Monday Productive is an interview format, featuring highly productive individuals, who share 5 quick ideas on how to boost your productivity and get the most out of your time.
Today we welcome Maja Voje. Maja is a kickass growth marketer, best-selling instructor and podcaster all the way from the beautiful country of Slovenia. 🇸🇮 She is highly productive and focused and we wanted to pick her brain around her own productivity habits and routines. Enjoy! 🔥
1. Maja, from my observations, you are a highly effective business professional. What usually makes you FEEL that you had a productive day?
1. That I have managed to solve the most important priorities on my list- usually up to 3 a day.
2. When I know I did a project or a mentoring session with high impact based on results or customer feedback
3. When I learned something, met a new exciting person or genuinely felt that the day made me a better person and a professional.
I love the FEEL in the question because metrics do help us gamify and measure the process, but they are worthless if we are not experiencing satisfaction and pride with our work and being.
2. How do you decide what to focus on? Do you have any specific method to prioritise and manage your time in the jungle of opportunities and demands?
I set myself yearly, quarterly, monthly and weekly goals. I read them every day to program my mind on what we need to focus on and have weekly accountability checks by myself and my husband for more personal goals.
I prioritize my work based on the framework, which is very similar to the Perform book, but mine captures some quirks of my character to keep me on the good track.
Each day I write down everything that requires my attention and score the list based on – IEJ Score: Impact (will it help me achieve my overall goals), Ease (how difficult/easy is something to do), and Joy (how energized and motivated am I to pursue this activity). On some weekends, when the workload just overwhelms me and I have to clean up my to-do list, I decide on what to delegate, sometimes even ignore or deny and then I have a brilliant feedback loop of a time estimate vs. time to actually do something in my spreadsheet). Surprise, surprise, I often drastically overstate the duration of the tasks that frustrate me. So I gamify that and call it a day 🙂
3. When you are feeling overwhelmed or stuck, what helps you to stay motivated and keep going? What do you do to get back on track in the “not-so-good” days?
Ha! If you asked my friends, they would answer- she picks up the phone and summons people that can help. Not far from reality, though. I am fascinated by the idea that the only thing that we can control are our responses and pleasantly surprised by the great quality of other human beings to understand when we need alone time, time for healing, or actual help. Of course, I return such grace on a frequent basis. Nothing is a one-way street.
What is surprising is that we recently moved to a beautiful real estate in the countryside, and ever since, I have had so much more inner peace and grace. Just observing the wonders of nature and how it is changing daily fills me with tranquility and a great sense of purpose.
And if everything else fails – I have a nice meal and I go to bed early because tomorrow I will see things differently and most likely it will be better because everything passes. Problems too. Trust yourself that tomorrow you can do better and forgive yourself if today was not your day, but do adjust your system if that happens too often.
4. How do you balance out the long hours of committed work? What do you do to recharge your [mental, emotional and physical] batteries?
You know what is funny – the only mild burnout that I have had in my career was when I was 22, working in the public sector 😂- gosh, I was frustrated. Ever since I am really careful that the work I chose to do has a high impact and a lot of sense for me. I do take at least one day a week off. It can be a trip to Italy to indulge in some well-made Aperol spritz, long wonders in nature with my husband and two dogs or simply doing nothing. Whatever feels right. By analyzing the activities that energize me vs. activities that drain me, I recently have learned that I have a very good sense of the natural biorhythm and really strong endurance when it comes to working. However, I get easily triggered by the pressure to socialize and attend certain “ceremonies” and festivities. I try to avoid that at almost all costs. I speak and teach for my living so the last thing I want to do in my spare time is to be surrounded by a lot of people and engage in social activities. The older I am, the more “introvert” time I need to recharge.
5. What’s one new habit / strategy you acquired during the pandemic that helped you to boost your productivity in a remote / hybrid world of work?
So, I am on the morning biorhythm and I do most magnificent work before other people have their morning coffee. That being said, I cannot work in the late evening and I prefer to sleep at night.
- Routines really matter. Whatever is not timeboxed into my calendar and written as a goal will probably not happen. Monitoring this gives us a sense of progress and sometimes even impact.
- Schedule all my meetings for 30 min tops – and it is OK to finish sooner.
- Start early – work on the most important tasks from 6:00 to 9:00
- Go for a long walk before you head over to do the work
- Take a really long lunch break – siesta 🙂 – return to business when you almost “miss it”
- Eat dinner at 20:00 or later to have a longer afternoon slot for work
- Make sure to have at least 1-2 days a week without ANY meetings to make longer slots to work on your business.
- If you have a slot for “maker’s time” and you constantly fail to do it, that totally means that you are not ready to do this yet and you should consider building an OKR around it in the next quarter. Or simply, forgive yourself. No one is perfect, we are humans, not machines.
[BONUS] Name one to three books that helped you to become a better leader?
📕 PERFORM – doh 😀
- Right now I am really into EOS – entrepreneurial operating system https://www.eosworldwide.com/ have a look here to explore the concept
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