In an ideal world we would all work at 100% throughout the day. But everyone knows that it isn’t possible. We have peaks and troughs; moments that our workflow dips and moments that we blast through a tonne.

And you can’t change that. But you can minimise those ‘trough’ moments and increase your productivity. “How’s it done?” we hear you ask.

Well read on. We’re about to show you…

Hit the hay

One of the key ingredients to a productive day is a good night’s sleep. The amount of sleep you should be getting is a thing of debate, but it’s generally agreed that between seven and nine hours is sufficient. If you don’t get enough sleep you’re going to feel it the day after, and that’s going to affect your productivity.

But what if you’re having trouble sleeping?

There’s nothing worse than hitting the hay early and then tossing and turning for three hours. If your brain can’t relax you aren’t going to sleep. Keep a notebook by the bed and write down anything that’s on your mind.

Getting it down onto paper will make a big difference.

Break it up

If your job involves sitting at a computer screen all day make sure you’re taking your allotted breaks. Trying to power through for eight hours is going to be a strain, and you will become less productive as time wears on.

Take time out. Go for a stroll round the office; have a drink of water; get some fresh air – and then when you get back to your desk you’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to dive into the work.

Compile your to-do list

To-do lists aren’t the most exciting things in the world, but they sure do help you stay on top of your workload. Whether you’re writing them on paper; using the task manager in outlook; or you’re using something like Evernote doesn’t matter. The fact you have one is going to be extremely helpful.

There’s nothing like scratching something off a list.

Emails kill productivity

It’s true. You can check your emails every five minutes and spend more time refreshing and replying than actually doing any work. So schedule certain times to open your email client and reply to anything that’s urgent. I try to check at 9am and then at 12pm, and then one last time at 4pm.

We understand that not everyone can do this because their work revolves around their email. If this is you just make sure you aren’t pulling open the email window every 10 minutes to see if you have anything new.

Tidy desk, tidy mind

This is so easy to do, but you’d be surprised at how many workers don’t bother. If your desk is a clutter of files, documents, and crumbs, it’s having an effect on your productivity. So spend 20 minutes each week to completely clean your desk of any unwanted clutter.


You might think that staying chained to your desk is going to benefit your work, but in reality, the opposite is true. Go for half an hour walk on your dinner or head out for a run before work each morning.

You’d be surprised at how it can alter not just your productivity, but your mood too.