We all want to be more productive at work. But between meetings, emails, Slack messages, and other distractions, it can feel impossible to get anything done. The good news is that with some simple changes, you can take control of your time and skyrocket your productivity.
In this post, we’ll explore practical strategies for maximizing your productivity and achieving more each day. Whether you want to get more done in less time or simply focus better, these tips will help you optimize your workday. Let’s dive in!
1. Set Your Most Important Priorities First
It’s tempting to start the day by replying to emails or attending meetings. But this reactive approach means you’re allowing others to dictate your schedule.
Instead, identify your 1-3 most important tasks each morning. These should align with your broader goals and require focused effort. Block time on your calendar to tackle them first before you get derailed.
Protect this time vigilantly and don’t let non-essentials encroach. You’ll be amazed by how much you can accomplish.
2. Batch Similar Tasks
Context switching between different tasks tanks productivity. Each time you switch gears, you lose momentum as your brain readjusts.
That’s why it pays to batch similar tasks together. For example, check emails at designated times—not in between other work. Similarly, make calls back-to-back rather than sporadically throughout the day.
Grouping tasks reduces friction and keeps you in a flow state. Try blocking tasks in 90-minute increments with short breaks in between. You’ll get more done in less time.
3. Take Regular Breaks
Taking real breaks is essential for productivity. Our brains aren’t wired to focus intensely for hours on end. After a period of concentrated work, our attention fatigues.
Make sure to take a real break every 90 minutes. Get up, move around, and give your brain a chance to recharge. A few minutes of walking or doing light stretches can work wonders.
Resist the urge to grind. Time spent resting ultimately enables higher-quality work. Think of breaks as an investment, not an indulgence.
4. Delegate ruthlessly
Often, the most productive thing you can do is let go. Delegating tasks that others could do frees you up for higher-value work. But many of us are reluctant to delegate, whether from perfectionism or thinking no one else can do as good of a job.
Delegation does require upfront effort—you need to clearly articulate the task and expectations. But once you hand it off, you’ll buy yourself huge time. And your team members will benefit from the opportunity to develop new skills.
So take a close look at your workload. What could you reasonably hand to others? Make a list and start delegating.
5. Master the Art of Prioritization
With unlimited demands and finite time, prioritization is critical. You simply can’t do everything—and trying to will only lead to failure.
One helpful framework is the Eisenhower Matrix. Sort tasks into four categories:
- Important + Urgent (Do immediately)
- Important + Not Urgent (Schedule time to do)
- Not Important + Urgent (Delegate or eliminate)
- Not Important + Not Urgent (Don’t do/say no)
This clarifies what truly requires your attention now versus what you can defer or eliminate. Be choosy about what you take on and protect your time for high-impact activities.
6. Reduce Meetings
Meetings are the scourge of productivity. They easily take over schedules, resulting in scattered days where meaningful work happens in the cracks between meetings.
Comb through your calendar and question every meeting, especially recurring ones. For each, consider:
- Does this meeting need to happen at all? Could it be an email instead?
- Is the frequency (weekly, monthly, etc) appropriate?
- Who actually needs to attend?
Challenge the status quo and don't accept meetings as fixed commitments. Reduce where you can. For those that remain, enforce a clear agenda and guard against tangents. You’ll be amazed how much time you can reclaim.
7. Limit Notifications
We face a constant deluge of notifications—emails, texts, chat messages, alerts. This creates apersistent distraction, fracturing our attention.
Set boundaries with notifications. Turn off non-essential ones altogether. For those you keep, set specific times to batch process them rather than being interrupted continuously.
On your device, adjust settings to limit when notifications appear. During work hours, you might disable certain apps from sending notifications or set do not disturb for periods of focused work.
Regain control of your attention. Don't allow notifications to endlessly disrupt your flow.
8. Leverage AI for Smart Assistance
Emerging AI technology like Supernormal offers new ways to maximize productivity. Supernormal provides an AI-powered digital assistant that can help you work smarter. For example, Supernormal can join your meetings, take detailed notes, and summarize key takeaways—freeing you to focus on the discussion itself.
Tools like Supernormal automate repetitive tasks and amplify your ability to get things done. Explore how AI could provide you with personalized assistance to become more productive.
Boosting productivity requires being intentional about how you manage your time and attention. While some tricks may backfire, using proven strategies around priorities, delegating, meetings, and notifications can truly help you get more done with less effort.
Start applying these tips over the next week and see if you achieve greater productivity. Don't try to overhaul everything overnight—focus on 1-2 changes at a time. Over time, you can optimize your workday for consistent achievement.
Here's to your success! Now get out there, focus, and maximize your impact.