Category Archives:


Importance of Productivity in the Workplace and 3 Steps to Improve It

There are many reasons why you could find yourself struggling to be productive at work, including stress, time pressure, distractions, poor attitude, changing workplaces and policies, etc. Regardless, increasing productivity in the workplace is paramount in today’s competitive, time-crunched world.

Productivity is simply defined by how much you can produce in a certain amount of time. In order to increase productivity, you need to either increase the amount you can do, decrease the amount of time it takes you to do something or a combination of the two.

The importance of increasing productivity in the workplace is multipurpose. I call it a Win3.

Win3 – It helps:
1. You – it helps you reach your goals faster and with less stress.
2. Your Team – Your team or organization and customers or clients will benefit because you are accomplishing their goals faster.
3. Your People – Your newfound increase in productivity will provide a more efficient, more positive and less stressful asset to their challenges and issues (namely, you).

Even though we know something is good for us, that doesn’t guarantee we will do it. Have you ever asked yourself, “Why don’t I do what I know I should?” We all have. Improving productivity in the workplace is what I call a “Know Brainer.” We know we should, but sometimes consistently implementing our new ideas is not easy to maintain.

To be consistently productive and have sustained motivation you need four things: meaning, energy, triggers and ability. Having meaning in the things you do, energy to get through the day at your best, a daily schedule that triggers efficiency and confidence in your ability to do your work are all evidence-based ways to increase your productivity. When these elements are combined, you will have a consistent wind at your back pushing you toward optimal productivity and a faster path to successfully achieving your goals.

Three Steps to Being Significantly More Productive at Work:
1. Define what you need to improve to be more productive.
2. Run yourself through the P=META formula to help you determine what will help you improve. Specifically, find out if you are lacking on meaning, energy, triggers and/or your ability behind that certain task.
3. Focus on improving in that ONE area. Focus is the key word. Pick one area to improve, then chase it down and tackle it to the ground before you attempt to improve another area.

For instance, many sales trainers or productivity motivational speakers will suggest that you outline your top 3 most productive activities for each day the day before. Doing this has been suggested to increase your productivity at work by as much as 25%.

Let’s run this through my three steps:
1. Define –You know you can improve your productivity by being more organized and outlining tomorrow’s most productive work today.
2. META: Let’s run this through the META formula
a. MEANING: This strategy is meaningful and will enable you to produce more in the same time.
b. ENERGY: This task should take little time and energy, so it will not significantly reduce your personal energy levels. Plus, it will increase your sense of control of your daily objectives, which produces massive positive energy and motivation.
c. TRIGGERS: As the end of the day approaches it will trigger you to outline your key tasks for tomorrow.
d. ABILTY: After giving it a little thought, most people can identify their key tasks.

If you ran into difficulty with any of the four META elements, then you can use that information is both a way to greater understanding of why you may procrastinating and a trigger to improve.

Doing these three things will give you clarity as to why you are procrastinating and provide you with a clear path to finding a solution. Now you can go from just wanting to improve productivity in the workplace to actually doing it!

This is taken from my speeches to many organizations’ top sales people and organizations that want more top performers.

It is in my book Change Your Day, Not Your Life

And this video is now part of a four-part series.


Whiteboard Series #2 Get Excited for Work

We’ve all had days where we don’t want to be at work. We often struggle to find motivation and rarely get excited to perform our jobs. How do you motivate yourself and your fellow workers to get out of that rut and get excited about work?

Many people think getting paid more, having better employee-management relations or more career advancement opportunities is the answer. This may be the case in some situations, but what works the best for every situation is sincere interest. In a survey conducted by Tower Watkins in 2008, the number one answer was: “senior management’s sincere interest in employees’ well being.”

In a typical work place, only 4 out of 10 employees on average feel as though management cares about them. This is only 43% of workers. Employees become more engaged in their work place when they feel they are cared about. When they feel this, employees become 18% more productive, 59% feel more creative and loyalty in the workplace rises. A business or company that has engaged workers experiences twice as much net profit, 12% more customer advocacy and are 35% more efficient.

Now that you know the solution to being more excited about work and its benefits, how are you going to implement it? The first thing you need to do is answer the following questions and make a list of what is most important then implement it. Ask yourself, who matters the most and how can you show a sincere interest in their well-being?

Once you begin to check off that list, you will see a positive chain of reaction begin to occur. Employees will become more engaged and customers will be more satisfied. This generates more word-of-mouth for your business. Customers will be more willing to recommend you to others, which will drive more business your way.


Whiteboard Series: Re-energize Yourself at Work in 5 Seconds or Less

We all experience days where we can’t seem to find the energy to get through the workday. There’s no need for coffee or energy drinks. Re-energizing yourself can be done in five seconds or less with this simple question: “Why are you working so hard?” This question is part of the Thriver Quiz, which helps you identify if you are a Thriver, striver or struggler. A Thriver is someone who is energetic and motivated, a struggler is someone who is stressed and exhausted and a striver is someone who fluctuates between the two.

People who are able to answer this question with something positive and motivational in less than five seconds are part of the Thriver category. Strivers find themselves taking up to twenty seconds to answer this because of a lack of clarity. If you find that you have to really think about this question for more than twenty seconds, then you are part of the strugglers category.

Fifty-one percent of people who have taken this quiz were able to answer quickly with a motivating reason as to why they are working so hard, which makes them thrivers. The other forty-nine percent fall into the striver/struggler category because they don’t have the clarity on why they are working so hard.

Portland State University of Michigan has conducted research that focuses on what energizes us at work. They found that people who are energized and thriving are more meaning oriented. Meaning and thriving are interconnected because finding meaning motivates you. In order to be meaning oriented, you need to have clarity as to why you are working so hard.

Clarity is energy in today’s complex world. The meaning pyramid helps you find and clarify meaning with only three questions.


Thriver Quiz

In high demand work environments you find three different types of people. Thrivers, who are able to keep up with high-demanding jobs and still find the time to have hobbies and balance a social and work life. Strugglers, who lack the desire or ability keeping up with high demand jobs. Then there are the strivers. Strivers are people who fit into a high demand work culture, but seem to inconsistently fluctuate between thriving and struggling. They are hard workers who get results, but also struggle with feelings of stress, overwhelm or anxiousness.

Why do some people thrive in a high demand environments and others who work as hard and are as dedicated, struggle?

The Thriver Quiz can help give you greater understanding of where you stand and how to improve from there.


1 out of 3: How people who thrive under stress stay motivated

I write and speak about “Thrivers” a lot (Change Your Day, Not Your Life). The reason is that these people are 18% more productive, are more engaged at work, they are also more physically fit, have hobbies outside of work, and often describe their relationships outside of work as fulfilling. Basically, when you don’t feel this way, these are the people you love to hate. Sure, as a stress and productivity speaker, I often feel like a Thriver. But, I’ve also struggled many times to maintain my productivity at work, stress level, and even my sense of control on my work-life as a whole. I often confess during my work-life balance programs that about every six months I become the person who I aspire to help. But, the good news is that I also get to attend my own presentations. For the past 23 years, I’ve researched, read research and worked with Thrivers. When you do that for so long, patterns become clear. One such pattern is that people who thrive under a high demand life are more focused on the solution to a problem than the problem itself. Let’s see how good you are at this. In my Thriver Quiz I ask the question: “How do you feel when you read this statistic: ‘Only 1 in 7 people who have had a heart attack chose to live a healthier life, even when their doctor told them it would save their life?’” The answers are: Encouraged or Discouraged. Of the hundreds of people who’ve taken this quiz, 64% answered “Discouraged.” I don’t blame them, especially if you think about it this way, “Wow, only 1 in 7 people were able to change even though they’ve had a heart attack (which is a serious wakeup call). What change do I have to change when people with their life literally on the line cannot?” As you might guess, this is not the Thriver answer. Thrivers are the 36% who answered, “Encouraged.” They think about it like this, “Wow, change is hard, but 1 of 7 were able to change. I wonder how they did that?” Thrivers see the problem, but focus on the solution.

Let’s re-test you. Researchers (Nordstrom BL1, 2005 Oct) discovered that a certain type of medicated eye drops can save the sight of those with Glaucoma (an eye disease that reduces your ability to see and can even cause blindness). The problem is that those people have to take these eye drops ten times a day, every day, for the rest of their lives. Certainly tough to do, but if your sight is on the line, taking them is a no-brainer, right? After three years, only 37% of the people prescribed the eye drops were still taking them. When you think about your ability to change/improve your way of life, is this study encouraging or discouraging?

Considering how many responsibilities you have, taking eye drops ten times a day, every day, would be tough. But, one out of every three people found a way. When you think about it this way, you often say the nine most motivating words known to man, “If they can do it, maybe I can too.” People who thrive under stress are more hopeful, optimistic and proactive. Thrivers focus on being that one out of three by looking for a solution instead of giving up. Key ways they accomplish this are by:
• Seeing the threat, but focusing on the challenge
• Knowing the potential outcomes, but focusing on execution
• Understanding the problem, but focusing on the solution

When you are struggling with stress and the many problems life throws your way, try and focus on the solution and you will be the 1 in 3 who make it.

Citation: Persistence and adherence with topical glaucoma therapy. Nordstrom BL1, Friedman DS, Mozaffari E, Quigley HA, Walker AM. Am J Ophthalmol. 2005 Oct;140(4):598-606.

Page 2 of 121123...Last »

Change Your Day, Not Your Life
A realistic guide to sustained motivation, more productivity, and the art of working well
read more

About Andy Core
Author and speaker on work-life balance, productivity and wellbeing
read more

Receive monthly email tips, research, how tos...
read more