Work Smarter, Not Harder—Productivity Tips

Sep 7, 2022

Chantel Musselman, People & Culture Coordinator

I believe many can relate when I say it’s hard to remain focused on your tasks when different things come up and they take priority. It can be challenging to stay productive when you are pulled in a hundred different directions at once. But, over time, and with dedication, one can adapt and implement minor changes that can create an increase in one’s output. 

Lakeland Networks' People & Culture Coordinator Chantel Musselman sits at a desk writing in a notebook.

While navigating post-secondary school and various positions in my field, I got the opportunity to work with people whose way of going about a task or project was completely different from mine. I quickly learned that there is always more than one approach to reaching a successful outcome; it depends on one’s perspective and preference. 

As they say, everyone is different. I believe this can be applied to many areas of life if not all. However, as I stated previously, to reach that successful outcome, you need to set yourself up for success by implementing tips and tricks to keep you on track and ensure you are viewing the whole picture. Here are some tips for remaining productive in every task you take on.

  1. Keep a to-do list. Putting upcoming tasks on paper or in a virtual notes list or spreadsheet allows one to organize and prioritize what needs to get done visually. Having a list also lets one see what tasks might take longer and need more time to complete. 
  2. Set timers. By allotting yourself a dedicated amount of time to work on or complete a task, you can instead focus more on efficiency and substance. By setting timers, you are dedicating a certain amount of time to entirely immerse yourself in the task at hand and remain focused only on that. Setting timers should create a greater quality output than if you didn’t dedicate time to a single task and instead multitasked. 
  3. Take breaks. Constantly staring at a computer or repeating the same movement over and over for a long time reduces productivity and allows room for error. It’s important to recognize when you need a break and when you can continue working on the task at hand. It’s crucial to step away from whatever it is you are working on to let your mind wander and to stretch & move your body. Doing this is vital for problem-solving, as it enables you to step back from the task and come back to it with a potentially different perspective. 
  4. Avoid multitasking. I know that today multitasking is usually a skill that is praised. However, I find it can do more harm than good. Switching back and forth from unrelated tasks can make it challenging to progress or even have a complete thought. Many tend to spend more time on the tasks overall than they would if they focused on each task individually. 

It’s essential to set yourself up for success and implement some tips to increase productivity and efficiency in your professional or personal life. By remaining open to those different perspectives others share with you, you expose yourself to various potential ways of increasing your efficiency in completing tasks.