How to be more productive at work

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  • 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.



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