It’s Monday again and it’s time to start the week with a good energy!
Monday Productive is a weekly interview format, featuring peak-performers from my network, who share 5 quick ideas on how to boost your productivity and stay at the top of your game.
Today’s guest is Stewart Rogers. Stewart is a journalist, public speaker, founder, philanthropist, musician, and digital nomad.
1. Stewart, you travel an excessive amount of miles a year. How do you manage to keep your energy and productivity high with so many days on the road?
▶ Daily meditation plays a big part in keeping my energy high. It keeps me focused on living in the moment, and not expending energy or brainpower on worrying about the past or the future. I also watch what I eat, and ensure high protein intake with as few “high-insulin response” carbohydrates as possible. Lastly, because I’m an extrovert, I get energy from all the amazing people around me in each city.
2. As a journalist and speaker, I would imagine there’s no one day like another. Do you have any system for time management and prioritisation? How do you decide what to focus your attention on, on a day to day basis?
▶ I list out the things I need to achieve the night before, putting them in order of which are both important and urgent, which are important, and which are just urgent. I rank them in order of the size of the task, using T-Shirt sizes to estimate the time. I then do the biggest most important and urgent task first, and work down the list.
I also only do one thing at a time. Humans weren’t built to multitask, so stop trying to fight against nature. So one thing, then go play and have fun. Then do another.
3. A lot of writers and creatives struggle to get things done. Steven King has a famous quote: “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration. The rest of us get up and go to work. What’re your strategies and habits to beat procrastination and deliver high quality work?
▶ I don’t believe in writers block, or any other kind of creative barrier. If it isn’t happening, go do something fun. Get out in nature. Do something that will make you smile. Exercise. When you return, sit and write, or whatever it is you need to finish. When you’re playing, your brain is subconsciously planning the work, so it’ll flow easier.
4. You talk a lot these days about mental health. Why is it so important to pay better attention to it? What practical ideas would you recommend for keeping the mental health of out team at optimal levels?
▶ We have an epidemic in the tech industry. There are way too many people turning to self-destructive behaviours to cope with the pressures of running out working at a startup. I spoke about this in my keynote at TechChill at the start of the year, and explained the coping mechanisms each person can put in place to stay on the right side of the tracks.
But often, the founder has extra pressure because they become the company therapist, and that’s not a role they’re trained for. Startups should consider getting a therapist to come in every two weeks to provide help to anyone that needs it.
5. In the last few years – what habit or belief have you acquired, that helps you today to perform better and feel more fulfilled?
▶ The one thing that has changed my life in a multitude of ways is daily meditation. Meditation isn’t about clearing your mind – that’s impossible. Instead, it’s about recognizing what’s going on around you, and in your head, with each breath, and letting it pass. The practice of recognition and passing puts you in a mindful place, reduces stress, improves flexibility and fluidity, and increases focus. It helps me with mental flexibility and reactions, which is key to my full-time nomad lifestyle. It has repaired my immune system too, so it helps me stay healthy as I move from country to country every five days on average. I can’t recommend daily meditation enough.
[BONUS] Name one to three books that helped you to become a better leader?
If you have any questions to Stewart, please leave your comment below!
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