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Sep 28, 2023
6 ways to improve productivity at work

The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime — yet only 23% report they feel productive in the workplace. With so much of our lives spent at work, feeling productive, and that your work has a sense of purpose and meaning impacts a person's overall health and well-being. 

Regardless of where you work (in person or in an office), it’s crucial to pause and find ways to create a balanced, productive workday routine. We asked employees from across our company to share their tips for staying productive throughout the workday — read on below for their advice.

Quintunya Chapman-Hamilton, well-being strategist, Cigna Healthcare

To be most productive, I’ve learned it’s important to block off time and make space for periods to focus on the task at hand. To do so, I keep a running list of tasks on my desk and communicate them with my team, and I’ll block a day, or time on my calendar with no meetings to focus on a task or a project. When I do have meetings, if they’re virtual, I also find it helpful to take a walk to prevent sitting at my desk for extended periods of time.

Heather Besch, business project lead analyst, Cigna Healthcare

For me, I’ve built my routine around motivation, organization, and communication. I begin my day by walking my dogs to help me wake up and get motivated for the day. I track my weekly priorities in an organized checklist, and communicate to ensure I’m clear on instructions, expectations, and due dates. I find that timing is an important aspect of productivity – I complete my hardest tasks in the morning, and save easier tasks for the afternoon.

Celia Burnett, quality review and audit manager, Cigna Healthcare

I am most productive when I take the time to find balance before, after, and during my workday. I start each day by writing down one thing I am grateful for, and I end each day with a 5-minute meditation to reflect and decompress. I always try to take short walks, and ensure plenty of time to concentrate on work without interruption.

Lisa Brown, product owner, Cigna Healthcare

I use digital tools to improve my productivity. For example, I began using a program called Microsoft OneNote a year ago and now I wonder how I worked without it. I use tools like these to organize my notebooks, files, and pages in a way that makes sense to me. Throughout the day, as I switch from topic to topic, meeting to meeting or team to team, I can quickly and easily navigate to the information I need to because digital tools keep me organized.

Barbara Schwendenmann, staff pharmacist, Express Scripts (an Evernorth division)

To set yourself up for a productive workday, it’s important to create and foster a healthy environment. Try to get plenty of rest and come prepared to be on task. Keep your work area at a comfortable temperature with adequate lighting. Minimize distractions by keeping your space clean, with plenty of snacks and beverages nearby. Finally, take regular breaks! It is important to get away and reset.

Julian Hannush, external affairs, The Cigna Group

Exercise and mindfulness help prepare me for a productive workday – I find it only takes 10-30 minutes to completely change your headspace. It’s great to build a habit and begin or end each day with a quick workout – both of which you can do from the comfort of your home. If you can get outdoors for fresh air, even better!