This time, in our ‘How I Stay Productive’ interview series, we chatted to the Chief Financial Officer of Think Productive North America, Richard Green. Richard talks to us about the Productivity Ninja skills he’s developed and how his productivity and time management skills have helped him settle into his new role with Think Productive.
Occupation: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Think Productive North America
Location: Canada / US
Other job titles in life: Director or Strategy & Planning, Head of Business Design, Program Manager, Court Manager, Chief Clerk, Personnel Officer.
What’s important about your workspace?
It’s a classic Victorian room, with high ceilings, great views and tons of light. Its great to have a log fire too, when its snowing outside.
Which ninja characteristic have you got nailed the most?
Ruthlessness. I have always been tough on my email inbox, the difference is that Productivity Ninja ruthlessness has taken away my guilt, and reduced the shock and awe of colleagues!
Which ninja characteristic are you still working on the most?
Unorthodoxy. There is more need to think outside the box, move quickly and solve problems by whatever means than at any time in my previous career. Old habits are hard to shake off!
Which five apps could you not live without?
I love the apps I am adopting and learning, and especially the degree to which they interconnect and can share data. I use Insightly, Xero, Calendly, Slack and all aspects of Office and I am looking for a task manager, but have not landed on a favorite yet. Some of our Productivity Ninjas have offered up suggestions – I just need to make time to explore them!
What’s your favorite piece of stationery?
I love an old fashioned notebook, but I have a bad habit of accumulating them, and I usually take terrible notes and lose track of to do lists, so I am better off managing my activities electronically.
When in the day do you have the most proactive attention?
I am not, repeat, not, a morning person. And I work better in short bursts at multiple times – 11 till 1pm, 3pm till 4.30, and 7 till 8.30pm.
What’s your trick for when you’re tired or struggling with attention in the day?
Walking the dog always clears the head, especially if its -15 outside, but is great too on a hot summer day. I sometimes have a nap – I can power nap for 20 minutes and get a benefit, but not longer. Usually just a break and a stretch will clear the head and get the circulation going.
What’s your best advice for reducing stress?
Plan your time well. Regular exercise. Eat well. And of course a glass of wine now and then.
What’s your email regime?
Inbox to Zero is my natural home, and I live by it. If I have a weakness in my regime it is dipping too often into my inbox to see what is new, but I am working on that.
What’s your favorite way to take a break in the middle of the day?
Throwing baseballs for the dog. He is a 100 pound Golden Retriever and a baseball lasts him about 3 weeks before it falls apart!
What’s the secret to your productivity?
I still have much to learn, but being prepared to learn from others is, I think, a big part of becoming more productive. For me a key part of Graham’s book is about procrastination and the tendency we have to drift towards things that are in the comfort zone. Running a business there is no room for that, and I have consciously shifted my focus to what is really important.
Would you like to find out more about Think Productive Northern America? Reach our directly to Richard here.
By Hannah Urbanek
Hannah is Think Productive’s Head of Outreach and the voice behind our social media and editorial content. You can connect with us at Think Productive North America by connecting with Richard here or on LinkedIn.