How to be more productive at work

Title separator
  • Business

Listening skills

productivity lesson plan

VIDEO #1 (ex. 4)

VIDEO #2 (ex. 8)


This productivity lesson plan is based on two short videos in which a journalist and book writer Charles Duhigg presents his ideas for boosting work productivity. The worksheet consists of many different exercises that will make your students speak a lot, learn some vocabulary and practise setting SMART goals.

B2 / Upper Intermediate60 minStandard LessonPrintable & Digital$6 Plan/ Free


The lesson plan starts with two speaking warm-up activities. First, students need to read some quotes connected with work productivity and discuss whether they agree or disagree with them, and of course explain their opinion. Then, in the next task they have a list of factors and they need to talk about the ones that badly affect their work productivity. Before watching videos, students do one more task, that is they have to complete a few sentences with correct prepositions to create such phrases as: pay attention to, feel in control, keep track of, etc.


Students watch the first video which is about 5 tips for being more productive. They need to work in pairs. Student A needs to remember tips 1-3, whereas student B tips 4-5. The video is fast so they can listen to it twice to get all the information they need. Then, they tell each other what tips the speaker gives. After that, students move to a very short discussion about usefulness of the tips mentioned in the video.

Before watching the second video, students do one vocabulary task. They have to add two more synonyms to the words provided. Then, they discuss three lead-in questions about to-do lists. Next, they watch the second video and answer questions about to-do lists and SMART goals.


The last page of this productivity lesson plan consists of one practical task. Students read more about SMART goals and what the acronym SMART stands for, as well as read one sample to-do list. After learning more about the idea, students need to approach such a to-do list themselves and write down a stretch goal and at least 5 SMART goals. Let them focus on a professional or personal stretch goal. If you want to limit their options, you might prepare several stretch goals yourself and ask them to prepare SMART goals to them.

Extra Worksheet – Commonly confused words in English

When talking about productivity, there are two words often used: effective and efficient. These are two of the most confusing words in English and often wrongly used by students. See our extra worksheet where we focus on such commonly confused words to show students how they should be used. This extra worksheet includes 3 activities in which students will study 16 pairs of confusing verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs.



Title separator

Leave a Reply

Browse other materials recommended for you

Title separator
negative prefixes
B2 / Upper Intermediate Flipped Lesson 60 min

Immediate response (non) required


This lesson plan deals with synchronous and asynchronous communication. Apart from doing listening comprehension tasks, students will build adjectives with negative prefixes and learn some communication idioms.

lesson plan on saving the planet
B1 / Intermediate/ B2 / Upper Intermediate Flipped Lesson 60 min

Plogging ‐ make yourself and the planet better

Global Issues

This lesson plan on saving the planet deals with plogging, i.e. the idea of picking up litter while jogging. The worksheet consists of a few vocab exercises and includes a lot of words used when talking about waste and littering.

business case study worksheet
B2 / Upper Intermediate/ C1 / Advanced Flipped Lesson 60 min

Decision time (business case study)


Thanks to this business case study worksheet, students learn phrasal verbs to talk about companies, watch a video presenting a case study and discuss situations when companies face different problems.

Show more lessons


Title separator

I was your Patron, how can I get access to ESL Brains lessons now?

You have to subscribe again to ESL Brains, but this time using our integrated payment system. Click the Pricing tab in the top menu. You’ll land on the page with our subscription plans. Select the subscription plan you’re interested in, register a new account and pay for your subscription.

What currencies can I pay in for my subscription?

Our default currency is USD (American dollar), but you can also pay in EUR (euro) or GBP (British pound sterling). You can change the currency you want to pay in at the Pricing page before selecting a subscription plan.

How can I edit an e-lesson plan?

You can get your own editable copy of an e-lesson plan and make changes to it. To do so, either (1) make a copy of it on your Google Drive (preferable method) or (2) download it in a Powerpoint format (but formatting might be a bit off so we can’t guarantee that it will work well).

Read more FAQ
Title separator

ESL Brains

Forgot password?
or continue with