In our modern, fast-paced world, everyone is looking for ways to get more done in less time. 

Despite our best efforts, distractions, and priorities, it can be difficult to stay focused and productive.

These simple productivity skills can help you achieve your goals and increase your output at work and at home!

Personal productivity vs employee productivity

In general, there are two types of productivity: personal productivity and employee productivity.

Personal and employee productivity are different in that the reasons for being productive aren’t the same at home as they are at work. 

Though you may be productive for different reasons when you’re working versus when you’re at home, learning productivity skills can be beneficial in both settings. 

In the following sections, we’ll take a closer look at personal productivity and employee productivity.

1. Personal productivity

Personal productivity focuses on the individual’s ability to efficiently manage their time and accomplish tasks in their daily life. 

Some examples of personal productivity skills include the following:

2. Employee productivity

Employee productivity focuses on the output or work accomplished by an employee at their workplace.

The output includes specific goals and objectives.

Several factors influence an employee’s productivity, such as:

  • Work environment

  • Work culture

  • Team collaboration

  • Tools and technologies used by the organization

This last point is particularly relevant because it ties into the idea that no matter how well-organized and effective an individual might be, without the right tools for the job they will be unable to reach their productive potential. That’s where industry-specific services like brewery productivity solution Ollie come into their own. 

Being productive in your personal and professional life are critical to achieving goals and maximizing your success.

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What are some necessary productivity skills?

1. Time management skills

This skill involves planning and organizing how much time is spent on different activities. 

Managing your time means organizing and planning out your day, setting goals and priorities, and avoiding distractions and procrastination to maximize productivity.

Many people use the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule. This principle suggests that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.

A short explanation of the Pareto principle, MindYourDecisions

Identifying and focusing on what’s important is 20% of your initial efforts. 

The rest comes from doing the most important tasks instead of wasting time on other activities.

2. Decision-making skills

Making quick decisions about what your priorities are for the day is essential to being productive and can help you avoid delays and setbacks.

Making to-do lists is a popular way to visualize the tasks that need to be worked on.

To-do lists are most effective when they start with the most important tasks first with each goal broken down into manageable steps.

3. Stress management skills

Stress can have a negative impact on our ability to focus, make decisions, and work efficiently. 

When stressed, we feel anxious and overwhelmed, which interferes with our ability to concentrate and think clearly. 

Stress can lead to mistakes, missed deadlines, and lower-quality work.

You can take care of your physical and mental well-being with stress management techniques.

One of the best ways to manage stress is to take breaks. A short break every 60-90 minutes can give you some downtime to refocus your thoughts.

Remember to take a break, even if it’s just for coffee

Remember to take a break, even if it’s just for coffee

4. Good communication skills

Being able to communicate effectively allows for better collaboration in the workplace.

Good communication skills lead to the following:

  • Efficient delegation

  • Reduced conflicts

  • Fewer misunderstandings

  • Giving and receiving constructive feedback

5. Managing distractions

Distractions make us lose focus on what we should be doing. 

The bad thing about distractions, especially those that come from smartphones, is that it can take 23 minutes for workers to refocus and get back to the task at hand.

Below are some ways to minimize distractions from your phone:

  • Place your phone elsewhere

  • Turn off your phone

  • Silence your phone

  • Turn on “Do Not Disturb”

Turning off your phone can lead to fewer distractions

Turning off your phone can lead to fewer distractions

6. Team working skills

Being able to work as a team is an essential part of productivity. Two heads are better than one, they say.

Teamwork and collaboration can make your workday more productive.

Teamwork and collaboration can make your workday more productive.

When coworkers are able to collaborate, they can combine their skills and abilities to accomplish tasks that would otherwise take longer to do alone.

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Frequently asked questions

Why are productivity skills important?

Productivity skills are important for reducing stress in your work and personal life and helping you focus on your projects, making you more successful and gratified.

What is an example of productivity?

Generally, productivity is measured by how much you can accomplish in a dedicated timeframe. At work, this could mean how much work you can finish within the hour.

How can I improve my productivity skills?

You can improve your productivity skills by doing the following: • Focusing on one task at a time • Setting manageable goals for yourself • Minimizing distractions (particularly from your phone) • Getting the most difficult tasks out of the way first Improving yourself one step at a time can prevent feelings of being overwhelmed.

In closing

Having the right productivity skills can make your days go by faster, make you more successful at work, and help you reach your goals.

By limiting distractions and wisely managing your time, you can reduce the stress you feel from an inefficient day at the office.

Tammy Dang is a staff writer for Shoeboxed covering productivity, organization, and digitization how-to guides for the home and office. Her favorite organization tip is “1-in-1-out.” And her favorite app for managing articles and deadlines is 

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