How to Increase Productivity at Work? Try Grouping Lesser and Like Tasks 

One way to increase productivity at work is to group and do sequentially, in one block of time, a number of lesser and like tasks. 

Some tasks are repetitive and can be grouped for greater effectiveness. Reviewing related documents, returning calls and responding to email are examples of a series of individual tasks that can be grouped at one particular time.

You need to return several phone calls throughout the day. Concentrate on your most important projects and group all your calls for one time period. Don’t break concentration by jumping back and forth between tasks and then repeating the same task over again later. If possible, set up, carry out and follow through once for greater effectiveness.

This is where substantial amounts of time can be gained.  It will take a disciplined approach, and you may need to train your support staff in your improved methods.  Over time this new efficiency will reap big rewards.

"Strategy creation is about doing the right things and is a primary concern of senior executives and business owners. Implementation is about doing things right, a much different set of activities. Both senior executives and lower-ranking managers must give implementation intense attention, since even a great strategy is worthless if people fail to implement it properly."

Harvard Business School Publishing, 2005

Five Days of Coaching to Help a Leader Increase Productivity at Work



Take a good look at the tasks you have to accomplish today. How many of them could be grouped together and easily completed in the same block of time?

The Coach asks:

  • Take a look further down the page in "Notes" for some ideas of tasks that could be grouped. Give some thought to what you could group into the same block of time, location, focus, activity etc.
  • Do some simple regrouping during this day, and try it out. 
  • What did you notice as you grouped these few activities? What might be applied more broadly in your day to increase productivity at work? 
  • Since you are a leader, are you doing repetitive tasks that might better be done by someone else, or automated altogether? What will you do about this? 


Practice grouping like items today. Set aside one or two times for making calls. Stick to it. Group picking something up with banking and an off-site meeting. Be as regimented as you can about it.

The Coach asks:

  • Today is a day to practice grouping lesser tasks. Give this some thought as you plan your day. Don't simply think it will happen.
  • The more you think about it (and implement,) the more efficient you can become with it. How are you doing? 
  • How much do you allow yourself to be distracted? Be intentional about sticking to your plan. 
  • It's the end of the day. What gains did you make? What needs to be adjusted for tomorrow? 


Take some time today to think about what multi-tasking really is. It is stopping your work on one thing and taking the energy to start something else, then stopping that and going back to the first task. Each stop and start takes time and energy. Think about right-tasking: doing the right thing at the right time and concentrating on it until it's done.

The Coach asks:

  • Give some thought to multi-tasking and right-tasking. How often do you "stop and start" through a normal day? How is that affecting your performance? 
  • As a leader, what are the "right things" you need to be focusing your thoughts and energy on? 
  • What would a "right-tasked" week look like? How necessary would it be to group lesser tasks? 
  • As you've worked on grouping lesser and like tasks, what have you been noticing about your ability to focus? About your energy level? About your mood? About your achievements by the end of the day? 


How much of your staff's time is lost because tasks are not grouped? Imagine the hours of time it could save and the resulting increase in effectiveness that could be generated.  How could you encourage this practice today?

The Coach asks:

  • How could you encourage your team in this practice of grouping lesser and like tasks? 
  • What gains do you think could be realized by such a shift? 
  • What WILL you do? 
  • How will you hold yourself accountable for being consistent with this simple productivity "hack?"


Practice working on one thing until it's complete. As far as possible, don't let anything else interrupt you. See what happens and how you feel once you're finished.

The Coach asks:

  • You are balancing two things this week. First to group lesser and like tasks for greater efficiency. And, second, as should be normal, to bring each task to completion in as few steps as possible in one continuous time block. How is that going? 
  • Review the 52 Solutions list. Is there another practice that might support you further as you increase productivity at work? 
  • Make sure you are consistently practicing grouping similar and lesser tasks together before you leave. Lock it in and enjoy the results you will gain across time. 

Spiritual Reflection for Christian Leaders


As a Christian Executive Leadership Coach I encourage Christian leaders to reflect on God's Word to add to their wisdom.

  • Eph 5:15,16  Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
  • Ex 18:13-27  "You must be the people's representative before God and bring their disputes to him. ... But select capable me from all the people ... and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. (Moses, the leader, couldn't do it all. He was to "group" those things that HE needed to bring to God on behalf of all the people. He was to leave the rest to others. 

If you are a leader, executive, or senior level professional looking to work with a Christian Executive Coach, I invite you to connect with me here.

If appropriate, we can meet by phone or Zoom to discuss your situation.

Record Your Progress

This is your opportunity to track your progress. Start by asking yourself how important this practice is to you? Record the importance as - not at all, somewhat, fairly, highly or extremely. 

Now next to it ask yourself how well you carry out this practice. Record your performance as - very poor, poor, okay, good or very good. 

Importance Performance Check

The things we track, we pay attention to. Across time, come back and record your new results. You will find that as you are intentional about making improvements, you will bump your "score" up higher. 

This is significant. Don't miss the opportunity to acknowledge your success, and use it as a springboard for making even further gain. 


A few items you might be able to group together to increase productivity at work.

  • Phone calls of various sorts
  • Emails
  • Reviewing documents
  • Reviewing anything else
  • Rounding in the office or shop
  • Going out to do some type of errand
  • Interviews
  • Writing 
  • Conversations

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