You know those annoying people who seem to have it all figured out? They're super successful, ultra busy, but somehow make it all look easy. These people know what it takes to not only function, but to thrive in the crazy world we live in. And we want to know how. This week, we took a look around us at all the highly effective people (clients and team) we have the pleasure of working with everyday and we asked them what their secrets to success are. Here is what they had to say.
1. Dress For Success
“I may be working from home, but being in the right mindset is key to productivity, and sitting in my pants just doesn't cut it." - Rob Armstrong, Creative Director, Mad Media
"Even though I work from home, I still need to make a daily "going to work" routine for myself. I have to get up, get dressed, make my coffee just as if I was heading out the door to an office. I have to mentally put myself in the mind set and go into work mode." - Casey Mathison, Designer, Mad Media
2. Start Your Day Early
"What keeps me at the top of my game? Honestly, being a “morning person” has revolutionized the way that I work, and the way I bring clarity into my days. I wasn’t always excited, motivated, or good about waking up early. I was the ultra-productive night owl that would burn the midnight oil, resulting in at least a 10-touch “snooze” battle with my alarm in the morning. One day, about four years ago, I decided to change that. It was a slow and painful process, but over the course of about three months, I trained my body to wake up between 5:00-5:30 a.m. The results have been thrilling. Since my mind and body have been resting during the night, I find early morning to be the most useful time to plan and be creative in my thinking. By the time I get into the office, I have already been awake for four hours, and it gives me the competitive edge of already having thought about what I need to accomplish that day, prepare for any urgencies or details, and hit the ground running as soon as I am at my desk." - Kay Buhecha, Director, Demand Generation, Allocadia
3. Prioritize What's Important
"I focus on the one thing that matters everyday--the most important thing that needs to get accomplished. There will always be a long list of things that need to get done, but what matters most today? I do a daily 15 minute huddle with my team where we talk about one good thing happening in our personal life, one project we're focused on and can address anything we need help with. This is a great way to keep everyone connected and on task and ensure what we're doing is really top priority." - James Thomas, CMO, Allocadia
4. Use Tools & Techniques
One way I like to keep on top of my workload is by making use of Trello. It’s a simple app for web browsers and smartphones that lets you create “cards”, which are designed to look like post-it notes stuck to a wall. They can be categorized, colour-coded, date-stamped or even used to manage group projects. I like to put every task, no matter how small, in Trello. That way, when I’m deciding what to focus on for the day, I can see all the to-do items in front of me — almost like a restaurant menu!" - Matt Davis, Marketing Manager, Allocadia
"I have two methods…. my digital MO is setting reminders to alert me on my desktop or mobile; even for the little things. I also like to “visualize actions” to commit things to memory… such as, if there’s a task that I have to do straight-away when I arrive somewhere and I can’t necessarily rely on technology, I visualize exactly what I’m going to do when I arrive in the space — walk into the room, take my coat off, put my bag down, do the task. I’m a visual person, so this integration into routine processes helps those tasks stick out in my mind." - Cher Compton, Art Director, Business in Calgary Magazine
5. Stay Fit
“I never miss a day at the gym. It keeps me motivated and my endorphins flowing and that affects every other part of my life and makes me better overall. When you feel better, you perform better. It’s as simple as that. Health matters!” - Jody Poulter, Designer, Mad Media
“Two days for me are never the same—which is a pro and a con. I have an ever-changing, priority-juggling, travel-heavy kind of schedule, so I fit in work wherever I can. I’m always on my phone. I even have a Mophie case to recharge me because my phone dies so many times a day! When I’m out and about I can check in, watch for social media notifications for the accounts I manage, and respond to emails or chat on Slack. I even work on my phone in bed (a bad habit I should try to break for my own sanity). Still, while there are downsides to working like that, the upside is I can be anywhere in the world doing it! And I usually am.” - Tessa May Marr, CEO, Mad Media
The bottom line is, everyone is different. What works for one person, may not work for another, but we think this list gives you a lot of creative things to try.
What is your fool-proof habit that keeps you effective?