In late January, several hundred people gathered in Conway Hall in London, invited by Action for Happiness to an evening with the original Productivity Nina, our founder Graham Allcott. The theme of the evening was “Beyond Busy: Worry less, achieve more, love what you do”. Our Head of Business Development, Caitlin Fox, took a front row seat and shared some of her highlights with us below.
Productivity isn’t purely for an exclusive club of ‘gurus’ That’s why Graham started off his talk by assuring everyone in the room that they won’t be stuck being talked at for 90 minutes about the life changing magic of to-do lists. Instead, we jumped straight into a sample of the 9 Characteristics of the Productivity Ninja.
As always, the highlight of these sessions for me is the section on Ruthlessness. It’s all about protecting our attention, being selective what we say ‘yes’ to and when it’s time to say ‘no’ to others and ourselves.
“Ruthlessness isn’t just about how we process information; it’s also about our ability to protect our time and attention, focusing only on the things that add the greatest impact, even at the expense of other things that are ‘worth doing’.”
For me, learning to use this characteristic in my work has been truly life-changing, and I always find it interesting to see how other people take it on. Graham makes it clear at the start that being ruthless is not about being rude – but rather learning to value yours and other people’s time and attention.
Personally, I see the real value of Ruthlessness in learning when and how to say no- something that’s not easily done, especially not for those of us who are guilty of volunteering for anything and everything! This is a common problem, as I soon found out when Graham invited us to chat to our neighbors about what we’d just heard. Some found it difficult to be stern about their capacity without being rude, while others around me felt they wish their colleagues were more ruthless to avoid eventual disappointments. The main take way from our brief chat was that ultimately, the discomfort fades and especially so when the results of guarding our attention in this way come to fruition.
Although I’ve been working on strengthening my own Ninja Ruthlessness for a while, getting the chance to review some of the frameworks I’ve been trialing and hearing about new ones has been beyond valuable.
This has only been one of my own highlights. If you couldn’t make it to the Action for Happiness event in January or even if you could do with a little refresh – check out the full talk below. Besides the 9 Characteristics of the Productivity Ninja, Graham also chats about the 3C’s of Attention Management, which he uses to schedule his days and so much more. But see for yourself!
What’s your take-away from the talk? Let us know in the comment section below!