How to Stay Productive at Work

Document created by 1050210 on Nov 17, 2014
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Published Date: 11/10/2014


Reneé Watkins

By Reneé Watkins


If asked, could you list everything you did at work yesterday, broken down by 15-minute intervals? Most people could not, unless they were required to maintain some type of log for time tracking purposes.


Imagine if you were able to review your entire workday, minute-by-minute. What would it reveal about your level of productivity? It is difficult, if not impossible, to be 100 percent productive at all times. Yet, we like to think of ourselves as being the most productive we can be when on the clock, and frequently look for ways to be more productive.


For all of us, there are times during the workday when we are not productive. Things happen, we get distracted and it takes a few minutes for us to get back on task. Here are some common distractions and how to manage them:


  • Interruptions – knock on the door, telephone call, new email pops up
    • Set time for “do not disturb”
    • Close your door
    • Send calls to voicemail
    • Process emails only at certain time during the day
  • Confusion – so much to do, where do I start?
    • Make a list of what needs to be done
    • Prioritize according to importance
    • Break large tasks into smaller tasks
  • Distractions – Internet surfing, computer games
    • Surf the Internet only during your breaks or during lunch
    • Disable or delete games from your computer
  • Not Motivated – do not feel like working today
    • Set a daily goal and a reward for reaching it
    • Challenge a co-worker to a productivity duel where the loser buys lunch


Everyone has good days and bad days, and during some days it can be difficult to concentrate and remain focused for an entire day. However, we all know what it is like at the end of a day when you have that horrible feeling that you just did not accomplish anything. Avoid that feeling by making sure you avoid distractions that can keep you from being productive.