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6 Strategies to Be More Productive in Your Career (And Earn More)

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So, your career is in a rut. You feel as if you’re working as hard as ever, but your results say otherwise. And people are starting to notice. 

Is there anything to be done? Or is your work life officially unsalvageable?

You’re not walking this frustrating path alone. Look down once in a while and you’ll see innumerable footfalls left by those who’ve walked it before. Most emerged at some still-inscrutable destination in better shape than when they began. Once again, they produce excellent work on demand, on time, and on point.

You can learn a lot from your predecessors. Many employed these strategies at various points with great success. Time for you to try the same.

  1. Take All of Your Vacation Days (Seriously

Americans are notorious for accumulating unused vacation days. But that’s because they’re such hard workers, right?

Not exactly. Mounting evidence hints at the opposite: that those who take more vacation time are more productive when they are on the clock. Think about how you feel after a sorely needed day off and it makes more sense.

  1. Work Remotely at Least One Day Each Week

Working from home isn’t as distracting as the detractors stay. And it’s a great place to pursue an after-hours side hustle that maintains your productive focus and increases your earning power. Experts at ABC Fundraising tell us that fundraising distributors can at least $500 each month while working remotely, selling high-profit fundraising products that raise funds for worthy causes. That’s a win-win in anyone’s book.

  1. Take Advantage of Your Employer’s Flexible Work Hours Policy (Or Advocate for One)

If you’re not much of a 9-to-5er, maybe you don’t need to be. Take advantage of your employer’s flexible hours policy, coming in earlier or later as needed. No flexible hours policy? Take the lead in advocating for one.

  1. Declutter Your Workspaces

Every Friday, go all Marie Kondo on your workstation. It’s the most effective aesthetic change for boosting productivity, bar none.

  1. Change Your Venue From Time to Time

The coffee shop, the library, the park pavilion on a nice day — these are all wonderful places to get serious work done without the distractions inherent to the office. Use them as often as needed.

  1. Always Have a Side Project Going

Find something that speaks to your strengths and interests. The point is to keep your productivity engine firing on at least some of its cylinders when you’re not at your primary place of employment. 

Your Rocket Ship Awaits

These productivity hacks are not to be confused with magical productivity elixirs. They won’t transform you into a terrifyingly efficient white collar machine overnight. Or in a week. Or, probably, in a month.

Nonetheless, each of these hacks is a proven strategy for shaking off the workaday blues and rediscovering the joy of getting stuff done. They all foment iterative workflow improvements that, over time, add up to big changes in how and when we work. And they are all easy to implement.

You won’t get there in a lunar cycle, but your productivity rocket ship will transport your career just where it needs to go. Enough with the excuses. Board it today.

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Sean Jacobson

I'm Sean, a former HR and business consultant providing you insights into the business world for Leader to Leader.

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