13 Things About Business Productivity You May Not Have Known

Increased business productivity


Here is a mix of objective and subjective tips and informations I found about business productivity. Follow the links to read more pertinent articles and watch inspiring TED talks.


1. Productivity is like a muscle, train it

When I started writing this blog, it took me between three and eight hours to write just one 600 words article. And let’s be honest here, these articles were not the best ones I ever wrote. It’s now been more than a year that I’m writing almost every day and I can say that an article between 500 and 800 words now takes me a maximum of 90 minutes on average. There is no need to say that the articles are now better organized and presented. So whatever your goal is, simply don’t quit and keep working at it, you will get better and more productive with time.

2. Coffee should be used carefully

It seems that there certain rules to follow if you want to improve your productivity with caffeine but I think it all comes down to personal choices and preferences. I personally drink a small cup of coffee in the morning and then stick to a cup of tea in the afternoon and non-caffeinated drinks in between. My morning java gives me the kick I need to start my day but if I drink any more, I get quite jittery and I can’t focus my attention on the task at hand. There seems to be a personal balance everyone need to find.

3. The people is the key

I love to surround myself with productive and creative people. It has a very good effect on me. When there are no distractions around, just working bees, I am more focused and get a lot more work done.

4. You will do what is on your list

It seems that taking time to write down a list of the things you want to achieve throughout your day has a positive effect on productivity. But you have to be careful here, don’t write everything you wish you could do even if you know you won’t have time to get to the end of your list, you will just be disappointed at the end of the day. I take 30 minutes twice during my workday to create and adjust my to-do list. It keeps me motivated and focused.

5. If you allow yourself less time to do a task, it will take you less time to do it

Even when I was studying for my degree, I always did my best work on short notice or at the last hours of a deadline. Am I the only procrastinator in the room? This is another story I guess. But I find that if I give myself a deadline (finish this post before 11PM!), I work harder just to make it. Some even suggest to use a timer but I’m not there yet!

6. Keeping a trace of what you do will improve your productivity

I like to be able to check my dashboard at the end of my day, week or month and be very proud of myself for the list of tasks I actually checked as being done. I find it empowering and encouraging to know “my number”. It has the added value to help you when you need to be accountable for your time in front of your boss or a client. When it is important, I use a timesheet or I had a number field to my task application to track exactly the time I spent on each task.

7. What you eat matters

If you put water in your gas tank, your car will not work. I think it is exactly the same with your body. If you feed it with all sorts of chemicals and additives, your body will most likely be bloated, you may end up with migraines and overall fatigue. To boost my productivity, I like to eat fresh food I prepared myself. Load up of great tasting fruits and veggies, give a try to legumes and whole grains and stay hydrated with pure water. Your body will thank you with a clear mind and great stamina.

8. Meditation will help

You may think you are simply not the “meditation type”. Type A personalities sometimes just can’t stop and sit on the floor for half an hour. I respect that. If you are type of active person, I suggest walking meditation. Find a quiet park and simply walk while clearing your mind. You also want to take a look at this great guide for more tips about meditation.

9. Taking breaks is not counterproductive

When I worked as a registered nurse, I confess that I used to never take my breaks, thinking 15 minutes could not do that much of a difference during my shift. Wrong! Taking a break will give you more energy, change your perspective and may get you unstuck and help you better solve problems. A break doesn’t have to be very long. Since I work from home, a break can be doing a load of whites, taking a 20 minutes walk or just gaze through the windows for 5 minutes. Especially if you are working in front of a computer, take several short breaks during your day to look at something that doesn’t have a screen. Your eyes will thank you.

10. There is only you setting limits to what you can and can’t do

When it comes to setting limits, you may just be your worst enemy. If you are keeping your productivity on the low side just because you don’t think you can do the tasks at hand or you think people around you don’t believe in you, it is your loss. What if you just fake it until you make it? What if you just try? I am not trained as a professional writer nor as a salesperson. But I blog and I sell. I may have been less than efficient at first but I kept believing I could do it. Look at me now, not bad, right?

11. Curiosity is your best ally

Read! Watch TED talks! Discuss with your colleagues! Attend seminars! Ask questions! I’m sure a lot of people know a lot of things about business productivity neither you or I already know. Open your mind to discover new ways to achieve your goals. It simply can’t lead you anywhere else than increased productivity.

12. Productivity happens outside of the office

I already wrote about Jason Fried and his theories about work. I’m still agreeing with him. Productive work simply can’t happen in open plan noisy offices. And please, don’t start me on meetings. Just skip them all together or follow the advice of Nilofer Merchant with her fun and innovative solution: walking meetings! With the added benefits of fresh air and physical activity, I’m sold. I’m also a big fan of changing the scenery to boost my productivity. Instead of working at my desk, you will quite often find me in a café or at the public library.

13. Motivation comes from within

Please, don’t let your pay check be your motivation. If it ever works, it won’t work for long. You should go to work because you love what you do and you just can’t get enough of it. If it is not your current reality, change it. I leave you with one last TED talk suggestion to learn more about motivation.


Do you have any tips or tricks to share about business productivity? Please leave a comment, I’m curious to learn about you!


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