If you fill your bucket with too many small activities, there’s never room for the really big stuff”
This interview follows Part 2 of my discussion with Rachael.
Steve: What do you personally like to use to increase productivity, either to reduce “busy-ness” and create space in your life or to increase results. Do you have any methodologies, software products, anything you’d like to share?
Rachael: I’m hearing good things about Trello.
Steve: I’ve heard positive things too, it seems to work well on both the personal and team levels.
Rachael: Yeah, and we may see that two parts of our business will use that for collaboration, sharing, brain storming, thinking, but outside more of a formalized google docs environment – it’s definitely on my agenda for the next couple of weeks.
Steve: A well known and useful productivity habit is to always define “what’s the one thing I’m going to achieve today that really important, to allow me to tick one thing off my list and therefore define the day as a success.” Do you ever do that?
Rachael: You can get very busy with the day to day can’t you… The fact is our business is in a transitional stage, and that means deadlines – fitting everything in, working to other team members timelines.
You can also get caught up in social media – I have nothing against going into it, getting a snapshot of what’s going on. But then you must come out to regain focus on other activities.
Somebody once said to me if you fill your bucket with too many small activities, there’s never room for the really big stuff – I actually have that as a reminder above my desk. Tick-off the big rocks first!
I heard about the concept on a training course years ago – if you fill the bucket/jar with small tasks (grains of sand), there’s no space left for the big tasks/projects, but if you complete the big stuff first you can still fit in some of the smaller stuff (emails/tweets etc). I think in our uber connected world it’s very easy to get distracted, so we need this message/reminder/discipline more than ever.
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Steve: That’s an excellent productivity habit!
What about noise. How do you find space in the noise?
Rachael: You might not describe it as mindfulness, but for me, having a break to look at media like Twitter, reading some topics and articles that helps me to be thoughtful, to understand some of the broader topics happening in the business… and I think you can do this, almost subliminally to help push your thinking in other areas and not just be 100% task-focused. The other thing is I do is regularly get up for couple of minutes, grab a drink or whatever, come back again – you need to move physically.
Steve: Marketing for me is really a combination of creative plus good process. And you need to have space to be creative.
Rachael: Yes! And for me marketing is always about having an outside view as well. As a marketer you can’t just sit inside your own world – you’ve got to see competitor trends, understand the bigger trends, take the time to research, and inform other people in the organization what is happening.
So you can also see a part of marketing as also being about the collaboration, the negotiating, and even working with competitors, having dialogues, having conversations, and ensuring you’re always being challenged professionally as well.
Steve: Rachael, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me.
Rachael: Thank you, you’re welcome.
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