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  • 7 super smart ways to be more productive & get sh*t done

    Need to get your productivity mojo back? Read this to go from 😖 to 🙅


    11 Sep 2017

    Picture this: you leave work at 5.30pm, to-do list completely crossed off, and not a care in the goddamn world. Sound familiar? Nope, us neither. With productivity at an all-time low (87% of us can’t concentrate on the job in hand, while 50% admit to being unproductive for an hour every day), we’re lacking serious motivation. So, how do the women at the top of their game juggle it all? Seven of the best spill their efficiency secrets…

    @livingthatlibrarylifestyle/Instagram

    Get on the Meet-Free Mondays hype

    Our schedules can be more packed than Primark on a Saturday, but cramming can create more work, says Grace Marshall, productivity expert at Think Productive. “Back-to-back meetings may seem efficient, but when are you going to do the work that comes from them?” she asks. “If you can, set a day when no one can book into your diary.” Et voilà: a whole day distraction-free.

    Forget your inbox, say hello to ‘yesterbox’

    The dread you feel when those “Sorry to chase, but…” emails start to pile up? We’ve all been there. And, it turns out, they’re productivity kryptonite – on average, it takes 25 minutes to get back in the zone after checking our inboxes. Enter the ‘yesterbox’ strategy of Kathryn Minshew, CEO of career-development platform The Muse. “Focus on all of the emails you received yesterday, today,” she explains. “This means that your to-do list is simply yesterday’s inbox – bar the odd ‘e-emergency’ – so you know how many tasks you have each morning, and no one is left waiting more than 24 hours for a response.” Music to our ears.

    Use ‘diary dead time’

    On the train, in a taxi or waiting for a meeting? According to Helen Tupper, co-founder of career guidance site Amazing If, this is ‘diary dead time’, when you’d otherwise be on Insta. “I use my commute to read relevant books or catch up on paperwork,” she says. Plus, the Harvard Business Review found that turning ‘dead time’ into “pockets of freedom” boosted job efficiency and satisfaction. A happy worker really is a productive worker.

    Put your hands up

    Reality check: we all want to look capable, but we can’t do everything. “Someone has likely faced your queries before, so don’t be afraid to tap into that wisdom,” says Julie Chakraverty, founder of career advice app Rungway. “If you need to delegate or ask for more information, make your voice heard,” she says. Think, ‘I want to clarify this to make sure I’m on the right track.’ It’s not unprofessional, it’s efficiency prowess.

    Ditch digital detoxes

    Disabling our devices is so 2016 – procrastination-busting apps are time management gold. “I love Asana – an app that streamlines workflow and shows progress,” says Rebecca Glenapp, co-founder of fashion site Lux Fix. “I update our team’s projects every morning, so our objectives are clear.” Also try 30/30 (for deadlines), Microsoft To-Do (for interactive goals) and Prizmo Go (to capture printed text with your phone’s camera). All free on the App Store

    Follow the 1-3-5 rule

    It’s time to ban unrealistic goals. Alexandra Cavoulacos, co-author of The New Rules of Work, has developed a prioritisation technique: “Assume you can accomplish one big thing, three medium things and five small things, and narrow down your to-do list to those nine tasks,” she says. “Having a 1-3-5 list means the things you complete are those you chose to do, rather than those that happened to get done.” That way, ‘smaller’ tasks don’t get pushed aside.

    Keep the Reminders app

    The term ‘networking’ is often thrown around, but building a circle of professional support is key to thriving. Maintaining it when we’re just so busy, however, can be a challenge. “I set reminders on my phone to check in with people in the industry, otherwise I’ll forget,” says Maria Hatzistefanis, founder of Rodial and Nip + Fab skincare, and author of How To Be An Overnight Success. “This will ensure you stay in contact.”

    Research by Fellowes, helping people in the UK work well

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