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25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work

25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work

Have you gotten into a rut at work? Would you like to be more engaged, satisfied, and fulfilled in your work? Would you like to be more productive and feel a greater sense of accomplishment at the end of each day? Well you can. It just takes a desire and commitment to renew your habits and routines. Follow these tips and you’ll see your work life improve. And that improvement will trickle into the rest of your life too.

  1. Planning. Establish a routine of planning your week and your day. This will allow you to have your most productive week all the time. Start your day an extra 15 minutes early to do this planning everyday. Write down the top 1-3 important things you must do that day. And most importantly, set and reach your Goals! Use the power of intention to get there! (This is what adds jazz to your life! And focusing on your future helps you get through challenging times.)
  2. Power Question. Keep a question like this at your desk to help you stay focused: “Am I making the most of my time right now?” or “Is this the most productive use of my time?”
  3. Accept That You’ll Never Finish Your Task List. For perfectionists and overachievers this is as frustrating as a greyhound forever chasing the mechanical bunny around the track. Get off that track. Just make sure you work on your most important stuff first. Let the fluff slide, not your priorities.
  4. Turn off Your Computer. “What?!” you say. “Everything is done on my computer!” Well is it really? What percentage truly is? Plan to have your computer on only for that amount of time each day. Plan out blocks of time for different computer tasks and work from a checklist to keep you focused. Giving your eyes a rest from the screen will give you more energy for creating. Even if you just close your eyes as you think of a response to an email can help too.
  5. Don’t Check Email First Thing. Unless this is required in your job, then let it go until after you’ve completed your top priority of the day. And then process email in batches, say two or three times a day.
  6. Take Breaks. It’s a fact that taking breaks will increase productivity. It’s been proven in studies. If you need to, find someone to help ensure you take a morning and afternoon break.
  7. Make the Most of Your Commute. How do you spend your commute? Make it positive time. Use it for reading, writing, creative thinking, creative projects, listen to audio books, or, heck, write your own book! If you enjoy your commute, that happiness will spill over into how you feel at work.
  8. Drop Unimportant Tasks. Delegate or delete the non-essential items from your to-do list. The best way to do this is to always do your most important things first. Somehow, miraculously, extraneous things will fall away.
  9. Transitions. Make sure you plan in enough time between activities and appointments, and find ways to fail proof being on time.
  10. Choose Happiness, Humor, Enthusiasm, Gratitude, Kindness, and a Positive Outlook. Being productive and competitive in business doesn’t mean that you have to be serious all the time. Smiling doesn’t mean you’re not working hard. Enthusiasm doesn’t mean you’re not competitive. Being positive doesn’t mean you’re blind to challenges. Choose to enjoy your time at work. Find others who are like this and spread good cheer. It’s contagious and it grows. Try to avoid gossip and negative chat. It can be tempting, but it doesn’t serve anyone well, including yourself.
  11. Cultivate Compassion for Negative Coworkers. People who are negative are that way for a reason. They may have difficulties you don’t know about. Try to be compassionate and non-judging. If you’re a manager, people still need to meet benchmarks, but you don’t have to dislike them if they are not cutting it. When you encounter a negative person, you have the choice to either be affected by the negativity or to be the one who influences the other person. It’s a decision. Choose to stay positive. Instead of saying (in your head or out loud) “Oh, that Suzy-Q! Her negativity always ruins my day,” try thinking “Poor Suzy-Q. She must have some difficulties. I wish her peace. In spite of her negativity I will try to be a positive influence around her.”
  12. Pace Yourself, Especially on Bad Days. Go slow. Don’t be in a hurry. Just take one thing at a time and keep moving forward. If you’re having a really low day, you might even want to take care of yourself by playing hooky ! 🙂
  13. Take Everything in Stride. Deadlines, tough bosses, rude clients, slow computers. Don’t make them into large dramas. Don’t lament the challenges of the world. Simply accept that they are there, and just keep moving forward.
  14. Conflicts with Others. Let your goal be “to make progress.” Don’t get caught up in trying to “be right” or to “win” the argument. That will just slow you down. In your mind ask yourself, “what will move this conflict forward right now?” And then get busy doing that.
  15. Take Your Vacation Time. Try doing something different. If you always go on a trip, try taking a more local vacation, and really get some good rest time. Or if you always stay local, try visiting a new place. Variety is one of the keys to happiness.
  16. Pick Your Battles. Cliche, but true. It’s kind of like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” When you complain or fight on everything, then your power to ask for things is diminished. Save it up for when you really need it.
  17. Share Your Results. This is not about bragging, but about ensuring that you get credit for the hard work you do. Don’t keep quiet thinking that the right people know what you are doing. Speak up and find ways to let the right people know how you are contributing to the success of the company.
  18. Ask for Help. Don’t be afraid to collaborate with others. Don’t wait for your company to tell you what to do. Think creatively about how you can work with others to generate a greater result than if you had each worked on this alone.
  19. Face the Tough Stuff Head On. If there is something difficult that you must do, just bite the bullet and do it. Don’t put it off. Do it first thing in the day. It’s like jumping into a cold pool. Just count to three and do it!
  20. Ask for More Time. If you are asked a question that stumps you or surprises you, never feel like you have to answer it right away. (unless you absolutely must) Seek more time to think about or research your answer. Simple as this, “I’ll have to get back to you with an answer later.” This will save you from giveing an answer you will regret.
  21. Breaking Negative Habits. For one day, observe yourself. Where do you face difficulties? With people? Certain people? Certain circumstances? Take notice and then later on during some quiet time, think about one or two things you would like to work on. Set up some kind of reminder system to fail proof it, such as a simple yellow sticky note next to your computer.
  22. Learn from Criticism. Don’t immediately reject critiques from others, even if you don’t like or respect them. Sometimes people you don’t like may be giving you more honest feedback than you can get from others. Don’t take it personally. Even if it is personal, who cares? Listen, process, and then decide what positive action you might want to take.
  23. Adapt. Adaptation is the number one survival skill of living organisms. Those that don’t adapt, become extinct. In the work world, the same is true for companies, whole groups, and for individuals. Be open to change. Give it a chance. Adapt to new things while using your experience to guide you, and you will have great success.
  24. Learning and Improving. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to learn and improve your skills. Look for good seminars and training. Then ask work if you can attend and will they pay for your admission. If your company pays for education, use it! Borrow books from your local library, the company library, or even from your boss. Borrow some motivational audio tapes from your local library. Keep learning to continually renew your enthusiasm.
  25. Creative Thinking. Is your job boring? If so, take some responsibility in changing that. How can you make it more fun, more creative, more varied, etc.? What can you do that no one has done before? How could you grow enthusiasm at work? What is a new way that you could do old things? What processes could you alter to save time, work and money?

Please Share!

What makes you more productive and happy at work? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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142 Responses to 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work

  1. Cort March 18, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    I am so glad I found this. I needed to here these suggestions today.

  2. Simple Life Tool June 10, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    Great tips. I often struggle with managing my task, and having too balance between the items that are important, and the ones that I just want to do. The ones I just want to do, are most often the ones for fun, which i cant shake at times.


  3. affiliatesea October 27, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    What a long long and helpful post.thanks for sharing.

  4. Mr.Manonera November 6, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    Tnx for the info about becoming more productive.I am happy and productive when i making money online:-)it just that simple:-)

  5. Yakime A. Brown December 1, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    Thank you for this list. I especially appreciated item #3: Accept That You’ll Never Finish Your Task List. There is only so much time in a day and that work on your desk will be there the next day. The best you can do is to prioritize the most important tasks and complete them first. There’s no sense in staying at work into the wee hours trying to whittle down a list that will inevitably continue to grow daily. You’re just spinning your wheels and wasting precious time that could otherwise be devoted to nurturing relationships with family and friends.

    • AgentSully December 19, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

      Yakime – Thank YOU for sharing your comments and insights. I really appreciate it!
      Amazing art on your site!

  6. Scoala de soferi January 3, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    For tasks that require serious focus, you should avoid getting interrupted. One simple way is to go somewhere interrupters can’t find you. Another is to set up an agreement with the people around you: “don’t bother me when the door is closed”.

    • AgentSully January 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

      @Scoala – good points! Sometimes we may need a lock for that door to keep the interrupters out! 🙂

  7. Abogados February 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    excellent advice, I think if you put them into practice is more productive and feel much happier with what he does and coworkers.

  8. Genny Jones March 21, 2011 at 4:11 am #

    Thanks for sharing such a great article. I like the comments and I will send this link to people I work with.
    Be Confident, Be Positive and Be Happy!

    • AgentSully August 14, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

      Thanks Genny!!

  9. Yulis Samoa May 17, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    Frankly, I had an unpleasant experience in my work environment. I have a problem with my leadership. But I have to be patient because I really need the money for my survival and my children.

    Thank you very much for your tips to become more productive and happy at work. It is very useful for me…

  10. vansoiclyde May 24, 2011 at 2:14 am #

    wiiiiw. what a long list, but being productive is a great task. How I wish I’ll be more productive, specially making money online.

    Thanks a lot.

  11. HomeTivi June 8, 2011 at 3:47 am #

    This is a very good list – very well thought out. No. 2 is the thing I have struggled with. Before I realized that I am a goal oriented person, I just couldn’t every feel accomplished because there was ALWAYS something else on my list. When I began to understand the goal oriented personality, I started striving to celebrate (privately – not a big public “look-at-me production”) the completion of each goal individually. Making a list not only helps me stay on track, but it helps me to see that I’ve accomplished a lot – even if my “list” is not completed.

  12. Ergonomic Chairs June 14, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Sometimes its not just about the attitude towards work environment is also a big factor like having a clean station, cool place and great stuff like a having a beautiful chair and desk can motivate or boost one’s productivity. Thanks!

    • AgentSully June 14, 2011 at 9:45 am #

      @Erg Chairs – yes, a good environment is important, but it is also important to be honest with yourself about constantly trying to improve your office – because often that is a form of procrastination! Can anyone relate to this??? 🙂

  13. SANTOSH MUNGEKAR July 9, 2011 at 2:50 am #


    • AgentSully July 13, 2011 at 7:01 am #

      Santosh- surely I am no guru, but I thank you for your kindness.

  14. Sandy Miguel July 12, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    Thank you so much. I really found this article helpful. I’m a freelancer and I always struggle to be productive at my own time (this is one of the many banes of being able to manage your own time and work at your own pace). Again, thanks so much!

  15. Sphamandla August 12, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    This is a great article tackling some of the most difficult issues we have to face in the work place.
    Adapting is one of the main things I think is important and so is tackling hard work head on and not waiting

  16. Patio Furniture October 5, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Nice post and very useful for me to be more productive in their work. Thanks.

  17. destin florida November 23, 2011 at 3:52 am #

    Good stuff! Taking a vacation is really necessary to become more productive. It’s like treating yourself for all the hard work and recharging yourself to be more creative in your profession.

  18. Jon Mcloud March 12, 2012 at 3:10 am #

    Great list of tips, with these tips it can help everyone to become productive and happy at work. One of the best things to do to stay productive at work is by planning. By planning your daily tasks you can effectively determine what tasks you need to do for the day and easily deal with distractions that come along your way. You can also create a to-do list and set an estimated amount time on each task when working. This way you can maximize your time when working and limit wasted time. Taking a regular break also help you to relax a bit and refresh sanity. That will help you stay productive in the long run and avoid tasks burnouts. The key that will help you follow scheduled tasks and finish each task on time is disciplined. Take a look at this tools that can help you track time accurately especially when working on different tasks.


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