How I Stay Productive: Barbara Green

Next up in our ‘How I Stay Productive’ series, we had the pleasure of interviewing the new President of Think Productive North America, Barbara Green. Barbara talked to us about embracing the 9 Productivity Ninja Characteristics, reducing stress, staying focused and much more.  

How I Stay Productive: Barbara Green


Occupation:
President, Think Productive North America

Company: Think Productive North America

Location: Canada / US

Other job titles in life: VP Operations; Director, Client Delivery; Program Director; Management Consultant, Facilitator, Trainer

What’s important about your workspace?

That it has a lot of natural light! When I am doing creative work, I find it useful to change my perspective and look out the trees, the sky and scurrying animals.

Which ninja characteristic have you got nailed the most?

Preparedness & Agility! Nearly 20 years of delivering large-scale complex programs has honed these skills.

Ninja Preparedness

Which ninja characteristic are you still working on the most?

Mindfulness & Human, not Superhero – maybe not in that order!

Productivity Ninja Mindfulness

Which five apps could you not live without?

I am not a gadget girl but I like:

  •  LinkedIn to keep up to date on topics that interest me.
  • I have recently discovered Proposify and it has changed my life – what a joy to be able to create professional proposals quickly and effortlessly.
  • Insightly although I am looking forward to assistance from Matt (Licensee for Think Productive New Zealand & Australia) to make me a Insightly Master!
  • Slack – a great tool for keeping up to date with Ninjas & other Licensees but potential productivity drain if I don’t self-relegate!
  • Facebook & Messenger – it is a love/hate relationship but it does provide me with the opportunity to keep in touch with friends & family around the world.

What’s your favorite piece of stationery?

I was fortunate to be given a Moleskin Ellipse pen & notebook. I am an old fashioned pen & paper person so I love that I can take notes and have them easily digitized.

When in the day do you have the most proactive attention?

Between 10pm-1am

What’s your trick for when you’re tired or struggling with attention in the day?

Do something else for 10-15mins – read the news headlines, run an errand, chat with my daughter, play with the dog (one of the perks of working  from home).

What’s your best advice for reducing stress?

I think that reducing stress is as individual as the causes of stress. It is why our 9 Ninja characteristics are so helpful – it is not one solution but 9 lenses through which we can identify the most applicable opportunities to  improve our productivity and reduce our stress. For me, having a second brain is critical to remain focused and calm. Having a system that I trust to capture & categorize my various tasks keeps me in control of my work and a much happier person!

Ninja Second Brain

What’s your email regime?

I am a huge fan of @Action, @Read and @Waiting – it has completely changed my perspective on my inbox. I tend to check new emails a few times in the morning & afternoon and immediately file them. I set aside specific time to work on my @Action and review @Waiting. I tend to make time once a week for items in my @Read folder.

What’s your favorite way to take a break in the middle of the day?

Having lived in the UK for several years, I still enjoy Elevenses (even at 2pm!). Just the ritual of getting up from my desk to make a cup of tea and dig out a nice biscuit gives me a chance to re-connect to the space around me.

Teak Break

What’s the secret to your productivity?

Learning from others. Joining Think Productive and connecting with the wonderful network of like-minded productivity enthusiasts has been enlightening. I have learned so many helpful techniques (particularly around email!) that have made a significant improvement to my personal productivity.

By Hannah Urbanek
You can connect with Hannah on LinkedIn

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