1. Get the Job
  2. Get Ahead
  3. Office Life
  4. Work-Life Balance
  5. Home Office
Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.
Build Your Career Get Ahead

5 Traits of Highly Efficient Workers

5 Traits of Highly Efficient Workers
Credit: Eugenio Marongiu/Shutterstock

In today's always-on work environment, professionals across all industries are feeling the pressure to get more done. Dozens of productivity apps, endless to-do lists and back-to-back appointments fill up their smartphones and calendars as they try to do more in less time. But what actually helps workers get more done?

Computer memory and storage manufacturer Crucial, a Micron Technology brand, recently released a survey highlighting Americans' attitudes toward productivity and what drives it. The results revealed that being productive is incredibly important to U.S. workers, with 80 percent of survey respondents saying they want to be more efficient.

When it comes to how people view their own productivity, two-thirds of respondents said their efficiency levels are "above average." About 70 percent of men said they're more efficient than women, but 90 percent of women said they saw themselves as more efficient than men. Sixty-two percent of all respondents said they feel most productive between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. (most respondents listed 10 a.m. as the "optimal efficiency" time). Nine out of 10 said fall was their most productive season, while winter and summer were ranked as least productive. [Good Morning! 7 Ways to Jump-Start Your Productivity]

Unsurprisingly, 87 percent of those surveyed said technology plays an important role in how productive they are, including 78 percent of millennial respondents. Americans who consider themselves to be "highly efficient" credit the following habits and traits for their productivity:

  • Getting enough sleep and exercise
  • Keeping an organized inbox
  • Multitasking
  • Managing their time
  • Being able to use technology

The Crucial survey also looked at what hampers productivity among workers. Sixty-three percent of respondents admitted their efficiency is most affected when their technology fails. Despite this heavy reliance on tech to do their work, less than 40 percent said they feel confident in their ability to fix their computers if a problem arises. This is perhaps why the demand for skilled IT workers has grown so dramatically in recent years.

If you're part of the majority of workers who feel technology is their key to productivity, the best thing to do is educate yourself about your devices and what to do if they slow or break down, said Ed Walker, marketing manager at Crucial.

"For people who are trying to live more efficiently, especially with everything we do now heavily relying on computers, one of the best ways to fully realize their potential is to garner a better working knowledge of their devices," Walker said in a statement.

Crucial's results were based on a survey of 1,000 American adults ages 18 to 65, conducted by GMI Research.

Nicole Fallon

Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. Nicole served as the site's managing editor until January 2018, and briefly ran Business.com's copy and production team. Follow her on Twitter.