How to Increase Your Productivity by 500%

Editor’s Note: There’s a Bulgarian Translation of this article here.

You see, we have all these tips around us that can dramatically increase our productivity, but we fail to incorporate them into our life.

I have heard some of these tips over and over again. I dismissed them and never used them because I thought they were nonsense.

Oh, how wrong I was!

By using the tips below, I was able to increase my productivity by over 500% practically overnight, and you can do the same.

1. Get Clear on What You Want

The first step is to get clear on what you want. In other words, set clear goals that motivate and inspire you to take action, right now.

Set one primary goal that if you achieve will have a dramatic impact on your life. When you focus on one goal, something funny happens: All of your secondary goals get the benefits as well.

But if you dilute your focus and try to do too many things at once, you won’t succeed in any of them.

So set specific, measurable, realistic and time sensitive goals in order to give your subconscious mind a target to aim at.

2. Figure Out Your Valuables

After you’ve set your goals, it’s time to figure out the 20% of tasks that will give you 80% or more of the results.

Focus only on high-value tasks that catapult you toward your goal. These tasks are usually the ones that you tend to procrastinate most.

The difference between productive and unproductive people is that productive people are willing to tackle the uncomfortable tasks head on. They have cultivated their self-discipline, and they know that while focusing on these tasks may not be the most fun thing in the world — this produces dramatic results.

3. Plan Your Day

Number three on our list is to plan your next day before you go to bed at night. This is as simple as writing down the top five things that you have to get done the next day. If you can accomplish these five things, your day will be a success.

Again, make sure that these tasks are high-value and produce dramatic positive consequences in your life if you accomplish them.

By planning your day before you go to bed, you give your subconscious something to chew on during the night. If you want to take it one step further, you can visualize every task going perfectly the next day.

4. Single-Task

We are inundated with distractions in this digital age. We have Twitter, e-mail, and Facebook distracting us all day long.

By single tasking and focusing on one thing at a time, you can dramatically increase your productivity. This step alone can make a huge difference in not only the speed at which you work, but the quality of work that you produce.

You can also take this one step further by setting an egg timer for each task. Estimate how long one task will take you and then set the timer for half the time.

You will be surprised at how fast you can get stuff done under pressure.

5. Practice Relentless Focus

It is easy to get distracted by other projects and opportunities that seem much better than the one you’re working on now.

Constantly focus your mind on your primary goal and let everything else fall to the wayside. You will be much more successful and get much more done.

Cultivate the habit of saying no to the things that do not bring you closer to your primary goal. And don’t worry, because you can always come back to other projects later on, but first you have to finish what you have in front of you.

6. Get Passionate

One of the big keys for me has always been to do work that I love to do. When you find your passion and go after it, you will be on fire and feel extremely motivated to get results.

I accept no other alternatives other than getting paid to do what I love. I’m willing to face my fears, overcome obstacles, and take risks to make it happen. When you have this kind of determination, your productivity will skyrocket, and you will feel amazingly good.

These are just some of the tips that if incorporated, you will increase productivity by many times.

And if you keep reading and applying just one new productivity tip into your life each and every week, you will be amazed at the results within just a year.

It all starts with the decision to become more productive. The choice is up to you. What do you choose?

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Henri writes at Wake Up Cloud, where you can grab his free course: Find Your Passion in 5 Days or Less.


  1. Batyr on the 1st July

    Thanks for the advises! However, there is one more important thing – they are not easy to do. Steps seem to be very general. Yet defining what you want, why and how you are going to accomplish it, and seeing no other way – can (I hope ‘will’) help us to achieve them.

    “Let’s be realistic, demand the impossible!” – Ernesto Che Guevara

  2. Cameron Plommer on the 1st July

    This is all really good advice. But I’m starting to wonder maybe the only people reading sites like this and posts like this are people who are already following this advice…

    I feel like a lot of this advice is obvious and the people that see this love to write about it and spread the word. But I think the people that ARE NOT following this advice don’t really care. They don’t realize they have a problem.

    • Tina Su on the 1st July

      Hey Cameron,

      That’s true. People who like these advice tend to already do it, or already care about productivity.

      But for me, even tho I care a lot about being productive and applying these common sense advice, I do slip. So advice like these (for me) are like reminders. Like “Single Task” and “Plan your day”. I know this, and I do it, but not everyday. Articles like this kicks my butt and whispers, “Close all your browser tabs. Focus on getting one thing done.” 🙂


    • Henri on the 1st July

      Hey Cameron!

      You’re right on. Most people do know most of these, but how many aren’t incorporating it in their life?

      So I was aiming for exactly what Tina mentioned in her comment.

      Hope you still got what you needed out of the article 🙂

    • Daly de Gagne on the 3rd July

      Cameron, while I understand why you may think that’s the case, there’s another take on it.

      Some folks, such as myself, have a constant struggle to get started, and to keep moving. For myself, I know it’s useful to read articles such as this one. First of all, they’re encouraging, and secondly, they remind us of what we seem so easily to forget.

      Part of the problem may be linked to neurology, such things as attention, executive functioning, and so on. I think that’s why we often forget the obvious.

      People I know who get things done on a continuing basis have sometimes said to me, “If you’d just stop reading about how to get things done, and do them you’d be better off.” And sometimes, that works. But not always.

      It’s a continuing battle. And one that’s not without its ironies. For example, about seven years ago I began the Yahoo group on David Allen’s Getting Things Done. Many of the people on the group, which is one of the largest of the GTD groups on the net, get things done and essentially are fine-tuning their approach. But there’s a fair chunk of us who are challenged.

      What hurts is that the advice is so obvious,plain common sense even, and still it’s a struggle. I’ve got better over the years, and have found one major help is using cue cards (3 x 5 vertically oriented index cards from displayed to the side of my desk, on the mirror over the wash basin, on the fridge, etc.

      And writing…if I can just get started writing something – one thing – like this comment, I can often leverage it into other work, such as writing for my blog, professional reading, etc.

      So thanks to you this morning, Cameron, and to WorkAwesome, for getting me moving!


    • Tina Su on the 4th July

      Hey Daly,

      I really appreciated your comment. Thank you for sharing your story.

      I found Steven Pressfield’s books to be really helpful in “kicking my butt” to get started and focus on various projects. His books are called “The War of Art” and “Do the work”–both highly recommended.

      I’ll put links to these (and other) books on the sidebar soon.


    • Cameron Plommer on the 5th July

      I appreciate all the comments and pretty much agree with you all.

      I guess my main point is that the people that do have trouble with this stuff even after reading and fine tuning aren’t the ones having the hardest time. It’s the people that don’t even realize or admit that they have a problem or need help.

      Maybe I just wish more people were so devoted to getting better and fine tuning their lives, essentially.

  3. Lau on the 1st July

    Reassuring that Im doing someting right. Thx. 4 great article..

  4. Adam Dukes on the 1st July

    Awesome post! I am printing this out and hanging it up in my office. I have heard such great things about people buying an egg timer and using it, Great idea!

    Thanks for this!

  5. Daquan Wright on the 1st July

    I love these articles, it’s harder than you think being efficient. =P

  6. Tanya Malott on the 3rd July

    There is a woman named Lara Casey teaching a workshop called “Making Things Happen” who has been running around the U.S. teaching EXACTLY this in a very intensive way for the last two years. For people needing a breakthrough, I recommend it. She tends to attract people in the wedding industry, but anyone in any field could actually benefit.

  7. Nathan Gilmore on the 3rd July

    Great list! I think #6 is really important. I get so much done when I focus completely on one thing that I really want to do and enjoy doing. Productivity comes naturally when you are doing what you enjoy.

  8. Mark on the 5th July

    I like that you’ve only used 6 points here Henri – ironically so many other posts about focus and productivity go on an on for ever! Great succinct list, and each one is as important as the rest.

  9. Will on the 5th July

    screw all that, instead do this ‘work from home’ no distractions. i work in short bursts of productivity at home, you can’t work all day fully productive, the brain can’t function like that.

    • Ronnie on the 5th July

      I agree that the brain can’t work at top speed all the time, but it’s not always feasible to work from home. I use the pomodoro technique, where I work for 25 minutes at a time, and then take a 5 minute break. After doing this 3 times, I take a 15 minute break. As an attorney, this allows me to keep great track of my billable time since I never go more than half an hour at a time, and I’m much more sufficient. And the key to making the pomodoro work for me is to take advantage of the steps above. I’m glad that the article reinforces the steps that I strive to take.

  10. Steve Prothero on the 7th July

    Agree with what is being said here. This week I did share with a coachee that another way to help with the interuptions (he was known for helping everyone – but not himself) was to turn away the “Can I just 5 min with you” by saying “Not at the moment, can you send me your three key points and what you want to do about the issue”. This helped the other party help themself and saved a lot of time for the coachee. Simple but maybe of use.

  11. Jahn Bek on the 10th July

    Great Post. I think # 3 should be #1, as everything is all about Planning.

    Here is another informative roundup of 10 Tips for a More Productive Day:

  12. ProofreadingCambridge on the 11th July

    Fairly sold advice in this article. I think the most important factors are definitely passion and focus. If you love what you do and are interested in it, then it is always much easier to steam ahead and get a lot done.

  13. iham on the 21st July

    Nice article. Worth reading.

  14. Swamykant on the 26th July

    I follow the last rule very seriously. Nice article.

  15. MediaJobs on the 18th October

    Personally speaking I think the main thing you have mentioned is Passion. Being passionate about your job has so many positive knock on effects. Likewise if you are not positive about your job this has negative knock on consequences. Before my career in media I used to work in construction. My output and focus has increased 1000%!

  16. David J. Wingfield on the 16th February

    Really solid, useful article. All the points you’ve mentioned are great keys to increasing your productivity. For me the most important elements are; firstly focus and secondly good planning. Focus on your goals and sustained motivation underpin it all, because without it it is all too easy to become sidetracked by social media or day dreaming. Once you are focused, plan in detail and stick to it. When I first started working for myself I set up a work plan for myself and for the first couple of weeks timed how much time I committed to each task. I was amazed how much time I spent drifting and time wasting. In itself this increased self awareness enabled me to re-focus my energies on priority tasks and massively enhance my productivity.

    • Pooja Lohana on the 16th February


      That sounds like a solid plan! Would you mind sharing with us what sort of work plans you set up – was it a plain Word doc, or a detailed Excel sheet? Perhaps you want to write a guest post for us too. 🙂


  17. John Harder on the 15th August

    I enjoyed reading the article, it was very informative. Being motivated is really important and planning out things is a very good idea.
    There are many ways to schedule your time, I have found an eCourse that is
    amazing and helpful for doing just that.

  18. Christina on the 9th October

    The key takeaway for me here is;

    “Focus only on high-value tasks that catapult you toward your goal.”

    This couldn’t be more true in my opinion. I used to add ‘to-dos’ to my list almost for fun. Too many silly little tasks makes everything convoluted. I know ask myself-

    “Will this task actually result in anything meaningful?”

    As you have said, 20% of tasks account for 80% of output. And 80% maximum output is enough for me!


  19. Regent Editing on the 21st May

    The most important requirement is to stop PROCRASTINATING.

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