Mastering Your Workday: Productivity Tips for Busy Professionals

By Deanna deBara | Published March 4, 2024

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Chances are, you have a lot to do every day. And to successfully get everything done, you need to keep your productivity at a certain (high) level.

But with so many demands, how can you keep productivity high throughout the day—and avoid losing focus, energy, and attention?

Let's take a look at four productivity tips to help you master your workday:

Eat the frog

The way you start your day sets the tone for the rest of your waking hours. If you start your day in an intentional, productive way, you lay the foundation for an intentional, productive day. Conversely, if you start your day mindlessly scrolling through social media or avoiding a looming deadline, you'll likely struggle to get things done all day.

So, if you want to master your workday and be more productive, start strong—and do what's called "eat the frog."

"Eating the frog" is a term that describes tackling the most challenging task on your to-do list at the very beginning of the day; that way, you get it out of the way—and don't waste time and energy worrying about when you're going to slot it into your schedule.

For example, you have to write copy for an upcoming marketing campaign—but writing feels like pulling teeth. While it may be tempting to push off your writing duties and focus on more manageable tasks, getting it done first allows you to check it off your task list and not think about it for the rest of the day, which can help clear space in your head. Plus, eating the frog allows you to kick your day off on a successful note—and starting with a win can help you carry that success throughout the rest of your workday.

Batch tasks

Spending your day bouncing from task to task can cause productivity to plummet; according to research highlighted by the American Psychological Association, "even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone's productive time."

The good news is that a simple way to avoid this productivity loss is to batch tasks.

Rather than bounce from one responsibility to another, batch similar tasks together—and then spend large blocks of time tackling each batch. For example, you might have a batch of administrative, marketing, finance, and/or customer service tasks. By combining like tasks, you're lowering the number of times you have to switch from one type of task to another—and keeping your focus, attention, and productivity higher in the process.

Schedule in time for distractions

Distraction is one of the most significant barriers to productivity. For example, according to a survey from The Economist, knowledge workers lose 28 percent of their time to distractions each year.

With that kind of data, you might think that eliminating distractions altogether is the best way to increase productivity. But that's just not realistic; most people will fall victim to distraction at some point—and if you don't want those distractions to tank your productivity, it's important to take control of the situation.

Scheduling time for distractions puts you in the driver's seat; rather than getting pulled away from your work, you can decide when it makes the most sense during the day to take a break and indulge in your favorite form of distraction, whether that's scrolling through social media, watching a TV show, or playing with your dog.

Not only does scheduling time for distractions give you more control, but it also lessens the impact that distractions will ultimately have on your productivity. Research from UC Irvine found that, on average, it takes people 24 minutes to return to their original focus following a distraction. So, if you get distracted once an hour, you lose 192 minutes in an eight-hour day. On the flip side, if you schedule a time block for distractions (say, 30 minutes) and then only engage with distractions during that time block, you only use 24 minutes of refocusing throughout the day.

The point is distractions happen. But by being more intentional about when they happen, you can prevent them from completely taking over your day—and draining your productivity.

Take a happiness break.

You can use many hacks to get more done throughout the day. But one of the most enjoyable ways to boost productivity? Taking a happiness break.

Research has shown that happiness and productivity go hand in hand. For example, according to a study from the University of Oxford, employees are 13 percent more productive when they're happy—while another study from the University of Warwick found a similar correlation between happiness and productivity. So, if you want to get more done throughout the day, schedule a happiness break or two on your calendar.

What you do during your happiness break will depend on what makes you happy; for example, you might spend time playing with your pet, engaging in a hobby, or meeting a friend for lunch. Whatever it is, as long as it makes you genuinely happy, it should deliver a potent productivity boost when you come back from your break. (Bonus points if you can take your happiness break outside; one study found that spending 29 minutes outdoors translated to an impressive 45 percent increase in worker productivity.)


In conclusion, mastering your workday and maintaining high productivity amidst numerous demands requires intentional strategies. Individuals can enhance their efficiency and focus throughout the day by implementing techniques such as "eating the frog," batching tasks, scheduling distractions, and taking happiness breaks. These methods optimize time management and contribute to overall well-being and job satisfaction. With a proactive approach to productivity, individuals can navigate their workdays with greater ease and achieve their goals more effectively.

Productivity Tips  

Deanna deBara

Deanna deBara is an entrepreneur, speaker, and freelance writer who specializes in business and productivity topics. When she's not busy writing, she enjoys hiking and exploring the Pacific Northwest with her husband and dog. See more of her work and learn more about her services at