Achieve more in less time? Tips to improve your productivity


Do you sometimes have the feeling that you are not getting everything you planned to do? We have a few handy tips for you that can help you increase your productivity.

Turn off productivity killers! 

It is almost weekend. Time to cut some things off your list that you’ve been putting off for weeks. Finally back to the gym. You still have to do your tax return and your car is in need of a major cleaning.

Then it’s Friday, you’re out with friends until late. Quite a few drinks go through and it gets later and later. On Saturday you sleep in and start the day relaxed. It is already noon and your best friend is calling if you feel like doing something fun. And that sounds a lot more interesting than filing your tax return, and there you go again. The day is over and you were anything but productive.

Or maybe this scenario sounds familiar to you at work:

You have so many different tasks on your plate that you hardly know where to start. And then e-mails and messages from colleagues come in continuously, which only distract you from what you were doing.

There are plenty of such productivity killers. We’ve listed six of them here and tell you how to avoid them.

Improve your productivity
© gpointstudio

Drink tea instead of coffee. Unlike coffee, you usually drink tea quite slowly – unlike a coffee-to-go, just as quickly between appointments. Drinking tea also has a more relaxing effect and is perfect for a short break. Like coffee, green tea also contains caffeine and thus helps to give you an occasional energy boost throughout the day.

1. Lack of structure

One of the greatest productivity killers of all is unstructured work. Both at work and at work, a lack of structure results in you setting your priorities wrong. You do not perform tasks efficiently . Getting distracted over and over again . At first you do things that are actually unimportant and ultimately you do not achieve what you wanted to achieve.

Below are some examples of how you can structure yourself better.

2. Procrastination

Another possible productivity killer is procrastination , also called procrastination (from the English “procrastination”). The problem here is that usually the tedious but important tasks are delayed . At a certain point the time pressure becomes too great, you can no longer keep putting it off and you get more and more stress . It is better to start with the difficult tasks. Then you have had the worst and can continue to work relaxed afterwards.

3. Stress

Do you have a lot of stress? Then look for the cause of the stress and try to get rid of it. If it is because you are not structured, then it is time to organize yourself better . That way you don’t even let stress arise. But sometimes stress is inevitable. And then it’s up to you how you deal with it.

In this case, use relaxation techniques to deal with stress better.

4. Social media

Another well-known productivity killer we all suffer from is social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or WhatsApp, you think to yourself, “Just have a look,” and without realizing it, you’ve spent 30 minutes perusing your news feed and chatting with friends . And your important to do’s have not yet disappeared from your list.

5. You are always available

Smartphones and mobile internet clearly have their advantages. You have access to information anytime, anywhere. And you can also be available to other people at any time via email or smartphone. But being constantly available also has the disadvantage that you are constantly distracted from your main tasks .

6. You don’t take a break

Productivity has a lot to do with self-discipline. This means that sometimes you just have to sit down and keep going, even if you can’t concentrate for a moment. But if you work for hours without a break , your concentration and therefore your productivity will decrease . Take a 5 to 10 minute break every hour or, if that works better for you, take a longer break of 20 to 30 minutes after 2 or 3 hours.

7. Always say “YES”

It is great that you are always there for colleagues and friends. But you shouldn’t do that at any cost. If you say “yes” too often , even to insignificant trifles , you will no longer be able to do your own work and become unproductive . So learn to estimate which tasks you want to help with and when to say no.

9 ways to increase your productivity

Now you know which productivity killers to avoid anyway. Now we have a few more tips to increase your productivity.

1. Learn to structure

One of the most important features for high productivity is a structured way of working . Make a list of all the things you need to do. Set the priorities in up to 4 levels and then do the most important tasks first . This gives you a good overview of what you still need to do and at the same time you immediately get the satisfying feeling that ticking off completed tasks gives you.

2. Establish positive routines

Everyone has certain routines. Whether it’s your coffee in the morning, or lying on the couch for half an hour when you get out of work. You don’t lose a routine quickly, but you don’t have to. There are positive and negative routines.

For example, a classic negative routine is smoking a cigarette before you go to work. This routine is neither healthy nor gives you strength for the day. A short meditation in the morning after getting up is a positive routine. It helps to get your mind to organize and better to concentrate .

3. Work according to the Pareto principle

Also known as the 80:20 Rule, the Pareto Principle says that with 20% of your work, you will get 80% of your results. Who according to the Pareto principle works, concentrates itself on the essentials and does not run the risk of getting bogged down in unimportant details.

4. One thing at a time

A few years ago, multitasking was still seen as the panacea for better productivity. However, researchers today agree that only those who focus on a single task are truly productive .

5. Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep ensures that your body can recover better and you feel more awake the next day. This also affects your productivity. You can automatically concentrate better and complete your tasks faster.

Take active breaks

If you sit for long time at work , your blood circulation will automatically slow down . You get tired faster and less concentrated. Regular active breaks are important to get your circulation going again . For example, take a walk in the fresh air . 10 to 15 minutes are sufficient.

Improve your productivity
© Peopleimages

7. Reply to emails immediately

Check your inbox only every few hours . But if you do, react then immediately to emails. This ensures that your to-do list does not become too long and that you do not have to read the e-mail again later . On the other hand, you also ensure that your customers and colleagues can get started quickly.

8. Give yourself a deadline

One way to avoid procrastination is to set a deadline for a task. You probably also know a situation where you keep postponing a task, as long as you have enough time. Only when time is running out do you start doing the task in a stressed out way . If you set a deadline from the start , this will not happen (or at least less quickly).

9. Make it manageable

With large projects, it often happens that you feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to get started. Then divide the project into small parts . Make a list as you do for other tasks and then work through it step by step.


  • Increasing your productivity will get the job done faster.
  • Avoid productivity killers.
  • Structure and a fixed plan help you to increase your productivity.
  • But it is also important that you value relaxation.
  • Also learn to delegate tasks that reduce your own productivity.

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