The Way of the Productivity Ninja
What a way to kick-start the new year in the Manchester Hub! We welcomed the amazing Grace Marshall, from Think Productive, to talk to us on moving beyond the traditional time management techniques and how to think like a ninja! We learnt about the nine characteristics of the Productivity Ninja that helps us to cut through the noise, win the battles ahead and make an impact in 2020. Here’s a summary of the nine characteristics of the Productivity Ninja:
Zen-like calm: Get that sense of feeling relaxed and present. Get all your own mental chatter out of your head. Develop a ‘second brain’ of lists where you can manage and prioritise your projects and actions. Empty your head and create space. This will help give you certainty and a sense that you’re focusing on the right stuff.
Ruthlessness: Quality attention – not time – is a precious resource and we need to ensure that we don’t waste it in boring meeting or scrolling for hours through emails that are a list of everyone else’s priorities. Learn to say ‘no’ to other peoples’ demands as tactfully and quickly as possible.
Weapon-savvy: Find and use good tools and stick with them. Choose a tool to get a second brain back up and regularly review your second brain.
Stealth and camouflage: Learn how to do tactical hiding. Be deliberately less available. Disconnect. Make space for the clear thinking that drives productivity. This is also true when it comes to digital connectivity. Reduce notifications and interruptions, block out times in your diary for planning and prioritising – block it out as ‘Project Magenta’ – everyone will assume it’s important!
Unorthodoxy: Take inspiration from unusual places. Challenge the status quo of your own habits and routines. When you do this, you’ll find the brain looks for ‘interesting and better’, more than it looks for ‘how we did it last time’ which helps us to continually improve.
Agility: Regularly reviewing your lists, thinking ahead and anticipating potential bumps in the road is all part of staying agile. Scan for change, “horizon scanning. Instead of firefighting, do fire proofing/prevention.
Mindfulness: Whether it’s meditation, yoga or more everyday activities like singing, running or just going for a walk in the fresh air at lunch time, our brains need a reset every now and then. Tuning into our own thoughts can be a powerful way to recognise procrastination, as well as refreshing our focus.
Preparedness: Getting the right sleep, exercise, nutrition and hydration should never be viewed as luxuries. These are essential to quality thinking, and therefore to our success, so don’t ever feel guilty for prioritising them. Take time to organise and keep everything tidy, so that you can find what you need when the pressure is really on, is all part of the game.
Be human, not a superhero: Don’t beat yourself up when things go wrong and learn to embrace imperfections. You’ll be more productive when you lose the fear and guilt and allow yourself to be a human being, as well as a human doing.
This was a highly interactive, fast paced and engaging workshop with productivity boosting ideas from the simplest techniques to the fanciest new apps. It helped us identify specific changes and tactics to improve personal productivity and wellbeing.