Want a boost for your day?

These productivity experts have each shared their best tip to give you a jumpstart. The time you invest in reading these will pay off in dividends as you apply the ideas to your daily routine. Do they work? Let me know by email if you find success.

1. My tip for office workers to be more productive is to focus on one thing at a time. You can still have more than one activity going on at the same time; but at the moment when you're doing one thing, focus and put all the other things aside. When you see people getting overwhelmed, flustered, and confused, it's because they are thinking about too many things at once. If you have a lot to do, do them all but do them all sequentially. A good analogy is when you go to the gym. You may have a whole routine you do, but when you're on one machine, you're not thinking about the others--you're thinking about the machine you're on, and then you move to the next and think about that machine, and so on. Work can be the same. And you'll do each job and all of them together better. --Jeff Stoller, business executive, entrepreneur, consultant, and author

2. Write down one or two things that you absolutely need to get done. If you're an entrepreneur/business owner, make sure that at least one of them revolves around something that will put more money in your pocket (directly or indirectly). Keep that paper on your person all day. Refer to it. Don't do other things until you can cross those one or two things off your list. --Adam Dailey, CEO of Funly Events

3. My innovation agency, Growth Engine, created The Whiteboard Technique, a kind of interactive suggestion box for employees. Managers simply post an organizational challenge on a whiteboard that is in a public place--such as the hallway, conference room, or cafeteria--and invite their co-workers to add suggestions/ideas to the whiteboard. After a week's time, the manager records (and then pursues) the best ideas/suggestions on the whiteboard. He or she then posts a new weekly challenge. It's easy to do, doesn't really cost anything, and it has created some huge productivity improvements/wins for our clients. --Bryan Mattimore, co-founder and "Chief Idea Guy" of Growth Engine and author of 21 Days to a Big Idea

4. Research has not only shown that multitasking doesn't work, but also that it's bad for your brain. When you multitask, two things will happen: You will perform several tasks with below-average quality, and your brain will become less effective when you try to focus on a single task. --Tor Refsland, founder of Timemanagementchef.com

5. My best tip for office productivity is to schedule your email. I used to answer emails as soon as they came in, and it would often eat up most of my time. Nothing is worse than feeling like all you did was answer email all day. Then I started scheduling when I'd check and respond to email: three times a day, morning, afternoon, and evening. This allowed me to ignore email and focus on other tasks throughout the day, until each scheduled check-in point. Interestingly, this also allowed me to focus on email when it was time, and I spent much less time in my inbox that I otherwise would have. --Jim Hoddenbach, co-founder of Disciples of Flight, Aviation Photography and Video Services

6. If you're procrastinating on a project, it's often because you don't know the next appropriate action. Ask yourself what is it I need to Find Out, Decide, or Do? Usually the roadblock is one of those three things. What information do you need to locate? What decision is up in the air and what are the choices? What needs to be done so that the rest of the pieces fall into place? Nine times out of 10, these questions will get you moving again. --Liz Sumner, productivity coach

7. Avoid "reminder dismiss syndrome," which is when those pesky reminders pop up while you're working on something else and you end up dismissing those nudges until that task has become another fire to put out. When you set a reminder to complete a task, also schedule this task completion time on your calendar. --Helene Segura, author and speaker

8. Make sure you consistently add value in all your business activities. You only add value when you convert the raw info or material that you receive closer to what your customer really wants. Nothing else you do adds value. Your busy working life may include pointless meetings, chasing people for info, correcting errors in the info you do get, trying to meet false deadlines, and answering spurious emails or texts, but none of these add any value by the definition above. Cut out these non-value-adding activities. Focus on the true value-adding activities that will delight your customer. As a result, you'll become four times more productive, more valued within your organization, and improve your business life and income. --Jim McCallum, CEO of Jim McCallum Consulting

9. One of the biggest productivity tips I have learned as a business owner is to create a daily productivity log for an entire week. At the end of the week, take a highlighter and mark anything you can delegate for $50 per hour or less. Structure your business or department so that you are able to outsource tasks that take up too much of your time. I like to do this exercise quarterly so that I can measure my progress and also have some accountable for letting go of time-sucking tasks that don't serve my business goals. --Lauren Edvalson, CEO of Edvalson Marketing

10. Keep an "easy work" file. Oftentimes during the day we can't move forward on a big project until we get a response from someone else. To avoid wasting time, keep a file of easy work on your desktop. This includes simple tasks that might require lots of time but can be easily interrupted, such as data entry, reading, or small unfinished items from the day before. That way, you have a simple task ready to go whenever you find yourself with a few free minutes in your day. --Greg Rudolph, founder and CEO of Board Blazers

11. Be like a surgeon and slice through overwhelming workloads. Surgeons target their surgeries when they are at their best and exclude all distractions. Of course, matters of life and death are in their hands. While office workers may not be dealing with matters of physical life and death, they are dealing with the life of their talent and their livelihood. Target your most important projects. Schedule them when you are at your best. Coordinate with others to keep other things covered until you get back from your "surgery" and can attend to them. --Don Maruska, Master Certified Coach and author of How Great Decisions Get Made

12. Be direct and clear with co-workers and supervisors. When you know exactly what the expectations are and the support (or lack thereof) you'll receive, you can proceed confidently and productively. Make sure your boss has provided complete information and time frames--"Confirming these are the assignments to be completed today by 5:00." You need to know what part your co-workers play in projects and assignments, so check in to confirm: "Jane, you're working on the graphics for the presentation, right? We really need them today--let me know if you need help." Being direct and clear in this way puts everyone on the same page and allows you to proceed effectively, knowing exactly what you need to do. --Laura MacLeod, HR expert and founder of From the Inside Out Project

13. I schedule meetings first thing in the morning or straight after lunch to minimize time spent stopping and resuming a task. You'll be surprised how much time you save by reducing time spent finding the precise point you left off on a task and time spent acquiring the same mindset as when you left the project. --Simon Slade, CEO of SaleHoo

14. I take 15 minutes at the end of every workday and plug a checklist of to-do's into my Evernote for the next day. As a marketer with several different projects going at the same time, it's easy to come back into work the next morning and be confused with where I left off. Plugging in everything I know I need to get done the next day saves me tons of time and directs me to the most important tasks right away the next morning. --John Stokman, marketing strategist at Ilos Videos

15. The key to being productive at work is alignment. If you are aligned with your manager and know what he or she expects of you, and if your work is aligned with meeting your team's goals, it becomes easier to prioritize what needs to get done. Time and time again, I see employees doubling up on work, or spending too much time on projects that don't matter, simply because they don't know what their peers are working on or why their work matters. To be productive, have open conversations about what is being done cross-functionally, and work with your manager to understand what he or she sees as top priority, so you can eliminate other tasks that distract you from being productive. --Kris Duggan, CEO of BetterWorks

16. When it comes to getting things done and accomplishing everything you want to in a workday, my best advice is to create extremely thorough checklists. The average, everyday to-do list oftentimes does not do the trick as so much is left out in translation. I recommend writing more than just a word or two, and instead, write at least a phrase, several key words, or even sub-bullet points to further break down each task in the queue into a more organized and methodical progression. Get everything written down or typed out, prioritize in order of importance, and then proceed. Organization is key to increasing productivity. --Adam Piccin, marketing communications coordinator at Bricker & Eckler LLP and Certified Life Coach

17. While at work, it is easy to find ourselves deeply engaged with our tasks (or trying to impress our boss by appearing deeply engaged with our tasks). However, it is incredibly important to remember to take fuel breaks. Our brains require glucose from carbohydrates to run, so keep convenient, healthy snacks in a desk drawer to prevent brain drain. For example, the protein and carbohydrates from an apple with peanut butter will keep you full and fueled until lunch. --Samantha Markovitz, wellness and lifestyle coach at GraceMark Wellness & Lifestyle Coaching

18. Office workers should color code their calendars according to different daily work activities like strategy, projects, professional development, peer groups, and external obligations, to evaluate and effectively manage their overall time-spend. This strategy helps narrow down the list of "priorities" that truly need immediate attention and avoids wasting time on redundant tasks, thus increasing time and resources making workers more productive. --Bart Lorang, CEO of FullContact

19. Email can be a major problem, and if you don't control it, it will end up controlling you. Office workers on up to C-level executives can waste countless hours per day checking email. The question is, how do you solve this problem? I recommend checking email twice a day: one hour when you first enter the office and one hour before you leave the office. If you can check email for 30 minutes or less, great. I commend you for doing so. By dedicating specific time slots for checking emails, you will actually be able to cruise through more emails in less time. By removing email checking from the core part of your day, you will be able to dedicate your time to higher priority, uninterrupted, billable tasks. Overall, no one likes interruption. Remove email from your plate, and you'll accomplish more, in less time. --Sean Tepper, consultant, author, and investor

20. Stop wasting time by keeping a "wait list." Inevitably in an office environment, dealing with multiple constituents--your team, your boss, your clients, your colleagues--you likely run into daily situations where you are waiting--meetings run over, calls start late, people dawdle in. How much time are you wasting? Possibly up to several hours a week! Counter this by planning in advance and keeping a "wait list" of small but important tasks you can do in five or 10 minute intervals to keep you on track. Examples: catch up on reading, emails, scheduling. You'll get through these during the day rather than having them pile up at the end of the day and thank yourself for finally getting out of work on time. --Lori Scherwin, founder of Strategize That

21. Shut off automatic download of messages and start fetching emails only when you're ready to deal with them. Doing this on your phone, too, will save your battery life. --Maura Thomas, speaker, trainer, founder of RegainYourTime, and author of Personal Productivity Secrets and the upcoming Work Without Walls: An Executive's Guide to Attention Management in the Age of Distraction

22. Want laser focus? Look for three parts of focus that create that state: 1) Strategic focus: clarity of purpose and objectives; 2) Mental focus: positive thoughts and self talk that keeps us from sabotaging ourselves; and lastly, 3) Attention of focus: total presence in the moment to perform the steps needed in the moment. If we don't achieve 1) and 2), we are not able to access our full attention in the moment and can be easily distracted. The biggest gains in productivity are not from tools but from our mindset and how we manage our personal energy. --Penny Zenker, author of The Productivity Zone: Stop the Tug of War with Time

23. Do the most important thing at the very beginning of the day, ideally before too many people have arrived at the office. That way, no matter what other distractions or events occur, you'll have the most important thing out of the way early. --John Turner, founder and CEO of UsersThink

24. When I'm in the office and feeling drained or unmotivated, what helps me the most is to get outside of the building and take a short and brisk walk. Clearing my head, even if it's just for five minutes, is sort of a re-boot and lets me get back inside, ready to go back to what I was working on. If I see some of my employees are also looking stuck in the moment, we'll go on a walk together and talk it out, then go back in and finish out the job for the day. --Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet.com

25. Manage your brain instead of letting it manage you. We create obstacles to this by getting lost in multitasking: responding to a text while trying to have a conversation with somebody sitting in front of us, or checking email and browsing the Web during a meeting. We know that the brain is not a parallel processor. In other words, it can only do one thing at a time well. To be more productive, shut down the sources of distraction. Write down any thoughts that nag at you so that they no longer tug at your attention. When you lighten your cognitive load, you'll be able to apply your thinking more deliberately to the task at hand. The added advantage is that this process will push you out of your natural "autopilot" thinking mode--your default approach, which isn't always the most productive or effective approach, depending on the project or situation. It might take a little bit more time upfront, but it will deliver a big payoff in the end. --Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO of Herrmann International and author of The Whole Brain Business Book

26. My biggest tip for productivity is to stay off of instant messaging platforms as much as possible. While they have become essential in many offices, they are a tremendous distraction. I liken it to someone standing behind you tapping you on the shoulder every five minutes, but you don't know when the next tap is going to be. You can be deep into an email that requires significant thought and a message pops up, you handle it and completely lose your thought and have to start over. I like to use the last 10 minutes of an hour to use instant message if something needs to be addressed. That way, you can stay focused without the distraction. --Bill Fish, founder and president of ReputationManagement.com

27. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I set my cell phone timer for five minutes. Then, I commit to focusing exclusively on the topic at hand for that period of time. By doing this, I build up momentum and always find that I want to keep going after the timer goes off. Focusing on a small, easy step for a short period of time will keep you energized, give you the feeling of progress, optimism, and control, and cement your identity as someone who gets stuff done. --Brian Scudamore, CEO of O2E Brands

28. It will sound silly to many, but here is a simple but overlooked change you can start today--just move faster. Move with purpose. Anything that is a physical activity--do it faster. If you have to reload the printer, count inventory, fold shirts, move your arms and legs and hands quicker than usual. When you have to go somewhere, stride rather than stroll. These moments not only save time, they create a small energy boost, not unlike those short 3:00 p.m. fitness breaks some companies schedule. --Nigel Ravenhill, marketing consultant at NigelRavenhill.com

29. Use "Back to the Future" thinking. Figure out what your goal is, and then work backwards from there, documenting (physically write it out) each step that is necessary to get there. --Michael Bremmer, CEO of TelecomQuotes.com

30. After running a small business for nearly five years, I've learned that the best way to get things done efficiently is to schedule everything. Put even the smallest of tasks on your calendar and if you don't complete it, keep rescheduling it until you can mark it as completed. It can sometimes make your schedule appear overwhelming, but once you start knocking things off the list, it feels pretty productive. --Lori Cheek, founder and CEO of Cheekd

Published on: Oct 26, 2015