5 Habits That Boost Workplace Productivity

By Josie Nelson


We’ve all been there.

Is it the projects and daily assignments piling up? The desirable warm weather out your office window? 

The truth is, it’s hard to be productive and stay productive. Old habits become so familiar that you may not even realize they’re making you unproductive. It takes our bodies more than two months to obtain a new habit.

Going to the gym every day, reading at night or even flossing daily — these habits require determination. It takes time to overcome our familiar routines and build new ones, and it will take practice to get it right.

Bad patterns can get the best of us, but taking small steps to acquire new techniques will lead to improved productivity — especially in the workplace. 

Here are a few habits to help you be more productive at work:

1. Get organized

This step may be obvious, but it’s important for a successful start. You’ll instantly feel more productive when you jot down your daily schedule in a planner. Though it can be easy to put off, try and stay in the loop with your planner. We’re starting new habits, remember? 

It’s also time to organize your workspace. Get rid of old stuff you don’t use and go through the pile of paper on your desk. Having a clean space will ease your mind and encourage a productive day. It’ll also make it easier to find things.

Don’t forget to organize your computer. Respond to emails you may have missed and put items into labeled digital folders.

2. Make to-do lists

So maybe you’re not a planner person. That’s fine.

Grab a notepad and write down everything you need to do for the day. This will allow you to stay on track and it’ll keep you motivated to get things done. Make boxes to check, circles to bubble in or simply cross off each task when it’s completed. Not only does this hold you accountable, it also makes you feel more productive and determined to get things done.

If you don’t finish everything in one day — that’s perfectly fine. Just pick up where you left off.

3. Set small goals

Create small goals that are easily achievable. For example, what can you do now to finish this small part, so starting the bigger portion later is more doable? What can you accomplish before lunch?

Oftentimes, people set unrealistic goals with short deadlines. Break tasks into smaller parts to make it easier on yourself. You can still push your limits, but make sure you’re hitting those smaller milestones along the way.

4. Take a break

Is work stressing you out in the middle of the day? Take a short walk around your office building or stand up and stretch. Letting go of office stress with low impact exercise will make it easier to come back and get to work.

Your body needs a break from sitting or standing in one pace for too long, and your mind deserves a rest. Get up for lunch or just take a walk to energize yourself. A five to 10 minute activity will increase productivity at your workplace and help you get more done.

5. Follow up on daily accomplishments

Take a moment and go over what you accomplished today, what worked well for you and what didn’t. Modify each step to your own style and make it your own. 

Now, how can you improve your workday?