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Discover how to be more productive in your workday

VG Staff

July 13, 2023

Every time we create a to-do list, it prompts us to question, “How can I be more productive?” Be it a professional project or a household chore, productivity can transform the way we approach tasks, fostering personal growth, career advancement, and a balanced lifestyle.

However, productivity is more than just a buzzword or the ability to work at lightning speed.  It’s about effectiveness, efficiency, and purpose. Misconceptions about productivity can lead to stress or burnout, negating its benefits.

In this article, we’ll break down productivity from its definition to its impact on life, examine common obstacles, and suggest tools to help you be more productive. We’ll also share a real-life success story, illustrating the transformative power of productivity. Whether you’re a productivity novice or a seasoned veteran, this article will motivate you to evaluate your current productivity strategies.

Understanding productivity

Productivity, in essence, is about achieving more with less. It’s about focusing your efforts effectively and efficiently to achieve your goals. Productivity isn’t simply about completing tasks rapidly—it’s about prioritizing the right tasks and accomplishing them in the most efficient manner.

For example, an author might measure their productivity by the number of high-quality pages they write in a day, while a software developer could gauge theirs by the number of bug-free lines of code they produce.

Yet, productivity is often misunderstood. It’s not about cramming more tasks into your day or working through your lunch break. True productivity involves careful planning, prioritizing tasks, managing your time effectively, and taking regular breaks to maintain mental sharpness.

In the next section, we’ll delve into how to be more productive and how it can impact various aspects of your life, from personal growth to career advancement.

The power of productivity

Productivity plays a pivotal role in our lives. On a personal level, being productive can lead to a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. It gives us more time to pursue hobbies, spend time with loved ones, or even just relax and recharge.

Professionally, when you learn how to be more productive you’ll find a better balance in your life and skyrocket your career. Consistently completing tasks efficiently and effectively can lead to recognition, promotions, and further opportunities for growth.

For entrepreneurs or business owners, increased productivity can translate into business growth, higher profits, and an enhanced reputation.

  • Cost efficiency
  • Improved service quality
  • Increased capacity
  • Competitive advantage
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Innovation
  • Scalability

A classic example of a successful person attributing their success to high productivity is Elon Musk. His ability to effectively manage and juggle multiple ventures like SpaceX and Tesla simultaneously is a testament to his exceptional productivity skills.

Now that you know the power of productivity, how can you combat the barriers you’re experiencing in achieving high productivity? In the following section, we’ll dive into these barriers and provide tips to overcome them.

Caucasian woman working on laptop at table with cat cuddling

Barriers to productivity

We’ve all wondered how we can be more productive in our day-to-day lives, but there are common challenges that can hinder our progress. Identifying these barriers is the first step toward overcoming them.


This may come as no surprise, but often, the biggest barrier to productivity is ourselves. Procrastination can stall our progress and lead to last-minute rushes to meet deadlines. Combatting procrastination often requires a combination of self-discipline, time management, and finding motivation in the tasks at hand.


It’s incredibly easy to become distracted online. Distractions are just a click away. Whether it’s a constant stream of emails, social media notifications, or office chatter, these interruptions can significantly hamper productivity. Setting boundaries, turning off unnecessary notifications, and designating focus time can help reduce distractions so you can be more productive.

Poor time management

Without effective time management, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by tasks and deadlines. This can lead to reduced productivity and increased stress. You can combat this by using time management techniques like the Pomodoro Technique, time blocking, or prioritization methods can significantly improve how you manage your time.

Lack of clear goals

Without clear goals, it’s challenging to stay focused and motivated. It’s important to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals to drive your productivity forward.

Once you identify your specific challenges in these areas you can implement strategies to overcome them. Remember, productivity isn’t about being busy; it’s about being effective.

How to be more productive

The increasing reach of new AI technology has put a vast amount of new tools at your fingertips. Be careful not to overload yourself with too many tools, it will make you less productive, not more productive. The goal is to use these tools to help streamline your workflows, track your time, manage your tasks, and generally make life easier.

Black man wearing black glasses and a suit, sittin gin car and smiling while looking at tablet

Here are a few productivity tools we recommend:

  • Project management tools: Tools like Asana, Trello, and allow you to track and manage your projects efficiently. They provide a visual overview of your tasks, their progress, and who’s responsible for them. With these tools, you can easily organize your workload and ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.
  • Time-tracking apps: If you’re looking to get a handle on how you spend your time, apps like RescueTime and Toggl can provide invaluable insights. They track how much time you spend on various tasks and provide detailed reports, enabling you to identify where you might be wasting time and where you could be more efficient. Time Doctor is a comprehensive time-tracking tool designed to provide detailed insights into how you and your team spend your work hours.
  • Automation tools: Tools like Zapier and IFTTT can automate routine tasks, saving you precious time and effort. Whether it’s automatically sending an email when a task is completed or syncing your calendar across different platforms, these tools can take care of the little things, so you can focus on the big ones.
  • Social media tools: Tools like PLANN and Buffer can greatly streamline your workflow. PLANN is a scheduling and analytics tool specifically for Instagram, letting you visually plan your grid, schedule posts, and track your performance.
  • Buffer, on the other hand, is a multi-platform tool allowing you to manage and schedule posts for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more, alongside Instagram. These tools will allow you to be more productive online and keep a consistent presence without using your precious time..


Each of these tools offers an opportunity to be more productive, but which ones will work best for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. However, the ultimate goal remains: how to be more productive and make the most of your time.

Begin your productivity journey

Your productivity journey is unique and shaped by your individual goals, work styles, and life circumstances. Remember, productivity is not just about doing more, it’s about doing what matters most more efficiently and freeing up your time for what truly drives your business forward.

Productivity success story

Margo, Studio Coordinator at IDEO and a happy Virtual Gurus client.

Having Virtual Gurus on board has been beneficial for both the internal team and leadership guidance. The internal team appreciates the extra help managing calendars, scheduling and cleaning inboxes. And since then, the team has been able to take on more productive leadership roles, which has helped streamline operations in a huge way.

Margo Canada
Studio Coordinator, IDEO
View IDEO’s full success story here:

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