Career Woman

6 Strategies to turbocharge your productivity without working longer hours


Nothing is quite as frustrating as falling victim to distraction during the workday.

Fortunately, it’s not at all inevitable that we do. Nor is it certain that working harder means working longer hours. These six productivity-enhancing strategies will improve your output without keeping you at your desk longer. Some actually ask you to work less.

  1. Take all your vacation time (yes, all of it)

Americans famously don’t get as much vacation time as workers in other parts of the developed world. They also, famously, fail to take most of their meager vacation allotment.

The first step in righting this imbalance and boosting one’s productivity in the bargain is to figure out how to take all of one’s vacation time. That’s just as easily done as said: all one has to do is request the time off. Often, a little R&R is just what’s needed to enhance workplace productivity; we all know that refreshed, energized feeling that comes after a satisfying vacation.

Once you’re in the routine of taking vacation time as it’s accrued, you might even be ready to ask for more.

  1. Work from home part-time

Working from home isn’t as distracting as it’s made out to be. With the proper home office setup and a suitable mindset, you can achieve the same productivity (or better!) in a colleague-free environment.

If you need a break from your 9-to-5 job, working from home can be lucrative too. ABC Fundraising estimates that full-time fundraising distributors can earn $5,000 or more working from home. And they work toward a great cause: helping worthy organizations raise funds.

  1. Find a passion project or side job

Intrigued by that fundraising distributor opportunity? It’s not the only part- or full-time “side job” that pays. Whether it’s driving for a ride-hailing app or teaching English remotely, there’s endless opportunity to earn income on the side. It all depends what you like to do and what you’re good at. Choose the right pursuit and you’ll find it a rewarding, productivity-enhancing complement to your full-time job.

  1. Work in short, super-productive spurts

Take a break every now and then. As in, every hour. The “55 minutes on, 5 minutes off” strategy works well for some people. Perhaps you’ll land on another variation. Either way, you should break more frequently than one 20- to 30-minute hiatus for lunch.

  1. Start a peer support group

Your colleagues and friends grapple with productivity issues too. Celebrate your trials and triumphs together over coffee once a week or month as your schedules allow. You might just learn something new.

  1. Treat yourself for a job well done

We all work a little harder when a prize is involved. Even if your employer isn’t a big believer in gamification, make your job more interesting by rewarding yourself for meeting realistic productivity metrics each week or month. Eventually, you might end up training yourself to work hard without reward.

Your productivity is about to explode

If you can implement these six strategies and follow them consistently, you’ll become more productive at work and at home. Along the way, you’ll most likely pick up additional productivity-enhancing strategies that serve you in the professional and personal realms as well. A more productive workday is just around the corner.

About Janine Lucas'

Recommended for you