As someone intimately familiar with the ebb and flow of productivity, I’ve often found myself oscillating between fascination and frustration. Like many, I’ve scoured the insights of productivity gurus — from Ali Abdaal’s life-centric ‘Feel Good Productivity’ to Kerry Gleeson’s workflow-focused PEP program. Their contrasting approaches reveal the generational shift in our understanding of what it means to be productive.

Abdaal’s methods resonate with our modern need to harmonise work with personal fulfilment, advocating for energy management over time management. Gleeson, on the other hand, represents a classic approach, optimising the mechanics of our day-to-day tasks. Yet, despite their differences, both echo a universal sentiment: productivity is not merely about working harder but rather working smarter.

In the professional realm, I’ve observed recurring productivity pitfalls that many of us encounter:

The Multi-Tasking Myth:

We all thought we were doing so well as we juggled multiple tasks at once. A pinnacle of efficiency, I used to pride myself on being able to have a conversation with someone and touch type at the same time. Yet, studies and experience alike now debunk this myth. The truth is, multi-tasking can lead to a 40% drop in productivity, according to research by the American Psychological Association.

The Meeting Menace:

Meetings, often intended as platforms for collaboration, can become time-consuming detours. Without a clear agenda and purpose, they can derail an entire day’s productivity. Not every topic requires a formal meeting. The need for others to contribute to and give feedback on work doesn’t mean we need to have a gathering of the clans for progress to be made.

The Inbox Overload:

Email can be an insidious time sink. The McKinsey Global Institute reports that an average employee spends 28% of their workweek managing email.

So, how do we navigate these challenges?


Take Actionable Steps:

  1. Single-Tasking: Prioritise your tasks and tackle them one at a time. This singular focus can lead to a significant boost in efficiency and quality of work. Use a timer to create urgency.
  2. Strategic Scheduling: Allocate specific times for meetings with clear agendas and outcomes. This respects everyone’s time and keeps the team on track.
  3. Email Etiquette: Set dedicated times for checking and responding to emails. Use filters, rules and folders to manage the influx so it doesn’t manage you.

At my new workspace, devoid of the homely comforts of windows and natural breaks, I’ve adapted by incorporating midday walks to rejuvenate. This personal tweak in my routine has had a profound impact on maintaining my energy throughout the day.

Instilling a Culture of Productivity:

At 6R Retail, we turn individual productivity into a team-wide practice. We believe that output hinges on more than just tools; it’s shaped by your work environment and processes too.

Looking to boost your team’s productivity? Partner with us. We bring a holistic approach, from system implementation to crafting business strategies that streamline your workflow. Through targeted training and coaching, we’ll help equip your team for peak performance.

Ready to enhance efficiency in your workspace? Reach out to 6R Retail to build a strategy that fits your business goals.