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10 High Productivity Habits To Thrive In The Corporate World

Written by: Miriam Freeman, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


While being productive is vital in every area of life, the workplace is perhaps where it is valued the most as that's where results are expected and individuals desire to accomplish their career goals within a reasonable timeframe. Regardless of your field, making a few minor habit changes might potentially result in a huge increase in productivity.

10 small habits to improve productivity

In this article, we will look into 10 high productivity habits that will help you thrive in the corporate world.

1. Start & End Your Day By Checking Your Calendar

Check your calendar at the start of every day for that day and then again at the end of the day for tomorrow's events. By checking and planning your day ahead of time, You can better manage your time as you can create and follow a plan for your day, request a deadline extension or even help. Taking things on as they come may seem easier at first, but you can end up feeling overwhelmed, unorganized, and forgetting important deliverables or deadlines. You'll feel less stressed and more in control of your life and work if you create and follow a timetable. By keeping track of what has to be done for the coming day and updating your schedules accordingly, you will be able to achieve more, meet the deadlines and feel less stressed.

2. Turn Your Cellphone on Silent

While a smartphone may be a valuable tool, using one while working might be distracting. There is a growing consensus that using a cellphone at work unintentionally lowers productivity. Getting accustomed to leaving your phone on mute for set durations during the day can increase your concentration and also help you stay on top of potential life must-dos.

3. Take A Break

Employees may experience fatigue and exhaustion at work due to the mental strain it places on them. A short mental break may help employees feel awake and alert once again, allowing them to concentrate on the duties at hand. You don't have to drink coffee or tea to take a break, instead go for a 5 minutes walk or a few minutes in the fresh air. A short break can increase your productivity and accuracy due to heightened concentration.

4. Use Toolbars Wisely

All the product in the Microsoft Office Suite has a customizable toolbar of functions and actions called the Quick Access Toolbar. This toolbar's objective is to facilitate rapid navigation to the features and commands that you use the most regularly to accelerate workflow. Setting up your Quick Access Toolbar will take a little effort, to begin with, but in the long term, it will save you time and boost productivity.

5. Learn to Use Search Function in Outlook

A few years back, I ditched the old organization method of setting up hundreds of subfolders. If you learn to properly use the search feature in Outlook, there is no point in having multiple subfolders. The fundamental goal of Outlook Search is productivity. If you have to save emails, then save them all in one "Done" folder and use your search function to retrieve and look for any email. It not only saves you time as you are not dragging/dropping emails all the time between folders, but the search function can also work better because all the prior emails are in one folder.

6. Create and Use Rules in Outlook

If you don't know how, google it but whatever you do, learn to set up rules in Outlook. Then create one specific rule to move those "all staff," "news," or other repeating emails that you rarely read to a "Newsletter" subfolder. That way you have the option of reading them later on when you choose to.

Did you know that you can set up rules to automatically flag, move, forward and even reply to messages?

7. Use Multiple Monitors & Extend Your Screen

It is crucial to extend your screen rather than duplicate it. I have seen many people having multiple screens in front of them but not using them to their full potential. Having two monitors (or more. Yesss!) is one of several things that can increase performance. It allows for greater screen real estate for you to display more pages at a time to avoid constant minimizing and maximizing of windows. The productivity of learning apps, office work, graphic manipulation, and many other forms of work may all be increased with this kind of configuration and your wrist and fingers will appreciate it too!

How to extend your screen:

  • Right-click on an empty area of the desktop

  • Go to your Display Settings

  • Scroll Down to the Multiple displays area

  • Select Extend desktop

8. Block Your Calendar for Focused Work Time

Time blocking is the practice of pre-booking blocks on your calendar. By blocking times for uninterrupted deep work, you will make sure that no one can book you at certain days or times so you can dedicate them to the tasks that will require your attention. Your time is the one aspect of your day that you can control to be productive, so take ownership of it.

9. Pick Up the Phone and Talk to Your Colleagues

I know and understand the benefits of writing emails, however, sometimes things will go much smoother and faster if you speak to the other person and ask your questions or explain your point of view in person. I have read many emails that went on and on and on, while it could have been resolved with a phone call or a quick 15-minute meeting. Keep in mind though, that although phone calls and meetings can increase productivity, you must use your common sense to apply it. Don't use these methods for everything just to avoid the hassle of writing also be mindful of other people's time and don't interrupt them with every question, instead send an email and set up a fifteen minutes chat when necessary, that way you can talk to them when it's suitable for both parties.

10. Converting Action Emails to Calendar Blocks

Your day will inevitably include receiving many emails that will require you to do things at a later date. Instead of flagging it and leaving it buried among many other tasks, quickly create a calendar block for that email.

It not only helps you to dedicate time to work on that task, but it will ensure that you don't miss the deadlines. When you create a calendar appointment for that email, all the backups will be easily accessible, a reminder will pop up and also time will be dedicated for you to complete the task.

How to quickly book a calendar block on Outlook:

  • Find and click on the email you would like to convert.

  • Hold down the left mouse key and drag the email to the calendar icon at the bottom left corner of the folder pane.

  • An appointment booking window will pop up so you can edit to your needs.

  • After adding all the information necessary, Save and Close.

In my experience, it is the small habits that affect your productivity the most. Having higher productivity is not just beneficial to your company, or your team, it has the biggest advantage for YOUR career and life. The power of productivity along with a few other skills can help you achieve higher and succeed in your career faster.

Follow Miriam on her Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and visit her website for more information.


Miriam Freeman, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Miriam is a Career-Mindset Strategist and a certified coach. With more than two decades of professional experience in critical and leadership roles in some of Canada’s largest corporations and has been a committee member of the board of directors for a leading organization in Toronto. Continual learning and personal development have always been core principles in her life and work. After graduating with an MBA, she pursued additional studies in Law, taxation, Positive Psychology, and Tiny Habits.

She has worked, lived, and studied in different countries, and learned to adapt to different cultures of the East and the West. Her life experiences in addition to her positive attitude helped her expand her appreciation for mindfulness, honesty, and focus on heart and mind at the same time.

Miriam helps her clients pivot their mindset, create winning habits, change their trajectory and build the career they desire while enjoying a meaningful life.



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