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Productivity and You – How To Get The Focus You Need

on 20 September 2017


Posted by Kevin Senior
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Whether you are working remotely or in an office, there are always times when productivity is low. Be it because the tasks in front of you are boring or because your energy is low and you just don’t have the inspiration you need.

It’s not uncommon to see staff working late, to catch up with the daily tasks and be ready for the next day. But the old cliché “work smarter, not longer” comes to mind.

Working long hours can have a detrimental effect on both the quality of your work as well as your health, and should be avoided as much as possible. This is especially true if there is a culture in the company of working long hours because it is a sign of dedication and loyalty. Here, attendance is valued higher than actual performance.

Here’s how to be more productive, work with an energy that makes you more efficient, and so avoid working long hours?

Have a solid morning routine

Many of the most successful entrepreneurs and CEOs have a strict morning routine and start the day to energise themselves to be able to focus and tackle all the tasks of the day.

Most of us have heard that successful people wake up at the crack of dawn (or even earlier), and while this is true, it’s not as simple as “wake up early and you will succeed”. The reason for waking up early is the concrete result of that action: what gets accomplished before the work day even starts is at the heart of the matter.

A common trend in the morning routines of highly productive people’s lives is to have a solid breakfast, and to do some kind of exercise. By getting energised with quality food and exercise you will set the tone for the rest of the day, and also make sure that you can operate at peak performance.

Get enough sleep

Sleeping is something that most of us need to do more of, for many different reasons. Relaxing the body, processing any input we’ve had during the day (via dreams), and even detoxifying the brain are all essential processes that cannot be carried out properly without sufficient sleep. Getting your 8 hours (or more), is vital to a productive life.

Sleeping less than what you need will leave you fatigued and your brain will not function at optimal levels, which will decrease focus and limit productivity. If you have trouble sleeping, it might be a good idea to utilise smartphone apps that monitor your sleep. They will wake you up when you are in a light sleep, to avoid the groggy feeling of waking during deep sleep.

Organise your work with tangible rewards

A normal day of work has both fun and boring tasks that need to be done, and being motivated to do the latter can sometimes present a problem.

However, if you plan your day correctly you can reward your hard work with something fun, which will give you a break from all those less stimulating jobs.

If your day is looking grim with only responsibilities that you don’t enjoy, schedule in something non-work-related, such as a 5-minute break to check Facebook or whatever else you fancy. This way you’ll incentivise yourself to complete your obligations. This is great for your overall productivity and for meeting both externally and internally set deadlines.

Remove distractions

There are studies showing that every time you get interrupted from your work, it takes around 20 minutes to get back into the deep focus needed to be most productive. Highly productive people have figured this out, and eliminate any distractions from the workspace.

Turn off all notifications for email, social media and all other apps that compete for your attention. While not checking messages can be a challenge, scheduling specific time slots for communicating with the team can take care of this. If you work a normal schedule, it’s probably a good idea to check messages once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

If you work remotely, make sure that you are not disturbed while working. Design a space at home with this goal in mind. If possible, designate one room as your home office where you can close the door.

Take breaks

Having a sandwich at your desk may sounds like a good idea if you are swamped with work. However, even if it feels like this is a good way of staying focused and getting more done, this is not the case.

Breaks are needed to keep your focus at peak levels. It’s generally thought that we humans can only intensively focus on something for about 45 minutes.  After that we need to focus on something else for a while, before we can do another 45-minute bout of effectively completing our work.

Looking for productivity tools to give your efficiency the boost it needs? From communication to project management and more, these 21 tools can help.


Glasscubes is a user-friendly collaboration software for teams. Connect everyone that you work with in an online workspace that improves the way you share files, manage projects and communicate with each other.

For more information, contact us by calling +44 (0)20 3274 2310 or email us at

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About this author: Kevin Senior

Managing Director at Glasscubes. With over 30 years experience working with businesses of all sizes and industries, Kevin brings success to fast growing companies advising on best practices and growth lead technology solutions.
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