How to increase productivity in 3 fun ways

by | May 2, 2019

Do you want to increase productivity in a fun way? We created our own routines and we share them with you to help you become more productive.

In these past weeks, I struggled to stay focused and productive. My main issue was working alone as most of our team is remote. And it’s quite challenging not having someone next to you to ask for advice or just chat when you need a break.

That meant spending many days doing the bare minimum to feel good about myself. The positive thing is that my house was always sparkling clean; I cooked gourmet lunches for myself and caught up with pretty much all my favorite series. The negative is that at some point I had a huge pile of never ending things to do.

As a business developer, I love to find creative solutions to my problems. And that’s what I did this time too. I really had to increase my productivity and catch up with all my tasks.

I was quite stressed and to be honest, looking at the number of things I had to do I was just demotivated. So I figured that the only way I could manage this was by finding a fun way to get through my list.

After testing a few, we came up with a daily routine that helps me and my team to increase productivity and make the best out of everyday.

The To Do list buddy

Have you ever heard of daily stand-ups? It’s one of these exercises startups love to increase accountability and make sure everyone knows what to do. And will actually do it because everyone knows and it would look bad not doing it.

To be honest, I never particularly liked this practice. First, it takes a lot of time as you are supposed to be in a circle and listen to the 3 most important things everyone is going to do. Second, I never particularly cared of what someone in another department was supposed to do. Especially when it had zero impact on me.

So this was not really an option for me. But, what I really like is to have a todo list and plan my day accordingly. I just love the feeling of crossing items off my paper to do list.

I also happen to be quite competitive and it usually helps a lot when I feel I might win something. That’s when I thought I could combine these two things and create a system to increase productivity.

One morning, Roy and I met at our home office and we just wrote down our respective To Do lists. And we added a new element to it.

We chose only a few important items. We wrote them down on paper and we agreed that whenever one of us would finish a task, we would give a specific signal. At that point the other had to cross off the item from the other’s list.

No need to say…I was the first one to finish and in way less time than what I originally expected!

What we did was not so different from what we would do daily individually. But, having a To Do list buddy made us feel accountable. We knew what we had to do and we knew we had to do it fast otherwise you would have the “shame” of crossing the other’s list.

Why this works well for us is because we both like some healthy competition and we both get excited when we “win” something. And making a fun game out of it helped us increase productivity and get things done faster.

Find your trigger and make a fun game out of it! 

increase productivity to do list


The BD School – To Do list buddy to increase productivity

The ice-cream therapy

We recently joined 42workspace, an awesome co-working space in Rotterdam. It’s a very vibrant place, with many inspiring entrepreneurs and successful companies. That’s the perfect place for people like us, who need to surround themselves with like-minded professionals.

Working there always allows us to focus and do some deep work. But, as you also probably experienced, being in an office doesn’t necessarily mean being productive. I personally spent countless hours checking random stuff, instead of actually focusing on work. Sad but true.

One of the things we love the most about 42 is the ice-cream shop just across the street. It’s not only a delicious treat, we actually figured out that is one of the best tricks to boost our productivity.

Every time we decide to work from the office we have this very effective productivity trick. We use the same To Do list buddy game, with a twist. The one that doesn’t manage to finish the list on time – or at all – has to buy ice-cream for the other.

The best part is that we don’t wait for the standard 6 pm. Whenever one of us finishes, no matter what time it is, the ice-cream will be served.

Why this works for us is because we both need to feel rewarded for our accomplishments. Big or small. Knowing that there will be a sweet treat at the end of the To Do list, pushes us to do things faster.

Reward yourself for your small achievements!

Ice cream therapy


The BD School – Ice cream therapy De Ijsmaker Rotterdam

The week-weekend

Ok, this is not a luxury each one of you will be able to take. But it does work very well for us. So if you are a freelancer or entrepreneur, or a very understanding manager, it’s worth trying.

This is something we started doing from the very early days of The BD School. We worked late at night, during the week and during the weekend. At some point, we had a drop in our productivity.

No matter how hard we worked, we always had more things to do. So we decided we had to change some things around and make it fun again.

We decided that for every weekend we would spend working on our company, we would take the equivalent of time off during the week. That’s what we call the week-weekend.

What we do is usually just roam around the city, try out new cafés and restaurants where we could go to work the next day. Sometimes do some sport or go for lunch with old colleagues. It became a sort of team building activity and it allows us to take a break from the pressure we put on ourselves.

The result is that usually, on these occasions we manage to be more creative. We come up with a lot of ideas we want to test on The BD School and we get back a lot of energies. This is by far the best way to increase productivity as it really refreshes our brains and allows us to see things differently.

If you can’t take a full day off during the week, propose to arrive earlier in the office and leave sooner. In this way you’ll have some free hours that you can spend on things you like.

Take a break, refresh and get ready to push yourself again the next day.

How do you keep yourself organized? Share your experience in Europe’s first community for business development.

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Lucia Piseddu

Founder at The BD School

The thing I love the most in business development is its creative process. My job is to help people unleash their potential and become great at business development.


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