Even the most dedicated, hard-working professional sometimes has trouble staying productive during work hours. Sometimes emergencies arise, but every so often, it’s just “one of those days” complete with multiple unavoidable distractions. Being prepared with a few effective productivity hacks can help though.

Here are five to remember!


  1. Be realistic about your workload.


One of the most common reasons for falling behind at work is underestimating just how much really needs to be done, as well as how long it will actually take to finish it all. Combat this by planning your entire week (as well as each day) in advance. How long did it take you to do something similar to Task A or Task B last time? Use that as a benchmark when allotting time to similar projects. Leave cushions of free time where possible so it’s easy to catch up if needed.


  1. Nix the Internet whenever possible.


Keep your momentum chugging right along by disconnecting from the Internet if at all possible. No browsers, a powered down phone, and a disabled Internet connection will keep you from being tempted to waste time on social media or by obsessively checking email.


  1. Take frequent breaks.


Trying to work your way through your entire day without a break may sound like a good idea on paper when there’s a lot on your agenda, but it’s actually counterproductive. Instead, take short breathers frequently to stretch your legs, clear your mind, and boost your productivity.


  1. Prioritize professionalism.


Yes, it’s important to take frequent breaks. However, it’s just as important to make sure your workload is your number one priority. Avoid using your breaks to engage in activities that are too tiring or draining. If you’re the “go along to get along” type, you may also need to teach yourself to say “no” to other people’s requests more often. Nothing should get in the way of your professional duties, the desire to be helpful included.


  1. Stay positive.


Last but definitely not least, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude, both in and out of the office. Take care of yourself by getting enough rest, starting your day right, and making time in your life for the things that make you happiest (e.g. family or hobbies).


Productivity that really gets things done is largely about finding a balance that works for you. The more of the above tips you can successfully integrate into your own working routine, the more efficient you’ll ultimately become as a professional.