How do I get more productive?

As a Microsoft Office productivity speaker, trainer and educator I am regularly asked how do I get more productive?

One simple way is to change your email program to open in Calendar View instead of your inbox!

Ever finished your workday only to feel like you haven’t got anything done? Or perhaps you have opened your email, started reading and responding only to find an hour later you are late for a meeting? If that’s the case, it’s likely you are allowing other people’s priorities, rather than your own, to drive your working day.

Research on The Cost of Interrrupted Work: More Speed and Stress from USC Irvine’s Gloria Mark and Humboldt University’s Daniela Gudith and Ulrich Klocke suggests of their research subjects that “After only 20 minutes of interrupted performance, people reported significantly higher stress, frustration, workload and effort.”

When I first start working with clients, over 95% of them share that they open their email program as soon as they start their workday, and leave it open all day. With so much communication via email, and so few organizations providing guidelines or expectations of response times, many feel pressure to always have their email open, just in case something “URGENT” comes in.

A simple way to turn this around is to change your email program to open in Calendar view first.

If your projects, tasks, and meetings are in your calendar, this focusses your attention onto what YOU have scheduled for the day, and in turn what YOU want to achieve which automatically makes you more productive and less fragmented.

So, what should you do? Change your email program to open in Calendar View rather than Inbox – In Microsoft Outlook (365) it can be done via File, Options and the Advanced tab.

Whilst this may seem like a common sense, simple change to make, they aren’t always easy. If you want more help getting productive with Microsoft Office programs, download my FREE 5 Microsoft Excel tips eBook at and really commit to making today the start of your most productive year EVER!

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