pleasure that’s there. It’s easy to focus on what you don’t like about work, but if you try to make the best out of the experience, you’ll get more done and have a better time.


9. Set concrete goals for yourself

Establishing your own short, medium and long-term goals at work can help you stay more on track than you usually would be. A daily to-do list can help you to remember everything that you’re wanting to do today and budget your time accordingly. Meanwhile, having weekly, monthly or even quarterly goals helps remind you that you’re working towards something even bigger while you’re getting through the day-to-day grind.



Now that you know how to improve productivity in the workplace, apply now for an international internship!




Photo 1. based on Insomnia., by Lauren Hammond, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2. based on Phone Work, by mario, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on Six ways of writing “be productive”, by Quinn Dombrowski, CC-by-SA 2.0

Photos and blog by Elizabeth Trovall

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!