The Think Productive blog offers different ideas on how you can increase your productivity on a daily basis, but we thought it would help to show you how our productivity ninjas apply these tips to their daily lives.
About Tracy Parks
Occupation: Director & Productivity Ninja
Company: Think Productive, USA
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Other job titles in life: Wife, daughter, mom, sister, aunt, grand-mother, volunteer and lover of a 12 year old cat, Lilly and 3 grand-dogs; Quinn, Barron and Charm (the smallest, likely the smartest, definitely the most precocious).
What’s important about your workspace? That it has lots of natural light, it’s quiet and fairly minimalistic with dual monitors and a place for TP Sheepie to keep me company. When I’m seated at my desk, my cat Lilly often sits in my lap. My favorite piece of furniture is my IKEA Bekant stand/sit desk that allows me to stand up and work whenever by back tells me it’s a good idea.
Which ninja characteristic have you got nailed the most? I’d have to choose “preparedness” which is fortunately something that has always come pretty naturally to me, next to that would be tech-savvy as I do have trusted tools and tend to perfect their use although I can find myself distracted by them at times…
Which ninja characteristic are you still working on the most? It’s a tie between ruthlessness as I’m very much a “pleaser” and have to work pretty hard at saying “no” to the various things that vie for my attention as well as mindfulness as I often am so focused on getting “it” done that I’ll lose sight of why and how I’m doing it.
Which five apps could you not live without? Nozbe, Nozbe, Nozbe, Nozbe and Nozbe. Okay, you get the idea. Lets go with Nozbe, Say It and Mail It, Headspace, the airline apps that replace my hard-copy boarding passes and Tile which allows me to find my keys when I occasionally misplace them; even in the recesses of Costco; true story!
What’s your favorite piece of stationary? Post-it notes in all colors and sizes and my Swiftfile; a tickler file system I’ve been using for well over a decade; love it, love it love it!
When in the day do you have the most proactive attention? I’m absolutely a morning person, out of bed by 6:00 and working by 7:00 -7:30. My most proactive attention begins to wane at around 11:00; just in time for a walk and lunch.
What’s your trick for when you’re tired or struggling with attention in the day? I’m very fortunate to live on a large piece of acreage which is fairly remote, so a tall glass of water and a walk outside does the trick. My other choice is to do anything tactile, even its reorganizing a drawer or shelf somewhere in the house; something that disconnects my brain and activates movement.
What’s your best advice for reducing stress? I fully admit it includes talking aloud and asking myself “If I get panicked or frustrated or stressed about this situation will it change anything”? That helps. also stretching, playing great music and a few “power poses” is a great tactic for me as well.
What’s your email regime? I’m currently juggling two separate business email accounts, so it’s not easy. I’ve finally mastered the discipline to resist opening Outlook until 90 minutes into my work day. At that time it’s about processing to zero and doing my very best not to get distracted and take rabbit trails. I usually execute 2 minute actions, delete ruthlessly and forward any action items to Nozbe using the hashtag options to assign a due date and attach it to a project list or category.
What’s your favorite way to take a break in the middle of the day? Exercise! A walk outside if the weather cooperates; it’s Oregon after all. Otherwise, I’m quite addicted to my StairMaster; been using one for nearly 30 years! Yikes!
What’s the secret to your productivity? I’m not all that big on secrets; the truth is it’s hard work. I’d have to describe it as tenacity; I don’t give up easily and tend to keep pushing ahead. A great quality when it comes to productivity; not so great during my teenage years, at least that’s what my parents recall and my husband, at times, laments.
For more ideas on how to incorporate productivity techniques into your daily routine, see our entire ‘How I Stay Productive’ series here.
Or read the most popular posts from the series…
Graham Allcott, CEO of Think Productive
Katy Bateson, Productivity Ninja at Think Productive