With the speed and connectivity of modern electronics, it is easy for anyone to get distracted during a work day. In a recent survey, 24% of workers spend 1 hour per day on personal calls, emails, and texting. In a 2014 survey performed by careerbuilders.com, 21% of workers spend 1 hour a day searching the internet for non-work reasons. To increase our productivity at work, implement these proven techniques and strategies to your everyday tasks. Please note the related Lean Six Sigma term for each area of productivity improvement to assist in remembering and implanting these process steps.


►   Prioritize your to-do list

o   Start the night before or the morning of to establish a clear and focused to-do list of items to accomplish

o   Lean Six Sigma Tool: 5s (Sift, Sort, Sweep, Sanitize, Sustain)


►   Factor in success stories

o   Pick 3 Big Wins for you day, even if they are small

o   Do not be at the mercy of the inbox


►   Don’t overestimate your productivity

o   The #1 reason for schedule slip is due to workers plan for perfection, without error

o   Block out time of the schedule then add 25% as buffer

o   Breakout multi-day tasks into single day tasks

o   Lean Six Sigma Tool: Muda (7 waste reduction)


►   Vary your workload

o   To-do lists can be overwhelming

o   Mix short and long term tasks everyday

o   Lean Six Sigma Tool: Heijunka (Balance workload)


►   Focus on one task at a time

o   Multi-tasking may feel productive but in reality rarely adds to real work produced or meaningful

o   Improve listening skills

o   Focus, listen, take notes on key points

o   Lean Six Sigma Tool: Jidoka (Do it right the first time)


►   Take a break

o   Use 15 minutes to get away from the computer to refocus: meditate / walk

o   Use time to focus on how to complete the rest of the day ahead / behind schedule

o   Ask what needs to be completed for success

o   Learn from mistakes

o   Lean Six Sigma Tool: Kaizen (Reflect, measure, improve)


►   2 minute drill

o   If can complete tasks in less than two minutes, like respond to an email, do it now

o   Do not add to the to-do list


Gary Kapanowski – Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt – Excelsior


The following blog is the opinion of Gary Kapanowski and Garykapanowski.com. It is the sole intent to broadcast this opinion from Gary Kapanowski and Garykapanowski.com exclusively and not to reflect on any other institutions or organizations associated with Gary Kapanowski or Garykapanowski.com.

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