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The Key To Productivity

Test your English listening skills for Part 4 of the Listening paper with these questions related to an interview about productivity.

You will hear part of an interview with a local businessman, called Lewis Rogers, who is talking about ways of leading a more productive life. For questions 1 to 7, choose the best answer, A, B, or C.

Lewis said when he was younger he believed…
  • it didn’t matter how many hours you worked.
  • productivity wasn’t something that you could control.
  • the more your worked the better results you got.
Lewis used to listen to podcasts and read books…
  • to find the easiest way to become rich.
  • to discover how people with different goals become successful.
  • to find out what successful people that he wanted to be like were doing.
Lewis said that people need to understand that…
  • productivity is directly related to the amount of time you spend working.
  • the amount of time you work is not important.
  • you are not in control of everything.
Lewis says that using social media…
  • can reduce your productivity.
  • is not beneficial for businesses.
  • should only be used in the evenings.
Lewis says that it will be easier to stay motivated if you….
  • remove distractions.
  • have clear objectives.
  • work less hours.
Lewis says taking regular breaks…
  • stops you from going on the internet when you should be working.
  • helps you function better when you’re working.
  • is most important in the morning.
Lewis says that you should prioritise your work by…
  • doing the most important tasks first.
  • doing the easiest task quickly at the beginning of the day.
  • doing the most difficult tasks when you have the most free time available.

You will hear part of an interview with a local businessman, called Lewis Rogers, who is talking about ways of leading a more productive life. For questions, 1 to 7, choose the best answer, A, B, or C. You now have one minute to look at the questions in Part 4.


Today we are speaking to a very successful businessman called Lewis Rogers who is going to be sharing with us his tips and secrets of how to become more productive. Can you tell us a bit about how you first discovered these secrets of productivity?


Well, when I started out in business I was of the more traditional mindset of the more time you put in the better results you would get, so I did exactly that and at one point was working more than eighty hours a week. Even though I was working more, I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. I knew it would be physically impossible for me to work more hours, so I started researching. I would read lots of books, and listen to podcasts of different people that were successful and had the life that I wanted to live. It was then I realised that there were a lot of things we can do to make our lives more productive.


So what was the main thing that you discovered?


The biggest thing I discovered, and what everyone who is in a similar situation needs to realise, is that it is not about the amount of hours you work, or how long you are in the office. It is about what you do in the hours that you do work.


And how can we find out what it is that we should be doing?


The first thing to understand is that it’s not just what you should be doing, but what you shouldn’t be doing. Nowadays, we have so many distractions like social media, television and the internet, which are all great and useful for many businesses, but often it is using these things unnecessarily that is going to stop you from being productive. You must eliminate these distractions, by doing simple things like removing apps from your phone, turning off notifications or blocking certain websites on your computer. You need to analyse what is distracting you and then take action to ensure that these things are removed from your daily routine. If you just do this and nothing else your productivity levels will increase dramatically.


Yeah, I totally agree, it’s amazing how much time we spend on our phones. For example, liking photos, or watching random videos. So, what about things that we can start doing to help increase productivity?


You need specific goals or objectives that you want to achieve. If you don’t know what you want to achieve then it will be impossible to know if you are actually making progress or not. Once you have decided on your end goal it is important to monitor your progress. Once a  week I review what I have achieved in the previous week. This does two things, firstly it ensures that you are making progress and secondly by reminding you of all the things you have completed motivates you to continue progressing as it gets you closer towards your end goal.


That makes total sense, if you are not clear on where you want to go, it’s going to be very difficult to know how to be productive. Do you have any other tips you can share with us today?


Taking regular breaks is very important. When I work, I first of all make sure that I am in a place free from distractions, but then I work for sixty minutes. After that I take a twenty minute break where I might have something to eat, do some exercise or go for a walk. This stops me from burning out, and allows me to be even more productive when I continue working.


Another key thing to do is get your most important or most difficult task done before anything else. Once you get this done it is going to make the rest of your day so much more productive.


That’s great Lewis, and thank you very much for speaking to us today.

(1)   C

(2)   C

(3)   B

(4)   A

(5)   B

(6)   B

(7)   A

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