This month we talked to one of our Productivity Ninjas in Western Europe. Arjo gives us an insight into how he uses his Productivity Ninja skills on a daily basis and which tools help him stay productive.
Occupation: Trainer at Think Productive
Company: Think Productive Western Europe
Other Job Titles: Partnership Director Jesus.net,
Child- and Youth work elder in the church, 4e Musketier
What’s important about your workspace?
It must be tidy (I like to have my desk as empty as possible) and there can’t be any, or hardly any, distractions. I enjoy working in peace and quiet.
Which Ninja characteristic have you got nailed the most?
Zen-like calm and preparedness: I prepare courses, deliberations and things very well so we can use our time as effective as possible and get the best results. I stay calm and collected under most circumstances and because of that I can calmly work and take decisions.
Which Ninja characteristic are you still working on the most?
I continue to work on ‘Ruthlessness’. I like to arrange or do things for other people and I have a wide interest in things myself as well. The past year and a half I have been working on saying “No” more often.
Which five apps could you not live without?
Captio – a handy tool with which you can quickly email tasks to yourself.
Focus Keeper – comes in handy for Pomodoro sessions.
Scannable – handy for scanning receipts and notes.
TED-app – for inspiration.
KLM-app – because I travel regularly.
What’s your favorite piece of stationery?
I like to use a Whiteboard for ideas and brainstorm sessions.
When in the day do you have the most proactive attention?
Early in the morning, before 11 o’clock.
What’s your trick for when you’re tired or struggling with attention in the day?
In those situations I eat fruit or I use my Focus Keeper app.
What’s your best advice for reducing stress?
Make sure there is “air” in your schedule, don’t fill up your whole day (only max 80%), so that you can work things out and there is room for unexpected things.
What’s your email regime?
I process my emails 2 to 3 times a day. In general, I don’t look at or answer emails during the weekend.
What’s your favorite way to take a break in the middle of the day?
Besides reading an article in a magazine, I like to go for a walk.
What’s the secret to your productivity?
You need to know why you do things and you need to test possible ideas or actions before you use them. My ‘second brain’ supports this.
By Callista Vink
Callista is Think Productive Western Europe’s Marketing wiz and the voice behind our Dutch and some of our English editorial content.