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9 Things You Can Do to Be More Productive in the Office

Cover Image for 9 Things You Can Do to Be More Productive in the Office
Reid Hiatt
Reid Hiatt
Last Updated:

Going back to the office can be a tricky transition after so many of us have gotten used to working from home. That’s why we compiled this list of tips to maximize your productivity the second you step back though those office doors.

Track your time

You probably think you’re pretty good at knowing how much time you spend devoted to a specific task or project, but chances are, you’re nowhere near as good as you think.

Don’t believe me?

Try tracking your start and stop time for everything you do in a day and compare it to what you thought you would spend. Doing so will not only open your eyes to how your time is actually being spent, but will give you ideas for how and where you can save time and be more productive.

Take breaks

Everybody needs breaks. Or, more accurately, every body needs breaks. Your body (and your brain) isn’t cut out for hours upon hours of constant work. It needs to step away, breathe, and unwind a little bit to maintain max productivity.

If you’re working for hours at a time without taking a few minutes between tasks to reset, you’re more likely to burn out and hit the wall. Taking regular breaks keeps your mind fresh and body energized, meaning you get more done.

The “Two-Minute Rule”

In David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things Done, he details what he calls the “two-minute rule” to beat procrastination and get more done. The two-minute rule says that if it can be done in two minutes or less, do it now.

It’s that simple. Give it a shot, you might surprise yourself at how many small tasks you are used to procrastinating.

No more multitasking

Some people pride themselves on their ability to multitask. But the smart ones realize that multi-tasking is really just a recipe to doing multiple jobs poorly at the same time.

Maximizing productivity is just as much about the quality of your work as it is about the quantity. Multi-tasking might give you the illusion of getting more done, but if it comes at the expense of quality (which it usually does), it’s not worth it.

Get started

“The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” You’ve heard it before, you’ll hear it again.

Getting started is often the hardest part of a project, but once you get going, things often fall into a rhythm quicker than you thought and stay that way for hours. So just start.

Recognize your productive hours (and keep meetings out of them)

Everyone’s most productive hours are different. For some, they get the most done first thing in the morning, right after the lights come on and the coffee gets hot. For others, it’s the hours just before midnight that are the easiest to focus.

Find your productive hours, and dedicate that time to your highest priority projects. And please, please, please, don’t schedule meetings during that time. Just don’t. Thanks.

Get some sleep

With how connected our jobs have become to our lives, sleep sometimes slips through the cracks. Between late night emails and early morning Slack messages, our 8 hours can quickly turn into 6, 4, or even 2 hours.

Getting enough sleep is one of the most efficient and lasting ways to increase productivity. Check out this piece if you struggle with being productive when you first wake up.

Get Organized

In today’s working conditions, getting organized is more than clearing off stray papers from your desk and throwing away rogue sticky-notes.

With many offices adopting a hybrid work model, getting organized now means planning when you’ll work from the office and when to work from home.

Each has pros & cons, but the most important thing to keep in mind as it relates to productivity is to always have a reason for going into the office.

Get the right tools

The right tools will work wonders for your productivity. Here’s a few of our favorites:

Tactic gives you complete control over your workspace by allowing you to reserve a spot in the office, collaborate with your teammates, and book meeting rooms all from the same platform.

Shift is a desktop app that streamlines your tabs, apps, and accounts by putting them in a single, easy to organize dashboard. Shift is a beautiful solution for managing multiple accounts, allowing you to easily toggle back and forth between them without the hassle of constant log-in screens.

Evernote is more than just a note-taking app. It’s a one stop shop for staying organized and remembering everything.

Focus booster uses the Pomodoro technique to help you maintain focus and minimize distractions. And the best part, Focus Booster automatically saves your sessions so you know exactly where your time is spent.

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