How I Stay Productive: Kerri O’Connor

This regular feature shares the secrets of the most highly efficient Productivity Ninjas. In this post, Director of Sydney-based recruitment consultancy, Saunders Lynn & Co, explains how saying ‘no’ more often and implementing good organizational systems are helping her to stay productive.

kerri oconnor

About Kerri

Occupation: Recruitment

Company: Saunders Lynn & Co

Location: Sydney

Other job titles in life: Mother, wife, bookkeeper, family diary organiser, personal shopper for two young girls, wannabe interior designer!

What’s important about your workspace?

It is clean, tidy and inviting.  It should be a joy to work in.

Which ninja characteristic have you got nailed the most?

Ruthlessness!  I have become much better at saying no.  As Oprah says  “No is a complete sentence.” Previously I was too goal diffused with too much to do and not enough time to do any of it well, I was letting everyone down, clients, family, friends and myself.

Agility – Good systems!  The good thing I learned with so much on is that I can organise myself and my family most mornings with precision.  At one stage I had it down to a time and motion study so I could combine multiple activities together to maximise my time…  to get breakfasts prepared and eaten, bags packed, showers done, cleaning completed, dishwasher unpacked and repacked, kitchen cleaned and beds made… most mornings!

Which ninja characteristic are you still working on the most?

Zen like calm – With so many things to do at home with a husband and two young kids and working full time, it is can sometimes be easy to worry about what I have to do and what is coming next. Hence planning is important!

Which five apps could you not live without?

  • My Fitness Pal – it helps me track what I eat and how much exercise I do to reach my health and fitness goals. I used it daily.
  • The activity tracker for the iwatch – again, it reminds me to get up and move!
  • Xero – it is so handy to plug in receipts for a coffee with a client or candidate on the run!
  • Aldi – I love an Aldi bargin!
  • Nozbe – it reminds me what needs to get done

What’s your favourite piece of stationary?

I have a new favourite, other than my pen.  I purchased some postcards to send to clients with my logo on it.  They look fab!

When in the day do you have the most proactive attention?

10.30am to 12.30pm.  I get the admin out of the way and other distractions first.

What’s your trick for when you’re tired or struggling with attention in the day?

Drink more water! Alternative, stop and get a cup of tea.  There is nothing a cup of tea can’t fix most days !

What’s your best advice for reducing stress?

Meditation or exercise… or both!

What’s your email regime?

I have a database that hooks up to my email so most candidate and client emails are tracked to their contact once I have dealt with the email.  If I know I have to deal with an email later in the day, it stays at the top of my inbox till it is done.

What’s your favourite way to take a break in the middle of the day?

Lunch!  I love to eat.

What’s the secret to your productivity?

Have a plan and stay organised.  Create your own mastermind group or accountability buddy.  I had a mastermind group when I started my business 10 years ago.  I found it really useful to set weekly goals and report back on my success (or not) in achieving them each week.

I am currently part of a group where we all want to exercise more. We have an SMS group conversation on our phones so we can check in each morning saying we are out of bed and off to the gym.  We can kick each other’s backsides if we are not doing what we committed to do that week too.

If you’re looking for work in Australia, find out more about Saunders Lynn & Co on their website.

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