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.
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 at 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.
Which ninja characteristic are you still working on the most?
Mindfulness & Human, not Superhero – maybe not in that order!
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?
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!
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.
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
Hannah is Think Productive’s Head of Outreach and the voice behind our social media and editorial content.