Top 27 Ways to Improve Work Performance

Do you want to be more productive and get more done in less time?

Do you have trouble staying focused on the task at hand? 

Are you always looking for something else to do while your current work is piling up because it feels like an eternity before its due date? 

In this blog post, I will show you some of the top ways to help you maintain a high level of performance! 

The following is a list of 27 practical tips for improving your work performance. Whether you are struggling with not being able to focus or feeling demotivated, these methods will make all the difference. 

With these tools in place, there’s no doubt that your productivity levels will skyrocket. 

Let’s get started!

1- Do What You Love and Love What You Do

I will start with this because it’s so important. 

It’s a well-known fact that people who love what they do get more done.

Think about this: You’ll spend the majority of your life working, so it should be related to something you really love to do. So why not then find out what you truly enjoy doing and pursue that?

In the course of a lifetime, the average person will spend 13 years and two months at work. That’s a lot of time to waste on something you don’t enjoy.

If you don’t love what you’re doing, find what you do love, and focus on that! You will see that it will naturally motivate you and bring success. 

2- Apply The 80/20 Rule

Pareto’s Principle, popularly known as the 80/20 rule, states that we get 80% of our results from 20% of our work. In other words, 20% of your effort accounts for 80% of the results you produce and your contribution to your company.

So, how does that affect you?

Well, you need to find ways to devote more of your energy to this 20%. 

We spend much too much time focusing on the 80% of our efforts that only provide 20% of our results. That needs to change.

3- Eat a Frog First Thing In The Morning

How many times have you put off a difficult task just to discover that once you got started, it wasn’t quite as difficult as you had thought?

The answer is probably “a lot,” and I am here to tell you that you are not alone in that. 

Every one of us has done that.

But that can negatively affect your work performance.

You’ve probably heard the saying that you should eat the frog first thing in the morning, right?

You definitely should, and here’s why: 

If you always start with your most feared or difficult work first thing in the morning, the rest you have to do during the day will feel much easier, and you’ll be able to maintain a high level of productivity throughout the day.

Taking on difficult tasks early on in the day allows you to think more clearly than you would after a full day of work.

Another thing you should do is to break daunting tasks into smaller,  easily achievable pieces. 

Not only will the work appear less overwhelming, but getting things done, no matter how small in comparison to the larger objective, will give you the motivation to accomplish more.

4- Continue To Learn

Being devoted to your personal, professional growth is a fantastic way to boost your work performance.

Take an interest in learning as much as you can about your job, industry, company, and things that interest you, and you’ll reap the benefits.

Continued learning not only helps you gain new skills or enhance the old ones, but it also helps you develop a knowledge bank that you may use for your current or future positions. Reading about productivity, for example, might help you discover an inefficient work process and improve it, saving you and others hours.

This may be as big or as little a venture as you want. Learning keyboard shortcuts or staying on top of industry trends are both low-effort strategies to improve your work performance.

Consider taking an online course if you’re prepared to put in the extra effort.

Project management and soft skills are two examples of skills that can help you enhance your work performance.

Determine how much time you have available and make learning a daily and weekly habit.

5- Strike a Good Work-Life Balance

To be at your best at work, it’s essential to strike a good work-life balance.

Even if you want to improve your work performance, you don’t have to make work your life. Because if you don’t have a good work-life balance, you may face burnout, and that’s the last thing you want when it comes to improving your work performance.

You can avoid burnout by having interests outside of work and getting proper sleep.

Outside of work, engage in self-improvement activities such as meditation, sports, and social events to keep your stress levels in check.

You might also find that your hobbies and interests help you in your professional development. For example, leadership, negotiating, time management, and teamwork are all skills that can easily be transferred to the workplace when participating in team activities.

6- Surround Yourself With Productive People

how to improve work performance

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  So, if you want to be more productive, spend time with productive people.

This way, you will have people that will encourage you to be more productive.

7- Get Regular Feedback

Don’t put off getting feedback until your quarterly or annual review. If you don’t want to lose out on possibilities for growth and development, feel free to ask for them frequently.

Make regular check-ins to ensure you don’t miss out on valuable feedback.

Feedback is one the most important things that help you realize the things that you do good and the things that you can improve on.

8- Run Effective Meetings

Meetings are an unavoidable part of our working lives. Learning how to run productive meetings will allow you to devote more time and attention to things that are more vital to your company’s bottom line.

First, determine whether or not a meeting is necessary.

Is it possible to communicate the message without diluting it over email or the phone? Saying no to meetings that don’t have a clear agenda is one of the top productivity tips from CEOs, and that is for a good reason.

If you must have a meeting, you can make it more productive and efficient by setting an agenda, sticking to a time limit, or making it a standing meeting.

9- Learn To Say No

Say no to things that aren’t part of your core 20% as often as possible. 

Because we only have so much time, saying yes to something unimportant can mean saying no to something more important.

So what should you do?

Say no to the things that aren’t important.

10- Touch It Once

Do not start working on something unless you are confident that you will be able to complete it.

This will prevent you from continuously looking at documents or emails and then putting it off until later.

This type of procrastination is avoided by following the “touch it once” rule, which lowers the number of “unfinished business” you have.

When possible, finish all you’ve started in one sitting.

11- Manage Distractions

how do you improve your work performance

When you work in a team or office setting, you’re always there for people to come up to you and ask for assistance or want to talk to you. While this might be a welcome distraction at times, it takes your attention away from your work and can adversely affect your performance.

Avoid distractions and interruptions, such as requests for a “short meeting” or to “catch up” on a project.

Next time when this happens, see if the problem can be resolved via email or at a later time, and don’t feel bad about declining requests that won’t help you achieve your goals.

Because our attention spans are limited, minimize distractions by turning off notifications (or turning off your phone totally), avoid “got a minute” meetings, arrange a time to check emails and make phone calls, and wear a headset.

If you’re easily distracted, try arriving earlier so you can get work done with minimal interruption.

Another thing you should do is to create a time-block of distraction-free work, which means “ no phone, no email, and no social media.” This will improve your work performance a lot!

Also, turn off notifications and set firm boundaries to reduce digital distractions.

12- Set Up Your Workspace 

The environment in which you work can have a huge impact on your productivity.

According to studies, having plants at the office increases productivity by up to 15% while also improving work satisfaction.

Maintain a clean workstation and take out just what you need for the task at hand. This way, you won’t have to look at a crowded desk and will spend less time looking for what you need.

13- Group Similar Tasks Together

By grouping similar tasks together, you can take solo-tasking to the next level. This way, you’ll be able to reduce the mental fatigue that comes with task-switching a lot.

If you’re working on several projects at the same time and need to sign off on reports, do so all at once. 

14- Take Breaks

This is, without a doubt, the most important tip on the list. Nobody can be 100 percent productive all of the time, and attempting to do so will eventually lead to burnout.

Studies have proved that taking regular breaks makes you more productive.

improve work performance

The Draugiem Group investigated its most productive employees and discovered that they moved away from their laptops for 17 minutes at a time when they took a break.

They concluded that working for 52 minutes at a time was most productive, followed by a prolonged offline break, such as talking with a coworker or going for a walk.

Consider the Pomodoro Technique if you prefer to work in shorter bursts. It’s a method in which you focus intensely on your task for 25 minutes before taking a 5-minute break.

Pomodoro is the name for each cycle, and a break might be extended to 20 or 30 minutes on every 4 Pomodoros.

Setting a reminder and timing your breaks can also help.

15- Work While You’re At Work

If you’re not on a break, avoid distractions such as social media and the news (unless that is part of your job). One of the hardest things is focusing on your work.

Make it a habit to start working as soon as you sit down at your desk.

If you start distracting yourself with other occupations after sitting at your desk, this will become a habit, and you will have a hard time starting your work. To work more efficiently, you should refrain from occupying yourself with idle things when you are at your desk.

16- Check In  With Yourself

Periodically check in to see if you’re actually working towards your goals. 

It can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities, so set a weekly or daily reminder to evaluate whether you’re focusing on your core 20 percent.

If you find that you’re not working on the important things, do your best to delegate, delay, diminish, or eliminate such tasks. 

Let’s see what each of these terms means:

Delegate

Is there anyone to whom you can outsource tasks that aren’t as important to you?

Keep in mind that what you consider “unimportant” maybe “important” to others.

Determine how to delegate tasks that must be completed but aren’t part of your 20% or what you were recruited to do.

You may even want to outsource some work, depending on your position, so that you can focus on what matters most to you.

Delay

Some tasks may require your attention, but not right now. Some of your tasks may be delayed so that you can focus on what’s most important right now.

Diminish

You might have to complete some tasks that aren’t particularly important and when it comes to those tasks, try to find things that can help you finish them faster.

Is there a premade template you could use?

Is there a document that you could copy?

Is there someone who is knowledgeable in a certain field who can help you?

Is perfection needed? Is it possible for it to be “good enough”?

Eliminate

The truth is that some of the tasks we do can simply be eliminated. 

They are meaningless. 

They may appear significant since they arrive in an email and/or are marked as “urgent,” but they aren’t.

Examine your to-do list to see which tasks you can cross off with no consequences.

Ask yourself the following question: Is it necessary to complete everything on your to-do list?

17- Don’t Overwhelm Yourself by Multitasking

Multitasking might seem like it’s saving us some trouble or helping us get more work done, but in some cases, it just makes everything take longer, and it has a negative effect on the quality of your work.

Rather than juggling three projects at once, prioritize them and try to focus on one at a time.

This way, you will not only provide higher work quality, but you’ll also complete your projects faster.

18- Plan Your Schedule Ahead Of Time

Prioritize tasks you need to get done daily and weekly to avoid getting caught up with tasks that don’t matter. 

Aim to do this at the end of the workday, while everything is still top-of-mind, so you can hit the ground running the next morning.

“To-do” lists can help you with this.

You can schedule your day into time blocks if you want to take your planning up a notch. For example, you can break down an eight-hour workday into 30-minute blocks.

19- Know What You Were Hired To Do

After months or years of working in a role, it can be easy to lose focus on what you were hired for. Speak with your manager about objectives and day-to-day tasks so as not to get off track. 

Then, make a list of things that matter the most. 

This can help you when you are planning your day because you’ll know which one to prioritize first.

20- Track How Much Time You Spend On Tasks

A common business saying goes, “You can only improve something if you can measure it.” 

So why shouldn’t we apply the same logic to productivity?

Use time blocking or a digital app to track how you spend your day.

Not only will you become more aware of how you spend your time as a result of this, but you may also notice patterns in the way you operate.  

21- Two-minute Rule

The two-minute rule states that you must immediately do any task or action that can be completed in two minutes or less. 

This rule works best when you’re trying to overcome inertia when starting a task or a project.

If it can be done in two minutes, do it now.

22- Take Advantage Of Your Commute

There are a number of things you can do to improve your work performance even before you get to work.

If you go to work by bus or train, you can read, watch videos, or plan your day out in advance (if you haven’t already done so the night before). If you drive to work, consider listening to a podcast or audiobook.

23-  Strive toward excellence, but don’t fear failure.

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”

You’ve probably heard this before, and even though it might sound counter-intuitive, it’s a good way to approach important tasks. 

Perfection is just an illusion. If you wait until you feel like you can do something perfectly, you’ll waste a lot of time, and guess what? It won’t be perfect even then. As a matter of fact, it will never be perfect because there’s no such thing as perfection.

Keep in mind, I don’t say you shouldn’t try to do stuff to the best of your ability and strive for excellence, you should, but there’s a fine line between excellence and perfection.

24- Find Out What Your Productive Hours Are

We all have times during the day when we are more alert, focused, and awake than others.

For some folks, concentrating first thing in the morning may be easier. Others have their highest levels of energy later in the day.

Knowing when you are most focused and when you should relax can help in determining when to work on specific projects or activities.

When you’ve figured out when you’re most productive, plan your day around those hours.

For example, if you’re better at performing cognitively demanding activities in the afternoon, try to avoid scheduling meetings around that time.

25- Keep Track Of Your Personal Developments And Achievements

Note three things you’ve accomplished that week and three things you could improve the next at the end of each working week.

Keeping track of your accomplishments is a great way to keep yourself motivated to do more.

A list like this is useful, especially if you’re planning to ask for a raise or look for a new job.

26- Take Care Of Your Health

The better you feel, the better your work performance will be.

So, get at least seven hours of sleep every night, and make sure you’re sleeping properly (e.g., no electronics or blue light before bed, sleep and wake up at regular times each day).

Also, keep a bottle of water near at hand and stay hydrated. If you are experiencing brain fog, it’s probably because you haven’t drunk enough water. 

Finally, stay active. Stretch, walk, run, lift, ride a bike, play basketball, do whatever you feel like, just stay active. 

In short: Get enough sleep, stay hydrated, and get moving.

27- Reward Yourself

Rewarding yourself can be a great way to boost your work performance. 

A little celebration goes a long way, and rewarding oneself for completing projects or tasks is an excellent habit that one should adopt as soon as possible. 

Rewards can be anything you want. For example, you can take time out of the day (or week) to reflect on what’s been achieved so far and recognize success with something tangible like food, drinks, or days off.

Also, by doing this, you’ll have something to look forward to, and you’ll feel more motivated to tackle the next projects!

Conclusion

Here you read about the top 27 ways to improve your work performance. I believe you will find them helpful to your performance.

But remember you need to put these tips into action and try to turn them into habits.

Once you can turn them into habits, you will watch how your work performance improves.

Frequently Asked Questions


How can I improve my performance at work?

One of the most efficient ways is to abstain from distractions. When working, people deal with a lot of distractions and most of them have turned into a habit. So, changing your habits is a great way to start improving your performance at work.


How can I improve myself professionally?

You can start by focusing on a goal and getting rid of distractions as much as possible. In addition to this, listening to people who are doing the same job you do and learning from their experiences is also a great way to learn how you can improve yourself professionally.


How can I improve my knowledge and skills?

We always have more time that we can spend on improving our knowledge and skills. So, starting from taking more time improving knowledge and skills is a good practice. Apart from that, turning this process into a fun process rather than a tormenting one is crucial. So, I believe starting from doing what you like is another great step. After that, it is all about turning these into habits.

27 ways to improve your work performance

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27 ways to improve your work performance

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Serhat Erdem

Serhat is the Creative Content Writer of UserGuiding, a code-free product walkthrough software that helps teams scale user onboarding and boost user engagement.

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