Try these 9 Productivity Tasks

22/1/2013 |


The Snowman

Quiet day? Get ahead with your productivity

Yesterday we looked at the ways to survive working from home, today – some of the things you can do, with a bit more time on your hands


Clear your Email Inbox

We talk a lot about inbox-zero, but with a spare hour today – you could reach it!

Remember, your inbox is not your to-do list – it is nothing more than a holding pen for when new inputs land.

Follow these task (Part 1 and Part 2) to sort out your inbox today


Do some reading

If you’re anything like us, you have a folder somewhere full of articles you mean to read “one day”.

Guess what? This is that day! Grab a cuppa and your tablet (or print them out) and settle down for a few hours to clear that folder out!


Attention Exercise

Forget time-management, nowadays skillful attention management is the key to productivity, and how well you protect and use your attention determines your success.

Your attention will shift throughout the day, sometimes you will feel focused, other times not so.  Also, your job involves different types of tasks.  The key is to match them up.

Check out our 2 part task (Part 1 and Part 2) to sort your attention management


Tackle Your Stress Agents

A paid-day at home can be a great time to think about what’s making you stressed in your job. Without the pressures of the boss or colleagues, you can think clearly.

The British Health and Safety Executive has recognised 6 areas of stress for people at work (more here).

Try this task to work out your stress agents – then you can begin to address them.


Have a Sort-Out

Some of us look at being organised as being a bit too anal or obsessive. But when we’re “in the zone”, the last thing we want to do is be thrown off track by being unable to find some crucial piece of information or by not having the tools we need readily available.

Get your paperwork, projects, email inbox and everything else under control.

Sort out out your desk / briefcase, your email (see above), laptop desktop, filing system, todo list and everything else you can!


Find the Worlds Information DJs

Are you overloaded with social media, online articles, magazines and newspapers to get for your information?

A great trick in reducing distractions and coping with information overload is to look for “information DJs”, the enthusiasts who curate, edit out the crap, give you the headlines or best bits and guide your thinking.

Find the experts in your field – follow them on Twitter, Facebook or subscribe to their blogs – then delete everything else!


Get Scanning

Use your home scanner or even a good camera phone to digitise those mounds of paper you carry around.

Ok, so some bits of paper (certificates from the Government about your car or tax, for example) are irreplaceable so “paper free” seems the wrong goal to aim for – go for ‘a lot less paper’ instead!


Clear that tricky “todo” item / answer that difficult email

Big rocks are those things on your to-do list that require proactive attention, lots of energy, potentially awkward conversations and a whole raft of other things that make them difficult.

They take up more stress than necessary – when left undone – so use this day to “just do it”

You’ll feel better for it!


Get Outside

Aerobic exercise that increases the flow of endorphins to the brain will help you regulate your attention span, stay happy and promote positive outlook thinking.

And you have the perfect excuse to run about like a child – it’s snowing!

Schedule a break to build a snowman, have a snowball fight with your kids or just take a walk in the snow!


Like this? Try these

 Need some help? Sign up to one of our email training workshops 

Snowed in? 5 tips to survive working from home |

Need to embrace your inner child? Seattle Snow Day & World’s Largest Snowball Fight – Seattle Center

Work related stress – health and safety in the workplace British Health and Safety Executive




  1. craig buchanan

    Hi, first of all let me say that I love these books and this site. One slight problem – the links on this page have disappeared!? I was looking to use some of the exercises with my students after finding them very useful myself – any chance you can help me find the info from the links? cheers folks and keep up the good work! Craig

    • Productivity Ninja

      Hello Craig! Thank you for your comment. We have emailed you regarding this, so when you have time, have a look in your inbox. Regards, The Think Productive Team


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