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Ask a career coach

How to Boost Productivity
Tips from a career and leadership coach

My career and leadership coach tips on how to be more productive at work:

First, begin by keeping a journal of how much time you’re spending on each task. Are you spending more time on less meaningful tasks?  If the answer is yes when approached with a task or assignment ask yourself “How will achieving this task help me?” If it doesn’t have a big impact, push the task out to the afternoon and designate a set amount of time to work on it.   

Also, pay special attention to how often you’re responding to e-mail.  Are you checking it every five minutes? E-mail can decrease our productivity because it can make it difficult to stay on task.  I suggest designating specific times that you read and respond to e-mail.  Use the other time to focus on more brain and energy-consuming tasks.  I also recommend not checking email first thing, instead, do a small task that is easy to accomplish so you can give yourself an energy boost first thing in the morning.

How to increase employee productivity?
Be consistent and clear with your expectations.  As a manager, if you’re not consistent and clear with your expectations it can make it difficult for an employee to stay on task. The employee may spend more time on less meaningful pursuits because they’re unsure of what matters most to you and the company.  When an employee is clear, they have a higher sense of confidence and energy to stay on task because they can more easily gauge and manage expectations.  A career coach tip: When designating a task to an employee, ask them to mirror back what you said.  This process allows both the manager and the employee to see where any potential disconnects in communications occurred and readily resolve them.

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