How to be more productive at work

Work Happier Workplace wellness
Estimated read time: 4 mins
Published: 29/01/2024

How to be more productive at work

Ah, a New Year: the perfect time to reset with a renewed sense of hope, promises of self-improvement and endless possibilities. But let’s face it; January can be kind of a buzzkill.

The weather’s all gloomy, the festive cheer has bid us farewell and the wallet’s feeling a bit slim after all that holiday splurging. It’s only natural for productivity – particularly at work – to tank.

But fear not. There are many ways to give yourself and your team a boost of productivity, good vibes and creativity this January – and beyond.

Here’s our best advice on how to be more productive at work so you’re not just surviving but thriving. Plus, top tips on improving your team’s workplace productivity to really benefit your business.

1. Build a killer to-do list

Let’s kick things off with a classic – the good old to-do list. Whether you prefer to use nifty productivity apps like and Notion or stick with the trusty pen-and-paper method, never underestimate the power of a solid to-do list.

It’s a great way to set you up for the week and help you deal with overwhelm. And if you’re ever stuck figuring out which tasks to tackle first (who isn’t?), try the Eisenhower Matrix to narrow down your to-do list into four categories:

  • Urgent and important: tasks to do right away.
  • Not urgent, but important: tasks to do once your urgent and important tasks are finished.
  • Urgent, but not important: tasks you delegate to someone else.
  • Not urgent and not important: tasks you remove from your to-do list.

Remember to check off your completed tasks as you go along – there’s no better feeling!

You can also try task batching to boost workplace productivity. Group together similar tasks on your to-do list and knock ’em out in one go. Set specific time windows for different types of tasks to take things to the next level.

2. Minimise distractions

Another great way to be more productive at work is to tune out distractions.

You could wear noise-cancelling headphones, put your phone out of reach to resist temptation, use apps like Freedom to block social media or silence those work chat notifications for a bit. A more unconventional method is a ‘do not disturb’ desk light like the Slicky (simple but effective!).

Try to work out your biggest distractions, and then do your best to limit them.

The Pomodoro Technique is also a handy trick to keep you on track. Grab a timer and break your work into bite-sized chunks, like 25-minute focused sessions followed by quick 5-minute breaks.

The classic Pomodoro Technique uses a 25-minute work period, but you do you. The key is to find a balance that works for you and helps you maintain focus and productivity throughout your work sessions.

3. Set boundaries (and stick to them!)

Setting boundaries at work is crucial to keeping that work-life balance in check and cranking up your productivity. Here are some strategies to make it happen:

Define clear work hours: Let your employees know your work hours loud and clear, so they know when you’ll be available for work-related matters and when you’ll be off the clock.

Communicate expectations: Let your colleagues know what you’re working on and when you can be reached. Managing expectations upfront means fewer surprise interruptions.

Just say no: We know it’s not always easy, but it’s gotta be done. Don’t let yourself drown in tasks. Politely turn down extra work when your plate’s already full to avoid burnout.

Use tech wisely: Tools like email autoresponders will let others know when you’re not available. Also, set your status on messaging apps so people know whether you’re currently working, in a meeting or offline.

Educate others: Help your team understand the importance of boundaries and encourage a culture that respects work-life balance. Lead by example and support others in maintaining their own boundaries.

Good luck out there, boundary-setter!

4. Prioritise healthy habits

Another tip on how to be more productive at work is to incorporate some smart habits into your days.

Try to reign in those email impulses at work and limit your email check-ins to 2-3 times a day. Break up your days with regular breaks, and don’t forget to take that well-deserved time out for lunch.

Planning for the week ahead is another workplace productivity hack. Before shutting down on Friday, whip up your to-do list for the next week. That way, you’ll strut into Monday morning like you’ve got it all figured out, and you’ll feel more relaxed over the weekend.

Reviewing your goals and tasks at the beginning and end of each week may help you stay focused, too.

5. Switch off after hours

It’s not just the things you do during the workday, either. You can do a lot outside of work to improve your productivity. Things like daily walks, midday stretches and perfecting that nighttime routine for a better night’s sleep can all help.

Also, get in the habit of disconnecting at the end of each workday. Turn notifications off and avoid checking your emails during non-working hours to help prevent burnout. It’s all about that sweet work-life balance we keep harping on about!

6. Rethink your workspace

Ok, so you can’t change the winter weather, but you can jazz up your workspace for some serious focus vibes. Here’s some pointers on what makes a good physical work environment to get those creative juices flowing:

  • Mixed spaces to suit different work styles, like meeting rooms, breakout areas and private booths.
  • Plenty of natural light and local control of office lighting levels.
  • Communal areas to encourage people away from their desks for breaks.
  • Ergonomic furniture that supports the body and different working options.
  • Office dogs (there’s tons of perks of a pooch-friendly office).
  • Maintain an office temperature of between 22-26 °C.
  • Splash some colour and toss in some plants; who doesn’t love a pot plant?

Offering these things also shows your team some love and promotes wellbeing – excellent for supercharging workplace productivity! And remember to ask your teams how they would like their work environment. Giving them a say will help you create a space they’ll feel pumped to work in.

Check out our blog for more on what makes a productive work environment.

Looking for office or co-working space that’s designed to champion productivity, collaboration and, most importantly, happiness? Book a tour of one of our workspaces today.

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