As you know, we are always interested in uncovering productivity secrets and finding out how other Productivity Ninjas are staying productive. Up until now we’ve had our ‘How I Stay Productive’ series where we find out which habits and Productivity Ninja characteristics people are working on and Beyond Busy, in which Graham chats to inspiring people about work life balance and much more. Today we’re launching another exciting series – the Productivity Ninja Superstar interview.
The first Productivity Ninja Superstar is Anna, who has attended several of our Workshops and we’ve asked her about her own productivity secrets as well as how her work style and habits have changed through starting the journey of becoming a Productivity Ninja. Over to you, Anna.
Name: Anna Hammond
Occupation: NHS Manager
Company: NHS Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group
Something fun about yourself not many people know: I have unintentionally developed what seems like a small zoo at home. It includes some delightful chickens and a snake. I love our pet family and I am a huge advocate of the positive influence of animals on emotional well being
We are all naturally better or worse at inhabiting certain Productivity Ninja characteristic. Which would you say is your Productivity Ninja Super Strength? (The 9 Productivity Ninja Characteristics are: Zen-like Calm, Ruthlessness, Weapon-savvy, Stealth and Camouflage, Unorthodoxy, Agility, Mindfulness, Preparedness, Human not Superhero)
I think my colleagues would say zen-like calm, but I am not sure I always feel like that. I wonder whether I may be a little duck-like with my feet still paddling under the water even if they can’t be seen. Instead, I would say unorthodoxy – I like to shake things up a bit to stimulate change and get people thinking differently.
Which do you think you need to work on to really make a positive change in your life and why?
I would like to deepen my mindfulness practice. I have been practicing for a couple of years and have now signed up to the standard 8-week course with colleagues at the end of January (to help reclaim our lunch hour). I think this will improve my acceptance of difficult situations, enable me to be more present and lead to a further improvement in emotional well-being both at home and work (for me and those around me).
Productivity Ninjas know that taking breaks during the day actually boosts productivity. What’s your favourite way to take a break?
My last work base was in a retail park so I loved to pop out (with a colleague) for a quick 20-minute look around the shops. It meant I got a bit of exercise, a complete distraction and retail therapy!
What’s your favorite piece of stationery?
My notebook – I always make sure I have a brightly colored, cheerful good quality book to write in. I feel a little lost without it….
Do you have a favorite App you use at the moment?
My favorite App for some time has been ‘Headspace’. I use it daily. I am currently doing the course on ‘sleep’ but have found the SOS meditation useful on numerous occasions.
What do you do to boost your productivity when you get tired?
Move about 🙂
What was your biggest AHA! moment from the workshops you’ve attended?
The notion of having a ‘second brain’ was life-changing. I felt I could relieve myself of lots of the clutter in my head.
It doesn’t just make a difference to become a Productivity Ninja yourself but it also makes a difference if you’re working in a team of Productivity Ninjas.
How would you describe working with and in a “Ninja-fied” team?
In my previous role most of the organization was ninja-fied. It was just wonderful, we all used similar methodologies and it made for a much more harmonious, respectful and smooth running environment. People were allowed and supported to use their signals to show they needed to be left alone (e.g. bright pink headphones). Everyone recognized the importance of being productive rather than just perpetuating/valuing busyness. My current team is transitioning and it is great to see the progression.
By Hannah Urbanek
Hannah is Think Productive UK’s Head of Outreach and is the voice behind much of our global blog and social media content.