Ep 147 – Effective Workplace Productivity for Leaders

effective workplace productivity for leaders

The economic consequences of productivity are approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity, according to this Gallup report which found that 70% of that lost productivity can be attributed to managers. Given this, one solution becomes clear: It’s time to transform management and time management for good, which is why today we are talking about how to win at workplace productivity.

Episode 147: Effective Workplace Productivity for Leaders with Kelly Stocker (@kellyjstocker)

We all want more time to do the things we want with our friends and family or in our jobs. Productivity is not about doing more with less. It’s about being happier and more effective so that you and your team can enjoy their off time doing the things that they want. Kelly Stocker, a productivity expert, shares with us ways to drive more productivity as individuals and for our teams.

Productivity sometimes gets confused with doing more work, which Kelly points out in this interview. Really, productivity can mean managing your time better to improve your performance level or product while also giving you more time for the things that really drive your passion. These might include a special work project or time away from the office to work on hobbies or spend time with friends and family. The goal of this podcast interview isn’t to help you do more work. It’s about better managing your time and getting more out of your time when you’re working.

Kelly’s reminder is a good one, as I think all of us could use a boost in productivity. But what we really need is time away from our work, careers, businesses and jobs in order to be our best selves personally and professionally.

Single-Tasking and the Pomodoro Technique

One of Kelly’s productivity suggestions is for teams to try the Pomodoro Technique, which breaks up work into 25-minute blocks with a 5-minute break per block. Kelly encourages you to time your work and, for those twenty-five minutes, focus your efforts fully on a single task. This focused effort – called single-tasking – allows you to devote all of your attention and brain power to one activity, not with the goal of completing it in the 25-minute time frame, but with the goal of giving it your undivided attention. Your 5-minute break can be spent rewarding yourself for your efforts, which might mean checking in on social media or visiting your favorite online gossip site. I tried this activity with my 9-year-old as well and the rest of my family since the interview with Kelly, and I was really surprised at the results.

Single-tasking using the Pomodoro Technique seems so simple, but it is a challenge. We are increasingly distracted by co-workers, our phones, and various tools and notifications that keep us away from focused work. However, I found personally that when I used the Pomodoro Technique, I was able to get more done without interruptions and – more importantly – my ideas flowed and my product of work was much better than when I was trying to do everything all at once.

We're actively victims of distracting devices and distracting things... all designed to essentially hack our brains into wanting to go down a spiral or continually be distracted. –@kellyjstocker #workology #productivity #work Click To Tweet

Workplace Productivity Tools You Will Love

Email seems to be the biggest challenge when it comes to productivity. While I’ve personally started blocking off time on my calendar at the beginning and end of the day to manage my email, staying on top of email seems to be elusive, though it has improved since I started scheduling time just for email messages. Kelly suggests tools and techniques for both Gmail and Outlook email users. We’ve included a number of links below with resources, however, I loved her suggestion of using templates in email, text expander for Chrome, and Boomerang in your Gmail to help schedule, snooze, and better manage follow-up for yourself and your email recipients.

This podcast interview is really designed for HR and recruiting leaders, but a secondary goal is for you to be able to share the episode with your leaders. Like you, I think executives are always looking for ways to help their teams be more happy, engaged and productive. I encourage you to share this episode with your executive team and your team members to help them think about managing their time and productivity more effectively. I love Kelly’s fresh insights into productivity for myself as an individual contributor, but also for us as organizational leaders. I hope you feel the same.

Connect with Kelly Stocker.


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*A special thank you to my production team at Total Picture Radio.

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Shelly says

    “Productivity can mean managing your time better to improve your performance level or product while also giving you more time for the things that really drive your passion.” A work-life balance will give you the genuine happiness.


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