This regular feature shares the secrets of the most highly efficient Productivity Ninjas. In this post, Opportunity Cultivator, Kirsten Wreggitt, shares the secrets behind her productivity.
Occupation: Business Consultant and Opportunity Cultivator
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
What’s important about your workspace?
My workspace needs to have great natural lighting (for inspiration), plenty of desk space (for a sense of openness and creativity), and little clutter (for clear thinking). If you feel “right” then you are better able to focus and work.
What Ninja Characteristic have you nailed the most?
Preparedness. This characteristic has allowed me to keep stress at bay. I am looking far enough ahead and preparing things well in advance to prevent “last minute” work. This allows me to master my schedule and maintain my “high focus times” for important things instead of last-minute things.
Which ninja characteristic are you still working on?
Stealth and Camouflage. I like to say yes, especially to social/networking events. I am working on protecting my evenings (making sure I am only out 1 or 2 nights a week). I also rarely “go dark” and I know that would create even more ‘space’ for creativity.
Which five apps could you not live without?
I could ‘live’ without all of these. But these five apps make my business easier – Co-Schedule, Gmail, Eventbrite, Asana, and Slack.
What’s your favorite office supply such as a type of journal, paper, writing instrument, and, why is it a favorite?
I have to pick just one?! It would have to be sticky notes. My work involves group “process mapping”. There is something magical about sticky notes – they can be rearranged, ripped up, and replaced. There is freedom for my clients in representing their work in an objective way and sticky notes make it so easy!
When in the day do you have the most proactive attention?
My mornings are sacred – 7am-9am. I am learning to use this for greatness – not email!
What’s your trick for when you’re tired or struggling with attention in the day?
There are two tactics I use – I either shift completely away from work (go for a walk, stretch, dance) or I shift to less attention needed tasks (email, reading, filing, etc.) Both give my mind a rest and allow me to refocus after a much needed break.
What’s your best advice for reducing stress?
Deep breathing. It is a simple, available, and powerful way to get out of your head.
What’s your email regime?
Daily I process the quick stuff and keep my email under 20 messages. And once a month (on my planning day) I get back to in-box zero if things have slipped. And I am a ruthless “unsubscriber” – if I am no longer reading the stuff coming in, I stop it from coming in!
What’s your favourite way to take a break in the middle of the day?
Something lightly physcial – either stretching, going for a walk, or dancing like no one’s watching!
What’s the secret to your productivity?
I think my productivity comes from my ability to figure out what is important and focus on doing those things, not the urgent things. This requires a “scan and plan” approach that is similar to the CORD model that Graham talks about in his book.