At Digital Digressions, they have a pretty good categorization of work. 1. If your work requires long periods of un-interrupted concentration; 2. If your work requires short bursts of intensive activity; and 3. If Your Work Requires Creative Team Input. With those three type of work, they suggest couple of ways to improve the productivity. I like the one on creative:
* These things can seldom be accomplished in busy office environments as the many distractions around us prevent the un-interrupted concentration required not just by you, but the entire team.
* Some good tips on the prerequisites for running good creative brainstorms can be found here
* Get yourself away from the office to a place which is considered ‘neutral' i.e nobody's ‘homeground' so all team members are equal and devoid of all the usual office politics of rank, status and so on.
* Set aside solid time for this, but no more than an hour and a half at the time followed by a break
* End the day summarising your conclusions and be clear about what happens next. When things are fresh in people's minds, this is also the best time to mobilise people and make it clear who needs to do what. Give people ownership of the outcome.
3 Types of Productivity – Making the Most of a Working Day – [Digital Digressions]