‘Being busy’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘being productive’. Busyness can be a dangerous way to lack of purpose and may hold back your progress.


Here are some tips to improve your productivity at work:


Prioritize your goals.

Then schedule your tasks to reach these goals. Create daily and weekly ‘to do’ lists.


Find your focus and develop good habits.

Organize your physical space. If you can’t find your ‘to do’ list you won’t get very far! Ensure you are comfortable and your work area is pleasant and efficient. Then re-visit your virtual space – clean up your inbox. Don’t let emails take over. Manage them!


Work effectively alone and with others.

Working productively doesn’t always mean working alone. The people around you can be great resources. They can also slow you down. Learn to recognize when work doesn’t add value and know how to say ‘no’ to unproductive tasks.


Assess your progress.

Take time every few months to ask yourself if your organizing tools are working for you. Step back and assess if you need to re-set or start afresh. Be prepared for challenges and change.


By checking on your procedures and adjusting them frequently, you will enjoy a more effective way to getting things done and a more productive way to live.

Source: Getting Work Done, HBR 20 Minute Manager Series.