We’ve had the pleasure to sit down and chat to Think Productive Australia‘s new Productivity Ninja, Sandra Wang. Sandra is also a Yoga Teacher, so we’re sure she’ll be sharing some more productivity and mindfulness tips with us along the way.
Occupation: Yoga Teacher
Company: The Yoga Parent
Location: Sydney, Australia
Other job titles in life: Chief Domestic Officer, Productivity Ninja, Evernote Certified Consultant
What’s important about your workspace?
Natural light and technology that just works. My work and life are quite fluid so anywhere that I can have some sunlight and connection to the internet is perfect.
Which Ninja characteristic have you got nailed the most?
People will sometimes remark that I seem so calm. What they don’t know is that I’ve worked very hard to be this way! It’s not a natural state for me, at all. I have daily mindfulness practices that help to keep me from getting too caught up in the chaos.
Which Ninja characteristic are you still working on the most?
I am still working on making sure that I am focused on only the most important task at hand right now. When suddenly a child needs my attention, or there is something that I think would be great to do for my work, I can find it hard to be ruthless and stay on target. I am always working more on focusing my attention on the one thing and not feeling the tug of another priority.
Which five apps could you not live without?
- Alarm app on iPhone
What’s your favorite piece of stationery?
I love the Leuchhterm A5 dotted notebook. Great for all matter of ideas, dreams and plans. And a favorite pen to write in it.
When in the day do you have the most proactive attention?
I am at my absolute best around dawn. However I choose not to use this time to be proactive. This time for me is all about cultivating more “being” as I know the rest of my day will be spent “doing”. The more I give to myself in the early morning, the better I’m able to be proactive later in the morning after my coffee ritual.
What’s your trick for when you’re tired or struggling with attention in the day?
I take this as a sign I need to put my feet up and let my mind wander. Sometimes I will literally “put my feet up” the wall in a restorative yoga pose.
What’s your best advice for reducing stress?
Be aware that stressing and worrying about something doesn’t actually reduce the source of the stress. Become clear about the next one immediate action you need to take, then taking that action is the only way to extinguish the stress.
What’s your email regime?
I look at my email at the beginning of my work day as well as the evening. Going through emails at the beginning of the day helps me get rid of any nagging feelings that there is something waiting for my attention. Together with my email I have Wunderlist ready to house all my actions as well as Evernote to archive.
I prefer processing email at my desktop computer but I found that I was spending more and more time away from the computer. Recently I purchased a Bluetooth keyboard that connects to my phone which lets me tackle email during those random pockets of time in the day.
What’s your favorite way to take a break in the middle of the day?
I really take advantage of my break for lunch. I sit down to eat well and be present while I’m doing so. Then I might make a cup of tea and just let my mind wander.
What’s the secret to your productivity?
Having a wonderful vision for why I’m being productive. It means that the work I do is in the service of a bigger picture rather than feeling tedious. Then having only a very small number of actions that are must-dos, one to three actions maximum.
By Hannah Urbanek
Before You Go…
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Productivity Ninja secrets with us?
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our interview questions.