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8 tips on how to be more productive at work

Keeping a clean desk is one of the key ways to be more productive at work.
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March 3, 2020

What does the word “productive” mean to individuals in business? Is it results? Success? Organization? What does the word “productive” really mean?

Productivity is key to measuring a business’ success. The more productivity you have, the better your results. So how can someone take that thought, transfer it to their individual personal and professional environment and determine how to be more productive at work?

As a recruiter who has many different roles and is a results-oriented individual, productivity is key to my success. Here are my eight tips to stay productive at work.

How to be more productive at work:

1. Stay organized.

Organization is key to being productive at work. Having all your ducks in a row, making checklists of daily, weekly and monthly tasks and organizing your emails from a priority and topic perspective will make you more productive and timely in your to-do’s.

2. Maintain a clean work environment.

Having a clean desk allows me to find the things I need to work on immediately and be more productive. You can maintain a clean desk by using a file system for your important materials and throwing away waste. Each day before you leave your desk, make sure it is well-organized for when you get in the next day!

3. Keep a planner.

I have two – one for my personal world and one for my professional world. By separating these two environments, I can have a better work-life balance and be more productive – both at home and at work. I keep important dates, meetings, vacations and appointments separated between work and home in my planners.

4. Have an assortment of different-colored pens.

I keep a lot of pens! Having writing tools in different colors allows me to understand what my priorities are to be productive. Whether it is writing things down on sticky notes or in my planner, the colors mean organization. Something due tomorrow will be in red, while something due in a couple weeks might be blue since it is less urgent.

5. Focus on your health and wellness.

It is super important to get a good night’s rest, eat well and stay active to be more productive, too. By doing these things, you will have more energy, and having more energy allows you to accomplish more things.

6. Drink caffeine (in moderation).

Although we should not rely on caffeine from a wellness perspective (see point five), it is OK to get that extra boost of caffeine throughout the day to be productive.

7. Utilize technology.

Understanding the tools you have at your fingertips will make you more productive as well. I suggest digging deeper into the applications your company utilizes, like Microsoft OneNote or Teams.

By taking learning & development courses at your organization, you will be able to keep up with technology. At Schneider, we offer over 170 courses for our associates to take to continue to educate them on the latest and greatest technologies.

These tools allow you to be more productive and faster when working on projects and responding to questions via emails and chats.

8. Take time for yourself.

By taking time for yourself, you have a greater appreciation for your workload, and that “burnt out” feeling will not exist. I encourage you to take a lunch away from your desk each day.

Do not bring work home if you do not need to. Do not check your work email through your personal phone. Use your vacation! Your company provides this to you so that you DO take time for yourself – it is there, so use it!

Wanting to improve in your career?

We’ve written dozens of blogs about professional development – covering topics about how to interview successfully, how to have a great first day at a new job and more. Read them all.

About the author
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Sarah is a graduate of St. Norbert College and has been working for Schneider since June 2008 upon her college graduation. She has held several different roles in the company within Schneider Transportation Management (STM) and most recently over the last few years as Schneider’s Corporate College Recruiter.

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