Strategies for Jumpstarting Productivity — 4 Tips

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photo credit Mikecogh
photo credit Mikecogh

Whether you’re coding websites, writing content or selling advertisement, time seems to slip away before that to-do list is kaput. With so many distractions (social media, Netflix,, it’s no wonder workers struggle to stay focused. A Gallup study found that employees with access to a desktop computer, paper document, mobile device and desk phone spend two minutes and 11 seconds on a single device before switching, on average.

Workers aren’t helpless against the wave of workplace distractions, however. Simple strategies can help you focus on the task at hand and get the most out of your work day. From software that helps you tune out social feeds to breaks that recharge your batteries, these tactics will ramp up your productivity.

90 Minutes on, 15 Minutes Off

You’ve felt that subtle push from your employer. “It wouldn’t hurt if you stayed late today.” “Be prepared to work some weekends.” That means longer hours, shorter lunches and fewer vacations. A growing amount of research indicates that isn’t always better when it comes to productivity, according to Research at Florida State University found that elite athletes and musicians produce in uninterrupted 90-minute sessions. After that, they take a break and forget about work. Watch the clock if you’re looking for more focus. Whether you’re planning cash management strategies for your business, researching ideas for a blog or building a social media presence, once 90 minutes is up, take a break and stop thinking.


Social media are an integral part of marketing and customer service for many businesses, but it has also become common distraction for cubicle-bound professionals. As technology creates problems, technology creates solutions. Anti-Social is an application that turns off social elements of the Internet, thus reducing the potential for tweets, post and pics to derail you from the task at hand. When it’s time to get social at work, disable Anti-Social and join the conversation.

Check Emails Later

Most of the time, it’s not laziness or a poor work ethic that prevents professionals from digging into their assignments. Rather, it’s the menial tasks that drain time and waste brain power. Microsoft program manager Scott Hanselman suggests that professionals should rethink their priorities when they sit down in the morning. His first tip is to avoid email in the morning. “Email in the morning is how you time-travel to 2 p.m.,” Hanselman said, according to Give a quick scan, if you must, and trust that anything urgent will make it to your desk eventually. A productive morning will set the tone for the rest of the day.

A Change of Pace

After weeks and months at the same desk, it’s easy to feel out of ideas. In a job that requires fresh-thinking, creativity and inspiration, a new setting can spark productivity better than any program or time-management technique. Work outside, work in the lobby, (or if you’re lucky) work from home. A new environment can reinvigorate your work life and tap into unreached potential.

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Crystal Doyle

A graduate of business management and communications, Crystal utilizes her knowledge of public relations and applies it to her methods of managing.

Reader Interactions


  1. Vicky Stevenson says

    I spend a lot of time trying to be productive. I tend to procrastinate to a large extent and that often is hurting me. These are some good tips to help me as well and I do agree with the e-mail one. If you send away an e-mail, I tend to find myself constantly checking for a response instead of focusing that couple of minutes on working.

  2. Aayna says

    Productivity is what each and every one craves for. The four strategies which are mentioned in this post are relevant and true to the core. These strategies if implemented properly can bring in loads of success. Thanks for the share.

  3. Fatima says

    I like the idea to take a break after 90 minutes this would give a break up to all tasks at hand and infact would enable me to finish off more in every 90 minutes. It is really an interesting way to go about. next best thing is to check emails at a later time so that you can finish off priority tasks.Thanks for the ideas.

  4. Joy says

    Very helpful ways! Thank you for sharing! I will definitely try all of these tips you mentioned in your blog. Keep it up!

  5. Krisitne says

    Employees needs this specially every Monday! But seriously, we need to start working hard, for us to be successful in the future.

  6. Richard Thompson says

    These actually are so true, and honestly helpful. I always made it a habit to check emails first then dive into work. That, however, led me to get distracted by all the emails then discouraged about how much work I had to do that day. So instead, I just started doing work immediately after arriving at work, and it really does set the tone for the rest of the day. Taking breaks every once in a while is also super beneficial to being more productive. The 90-15 rule is a pretty solid one. You just have to make sure your boss is aware of what you’re doing, just in case he always catches you on your break!

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