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 Galit Ariel. Galit is a futurist, a multidisciplinary creative and aTED speaker. Her book Augmenting Alice – The Future of Identity, Experience and Reality’ explores the way Augmented Reality’s diffusion will shift cultural and functional paradigms and redefine core concepts related to culture, space, experience and ethics. She currently lives in Toronto, working on art/tech speculative projects and helps organizations and commercial clients shape their augmented futures by exploring immersive narratives, interaction tools, brand touch-points and experience creation.
1. Happy Monday, Galit! What’s the coolest thing you’re planning to do today?
▶ My Mondays are my reconnecting days, where I talk to clients and collaborators, so the first half of the day will be dedicated to that. In the second half of the day, I will be reviewing my projects, highlighting things that need to be developed and working on a keynote that I will be delivering at the end of this month.
2. You’re a self-proclaimed ‘digital hippie’, and a thought-leader in the field of immersive interaction: by all means – a creative professional. What is productivity for you? Do we sometimes see productivity in a bit of a too linear manner?
▶ Productivity is a very personal and versatile concept, I think that people need to separate process from productivity. A process can be linear, but productivity is something more organic and ideally multidimensional. This is what differentiates human productivity from machine productivity – it is about achieving a quantitative goal, but also about exploring and evaluating the quantitative qualities of the process and outcome.
3. What’s your secret to stay at the top of your game? Do you have a routine, a habit or a set of mindsets that keep you sharp and steady?
▶ I think there are three core factors – I have a clear long-term vision about what I want to achieve, short term actions I am taking towards achieving it, and I am very aware and reflective towards my work process. It took me years to understand what works for me, in order of being more productive. Including what activities, projects and clients elevate me. One example is that I work best in strategic projects and frameworks, so I try to develop and land those kinds of projects. On a work process is well framed, so align expectations and achievable goals with any new client and on an ongoing basis with myself. I have a weekly routine where I separate my week to communication-focused days, research-focused and creation-focused days. If there is a scheduling clash, I will either alternate those days or limit it to the beginning of the end of the day so that I can have an uninterrupted dive-in period. I also react very well to deadlines (I KNOW), so I make sure I set myself small deadlines every week.
4. What’s new in immersive technologies these days? Is this pandemic – speeding up the development and what are some new trends to pay attention to?
▶ This moment in time is a great pressure-point for developing our understanding on what works and doesn’t work with many processes and technologies. In immersive tech we are seeing the appreciation and value it brings for entertainment, education and communication due to the unprecedented use of virtual & interactive tools and platforms (from video streaming to Virtual Reality). It shows us how effective this technology can be in times of crisis and as means to improve remote collaboration. At the same time we are also seeing early signs of digital communication fatigue, and a deep desire for physical and interpersonal interaction. So we need to remember that ‘most efficient’ isn’t always the best long term solution, and we always need to balance it with deep social and human behaviours (in this case – the inherited need for unmediated interaction).
5. Achievement vs Fulfilment? Is it possible to have both? How does one find their own balance, their own “sweet spot” of living a meaningful and productive life?
▶ Yes, of course, but it depends on the person. My definition of ‘achievement’ is in creating new possibilities for a business, definitive outcome. I have a constant hunger to explore more and improve, so I am never 100% fulfilled – which is what makes me going. I think the sweet spot is in discovering what ‘achievement’ means for YOU, not just what you think that will reflect well on you. Also – what percentage of achievement is good enough to keep you going, and how to deal if you don’t reach it. So instead of giving up, if you didn’t reach a 100% you can remind yourself that ‘80% is not a ‘fail’ and even if you fall short – to learn how to reach your goal next time.
[BONUS] Name one to three books that helped you to become a better leader?
▶ I believe that leadership is something that you earn once you have a clear value and values that you can share with others in a meaningful way. It is not a static thing, so I male sure I keep learning and evolving. But if I have three books that I keep going back to they will be:
A modern philosophical lens on how our concept of ‘status’ shifted and turned into a shadow that looms over us. A must read for anyone living in the information age.
Both looking at design (digital and physical) through a societal and an experimental lens versus as a fixed discipline
If you have any questions to Galit, please leave your comment below!
Watch her TED talk here
Get a copy of Galit’s book – Augmenting Alice here.
Follow Galit on:
Thank you for reading!
And Happy Monday!
Stoyan Yankov is a productivity coach and a professional speaker, who’s helped teams to grow and increase their performance in over 20 countries; through his trainings, workshops and coaching programs.
Stoyan co-developed the #perform methodology together with Cristobal Alonso (CEO, Startup Wise Guys), applied in hundreds of startup team across Europe. Together they are finishing the book: PERFORM – The Unsexy Truth about (Startup) Success, including cases and examples from the best startup founders in #NewEurope.