How To Increase Productivity In Workplace: Five Approaches

Do you struggle with staying focused at work? Are you an employer figuring out how to increase productivity in workplace? For some people, it can be challenging to stay productive at work. Other people can come into work, ready to roll up their sleeves. Employees want to boost their productivity so that they can perform their best. 

How to increase productivity in workplace

These days, it’s easier to conduct work with electronics and new technology continuing to develop. There are simple hacks that employees can overcome if implemented correctly. It’s easier said than done, but making an effort at improving productivity can make a difference. 

In this post, I will go over some simple approaches for workers to boost productivity. If anyone practices the tips, they can quickly improve their work performance. These approaches include:

1.) Taking shorter breaks & fewer long breaks

2.) Avoid multitasking

3.) Giving up on perfection: “Get it done.”

4.) Saying no to unnecessary meetings

5.) Setting deadlines

How to increase productivity in workplace: 

Shorter breaks, fewer long breaks

How to increase productivity in workplace- Woman

Whether it’s a coffee break or chatting with a coworker, you want to keep track of your time away from your workstation. Sure, it’s nice to get up after your first hour and grab another cup of coffee. But if you’re doing it to kill some time, that can be a problem if the pattern persists. Instead of taking 15-minute breaks every two hours or so, find five minutes within each hour to step away and refresh yourself. If you can find time for those quick five minute breaks, you may find yourself getting more done on a single day.

My best practice

I’ve tried multiple approaches to taking breaks. I like practicing the Pomodoro technique. If you’re not familiar with it, you work in 25-minute time chunks, followed by five-minute breaks. After working four 25-minute blocks, you take a longer 15-30 minute break. I find it useful because I get more done within two-three hours. It works well for people who want to make the most of their first few hours of work.

Avoid multitasking

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Multitasking sounds like a good practice when you have a giant to-do list. But doing multiple tasks can slow you down. Yeah, it seems convenient, and maybe your coworkers are great at multi-tasking. But if your work quality and performance suffer, you may want to rethink multitasking. Dave Crenshaw, the author of The Myth of Multitasking, points out this practice as an effective way to slow you down. Check out my review of his book.

One task at a time

In the last year, I’ve avoided multitasking whenever possible. There were times where I worked on multiple tasks, and it made my workload more stressful. Instead, I do the best I can to complete one task at a time. It’s much easier than having to do multiple things at once. It may sound slower in theory, but it’s better for your work performance. It’s incredible to think multitasking and single-tasking work the opposite ways when trying them out.

Give up on perfectionism: “Get it done.” 

How to increase productivity in workplace- Woman 2

Some people tend to overthink their tasks or the idea of making their work perfect. If you’re trying to make a project look complete to please your boss, that’s the wrong way to go. Keep in mind that no work in any form will ever be perfect. (Even this post itself is not perfect!) It’s also what sets people back from putting in their best effort, without having to worry about perfection. Sometimes, you have to make an effort at it and get it done.

When it’s time, make sure to get it done.

While growing up, I struggled to try to be perfect. Whenever possible, I always wanted to have any outcome work in my favor. It never was the case each time, and it leads to some setbacks in life. But now, I focus on making an effort to make my work look it’s best. When faced with a task or big project, I admit that it will not come out picture-perfect. When the time comes, I’ll put in the work, and I make sure it gets done.

Say “No” to unnecessary meetings

Meeting- No

Meetings are inevitable in the workplace. The problem with sessions is not using time productively. If you don’t have a clear plan laid out, you’ll likely go off-topic at some point. It takes valuable time away from employees when they could be doing other tasks. Whether that’s networking or working on a big project, meetings can be a roadblock for employees. More so, workers should get in the habit of saying “no” to unnecessary meetings.

When to say “No” to meetings

If you work at a place where a lot of meetings take place, it may not be necessary to go to each one. If asked to attend a meeting, ask yourself some of these questions:

  • How long is the session?
  • Is my input needed?
  • Will this meeting take time away from important projects?
  • Can I get the meeting information through an email?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might want to pass on the meeting. Unless you’re required to attend a meeting, be mindful of your schedule if an hour-long meeting eats up a lot of your time. It may be hard to say no initially. But if you try it, you’d be amazed to see how much more you can get done in a single day.

 Setting deadlines

Deadline- Time

Deadlines are a common approach in the workplace. Making it practice will help employees stay focused, especially if it’s around the last minute. However, workers need to remain focused early on so that they won’t be rushed right before a project deadline. Setting deadlines regularly gives workers a specific time frame to get a project finished. Without deadlines, there are no clear indications of when projects need to get done in the office. Again as a reminder, don’t wait until the last minute before a deadline comes by for a project.


These are a couple of tips for boosting productivity in the workplace. They may be more comfortable for some but challenging for others. It’s all about employees having self-discipline and staying persistent with their productivity. As mentioned earlier, these practices are easier said than doing it. So it’s key to making an effort at trying out the tips for the best results. If the tips become regular practice for workers, it can positively boost their productivity.

Do you follow any of the practices mentioned earlier? Is there anything else you do to boost productivity at work?

Leave a comment below and please share this post with others.

8 thoughts on “How To Increase Productivity In Workplace: Five Approaches”

  1. Thanks for this interesting post.  i was wondering what your opinion was about completely rethinking the working week.  I noticed one of your recommendations was in regard to taking fewer long breaks and taking shorter breaks.  I have read a body of scholarly research recently that as much as 25-35% productivity improvements are being seen by companies who are extending the working day but working fewer days.  So work 9-9.5 hours instead of 8 but only work a 4 day week.  People seem to be responding to the benefit of having 3 days of their own time and are  correspondingly working harder as a result.

    What is your view of the results of this research?


    • Of course, Hamish.

      Yes, I’m aware of the research you mentioned. I’ve written a post or two about longer and shorter workdays. There seem to be mixed reviews, but for the most part, they’re positive.

      I think working longer days (9-9.5 hours) is not beneficial at all. For myself, I would get tired working four straight 9 hour days. Yes, the 3-days break would be nice, and I would be very tired. So I prefer to have shorter workdays (and fewer days of work) if possible. 

      For example, maybe four-five 6-hour workdays wouldn’t be that bad. But we’ll see, it would be nice to change in today’s workforce. I wrote a post about a study on 6-hour workdays, so check it out.

      Thank you so much for sharing the research, and the excellent question. Much appreciated!

  2. I needed to find your post, I’m glad I did!

    Being productive at work isn’t always something easy, but I’ve known myself better for a couple of years now and I know when I’ll be productive and when I won’t. Let me tell you.

    When my boss is clear about what he wants me to do, you wouldn’t believe how efficient I am because I know where I need to go. 

    On the other hand, when he’s not clear and he doesn’t seem to really know which tasks to give me, then I lose a lot of time. For sure, I try my best to find something relevant to do and sometimes I just go ask him some questions to have a clearer idea, but it’s not always easy. That’s the worst.

    And even worst than that, one of the reasons I lose time sometimes is because I’m not motivated to work there anymore. That doesn’t help at all. 😅

    I took note of your tips on how I could increase my productivity, I’m sure it will help me!

    Thanks 😊

    • Of course, Audrey.

      That’s interesting to hear about your takeaway. I’ve been there before at an old job I had, in regards to my boss. Sometimes, we’re not sure what to do if we have bosses that may not communicate well. But each person is different, and that can make or break your workday. 

      I agree with you about the need to stay motivated at work. It’s not easy, I know how you feel. We’re on the same boat on this issue.

      Thanks so much for sharing your input! It was an interesting point you made.

  3. When it comes to increasing productivity in the workplace, which is now my home office, “give up on perfection, get it done!” should have been my mantra from the get-go!

    I’m smarter now and way more efficient but, it took time to say no to unnecessary meetings.  Since I usually hold remote meetings for a non-profit I work with, I’m usually the one setting the meetings.  I can’t control every aspect of what goes on in our office in South America but, I realized pretty quickly that I had to stop weekly meetings and, really reign in focus for more productive weekly meetings instead.

    I didn’t know the 25-minute work and short break approach was identified as the Pomodoro technique.  I started doing it as a strict writing exercise and, it really worked wonders for my productivity all around.  

    • Thanks for your input!

      I’m glad you understand the “get it done” point now. I wasn’t even aware of it until several months ago. I was tied up in the nitty-gritty stuff of work. But now it makes more sense, and the same approach with unnecessary meetings as well.

      Yes, the Pomodoro technique has been around for some time. I’ve tried it myself, and it works great. If you want to learn more about this time-management tip, check out Francesco Cirillo’s book. It has some high points to practice.

      Thanks again for sharing, much appreciated!

  4. I have been one to try to multitask thinking that it will help me get done faster and all it ends up doing is slowing me down! I wish we could skip meetings sometimes, unfortunately at my job they are required just about every time. Maybe I will show this post to my boss! The goal is to be more productive, and most of the time the meetings are just reiterating what was said at the last meeting!

    • Thanks, Travis!

      I agree with you about meetings. Sometimes, the same old points are repeated constantly at weekly meetings. So what’s the point in holding them regularly? But yes, it would be nice to skip sessions, as I wrote earlier.

      Yes, multi-tasking seems to work the opposite of getting more done. It can slow you down, unfortunately. If only more people can avoid it altogether, who knows how much time they could save.

      Thanks again for sharing- please show this post to your boss! You never know, he might change his mind.


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