Improve Productivity in Your Project Team Without Strict Deadlines

Must read

Embrace the change: Getting to grips with new IT systems

New IT systems for a growing business can be an exciting prospect and deliver many benefits, but how do you convince employees to embrace...

5 Skills Needed To Drive Future Projects

Why do projects fail? It's a question that invites a lot of interest and significant statistics. And there are no wrong answers here. Skills shortages...

Does a Project Manager Need PM Qualifications?

What makes a successful project manager is a combination of their academic abilities, experience and skills, both "soft" and "hard" skills i.e. communication skills...

It’s good to talk but difficult to communicate

One of the insights from this year’s AXELOS PPM benchmark report was that poor communication continues to be the biggest challenge hampering projects and...
Guest Author
This is a guest post by one of a number of contributors working in the project management field. We welcome high quality news items, blog posts and articles about project management. All content will be moderated before approval. Find out more about submitting your content here.

There’s a common misconception that tight deadlines are the central driver to improve productivity. In reality, forcing short delivery times onto your team can have adverse effects on the workers’ engagement and job satisfaction

There is a broad spectrum of methods that will considerably enhance the output of your team without making them unhappy and pressured at work.

In this article, we’ve compiled what we think are 3 highly efficient ways of maximizing productivity, without damaging the wellbeing of your colleagues. These are essential business skills for everyone so let’s dive right in, shall we?

1. Tap into technology

We’re living in a bizarre era — technology dramatically shortens our attention spans, yet it can also act as a remedy to these adverse effects. Science has an intriguing new field called Neuroergonomics that focuses on the optimization of human productivity by using technology and psychological loopholes.

Because we’ve advanced so much in understanding how our brain works, this has created the right environment for app developers, cognitive scientists, and productivity freaks to develop apps that help teams and individuals skyrocket their input without substantial emotional and cognitive costs.

more productive project team

Here are a few apps that might be useful on your next project:

  • Brain FM — the app allows people to listen to music in a variety of genres that has AI-generated waves incorporated in it. These waves considerably improve a person’s ability to focus, meditate, and even sleep.
  • Freedom — this service is very simple, yet it is absolutely instrumental in maintaining your focus for more extended periods. The tool allows you to efficiently eliminate all distractions like social media or app from your workflow, whether you’re using a phone or a computer.
  • Focusmate — this takes advantage of a human psychological peculiarity, which, in effect, allows users to considerably improve their productivity, especially with tedious tasks. It’s sort of a digital co-working space. When accessing Focusmate, you can schedule 50-minute sessions with like-minded people that are also in need of an accountability buddy.

2. Don’t let your team multitask

While we’re used to thinking that multitasking is an excellent way of sorting out a more significant number of tasks in a shorter amount of time — it actually can’t be further from the truth. Working on multiple tasks will pretty much paralyze your productivity and decrease the quality of your work.

There is now a body of research that has unanimously concluded that multitasking is nothing but unnecessary stress to the nervous system, which is terrible in itself, but the problem is that it doesn’t really make you work better or faster.

So be very mindful when you’re going to manage task distribution. It’s best to assign larger, more cohesive tasks, which they can turn into subtasks, and focus on a single task at a time.

This is one of the reasons why the Pomodoro technique has been such a success. You work in increments of 25 minutes, and you focus on one task only.

What “productivity freaks” ultimately chase is the so-called state of “flow.” It’s a concept introduced by Hungarian Scientist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, which is a state of peak cognitive performance, associated with a lack of awareness of time, due to being so engrossed by the task you’re working on. There’s one essential precondition — your assignment needs to be challenging enough and not too complicated to find it demotivating. You can never achieve flow by multitasking since it’s simply too stressful.

project team working to become more productive

3. Gamify work

Gamification is another “trick” that we take advantage of, due to the way our brains are wired. Every single time you tick an item from your task list, your dopamine levels will elevate. You’re getting a reward for the work that you’ve done, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant.

In effect, this creates an exciting correlation between investing effort into a task you need to do with a pleasant reward in the form of a feel-good hormone. This is what gamification is in a nutshell.

By gamifying work, you’re conditioning your brain to improve your productivity, in order to get more tasks done and experience a dopamine rush once more.

Here’s a list of apps you can use to gamify your team’s workflow:

  • Do It Now
  • Habitica
  • MindSnacks
  • Fitocracy
  • SuperBetter
  • Thirty — Get Inspired

In one scientific trial, gamification has shown to increase the employees’ ability to learn new information by 40%. According to Gabe Zichermann, founder of Dopamine Inc., if a company manages to structure itself like a well-designed game, they’ll be able to retain their most valuable workers and engage them even more.

However, gamification isn’t only valid for organizations with a very rigid hierarchy — top writing services and tens of thousands of freelancers are actively improving their output by tapping into gamification.


It is not an easy task to improve productivity in a project team. However, by gradually implementing these principles in your team’s workflow, you’ll be able to improve its efficiency, with no detriment to mental health and job satisfaction.

Similarly, these approaches give your team members a certain amount of autonomy, which is representative of the trust you have in them to manage their work as responsible people.

Good luck!

- Advertisement -

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisement -

Latest article

Everything You Need to Know About Learning Management Systems

As anyone who ever made a conscious effort to learn something knows, learning is a difficult process. Throughout history, people have always...

Why All Knowledge Workers Are Part-Time Project Managers

Knowledge workers lie at the heart of many businesses. They have high degrees of experience, expertise, as well as education. Their jobs...

Project Accelerator Website Has a Makeover

I have been running this project management news website for over 10 years now, the domain was registered in 2008. Today we...

Project Management Strategies Every Tech Leader Can Use

As a tech leader, you're responsible for leading a development team. Thus you're in control of all the technology deliverables that contribute...

Parallel LIVE! Part 2. APM Project Roles in the 7th Edition of the APM BoK

This week Parallel's Matt Bolton and Jan Underdown discussed the roles in the 7th edition of the Body of Knowlege from the...