It’s Monday again and it’s time to get s*** done!
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.
1. You are one of the people who is always full of energy, inspired and motivated. What is your secret? How do you sustain such a spirit?
▶ Love is the secret. I absolutely adore what I do and the life I live! Every morning I wake up, breath in, smile (but really smile big time!) and get excited about what I am about to do that day!
I make a Big deal out of everything I do. If you are here, you matter. I make sure everything I do is meaningful to me, and if it does not seem so to start with – I make it meaningful through shifting the perspective before I even get my hands onto it. There is always an enabling perspective available out there 😊
➡ Bottom line is – it is really worth looking for your element and living in it. If you already live in one, take your time to appreciate it regularly. I know we have heard it a million of times but I really believe so. When you live in your own element, life becomes an effortless mastery. This is not to say that life will suddenly happen for you while you are sleeping all day with no action. Rather it is to say that the actions and your effort suddenly become a passionate process. ‘Work hard’ becomes a positive thing and it feels niiiice doing so. ‘I am stressed or nervous’ becomes ‘I am sooooo excited and thrilled’. ‘I need to do this’ turns into ‘I am blessed to be in the position to do this’ and so the list goes on. Then one day suddenly you realize that you cannot wait to wake up to go live your day full of energy, inspired and motivated! 👩
2. You have a talent in meeting people and making friends. How could one be an effective networker and create meaningful connections?
▶ I used to say that I am passionate about progress, people and the world! Because truly, the world progresses through people and together we can do more. I think the secret here is to genuinely care about people and practice the curiosity to catch a person to hear their story.
I enjoy hitting someone next to me in a cafe with one of my classic questions ‘so, what do you think is the secret for a happy life?’. I love to see their beautiful reactions and real emotions, often accompanied with ‘ohh, I don’t remember last time someone asked me this’. Try it, let’s be friends! You never know what this can lead to.
➡ The catch here is to be yourself and enjoy the process. Find your own style, know who you are and be happy + confident about it. Have fun starting a conversation and if it takes you some courage to start one, know your opening with which you are comfortable. Be curious and personal during the conversation. Free yourself – if you use a lot of body language and emotions, well then this is who you are. If you are more of a serious type, this is you as well. There is no reason to be someone else. Empty yourself and let the conversation fill you. Look for shared beliefs and experiences, and build on them. If there is anything you need help with, keep it clearly in your mind but do not focus on what you need, focus on the person in front of you, be present. When the opportunity arises, you will be ready anyway. We do not forget the things we really want so easily. So enjoy the conversation and remember that meaningful connections are meant to be the lasting ones!
3. As a brand manager at Little Miracles International, you are often on the road. How do you manage to stay focused and productive with so many travel days on your schedule?
▶ You either love the life of movement or you do not live it at all, I think. I always say that with movement comes opportunities, and I enjoy moving and being busy. I enjoy that sensation of handling 2000 things at the same time and feel my heart beating out of excitement. It somehow ignites my best state of mind. Full on! Do it with passion or not at all! Boom!
📍I love my Little Miracles, it is not just my work, it is my lifestyle! Again, I think it is about finding the right match. About positioning yourself under sun where it feels right. Where I find my best balance is in running 300% for a period and then disconnecting completely for some time.
📍 The important bit is to take time to recharge. Whatever it is, work 8am – 5pm and rest fully in the evenings, go like crazy for a week and take a weekend super off or run for a year and take a sabbatical. Find your own balance and always make sure to check on it once in a while.
📍 And here is my personal favorite quote on the balance topic:
‘Balance is the key. In everything you do. Dance all night long and practice yoga the next day. Drink wine but don’t forget your green juice. Eat chocolate when your heart wants it and kale salad when your body needs it. Wear high heels on Saturday and walk barefoot on Sunday. Live high and low. Move and stay still. Embrace all sides of who you are. Be brave, bold, spontaneous and loud and let that complement your abilities to find silence, patience, modesty and peace. Aim for balance. (…)’ (Rachel Brathen)
4. In the last few years – what habit or belief have you acquired, that helps you to be an effective professional today?
✅ From the practical perspective, I work a lot with simple tools that help me free my head-space from what I don’t need to think about right now. I organize my daily must-do tasks in my calendar, set priorities on Friday for the week ahead, get everything out of my head on the notes, use reminders for small things I should remember later and alarms for e.g. ‘leave for the airport’ so that I could stay focused without constantly looking at the time.
✅ To stay present while running from one thing to another, I learned to take a minute to conclude the task, capture the plan for next steps and close it for the time being. Then go with a fresh mind onto another.
✅ If there has been the same thought dragging in my mind for too long and taking my attention in the background, then I go for my ‘snap’ exercise. It is my 3-second rule. I think through the matter one last time and establish the status, then I say ‘okay enough Laura. One, two, three – SNAP’ – done and over. Move on.
5. What do you do when you are feeling overwhelmed or unproductive, but you have a lot on your to-do list?
What I really find powerful is to make it a rule that as soon as you catch yourself in the state of overwhelmed or unproductive, you do not keep running on that destructive mode but stop for a moment. Turn around and look through the window, read a 5-minute piece that sets you to the right state, go grab a coffee / tea, breath. Step back, breathe, make a plan, come back.
🔥 When overwhelmed, I write the things to-do on a piece of paper, by hand, and use numbers to prioritize. The thing is that we feel overwhelmed because we have ‘everything to do’. When we have ’10 things to do’, we feel much better. Writing by hand also allows me the time to structure thoughts in my head. Then as I progress through the list crossing out task 1 – done, task 2 – done.. Boom, here you have a pretty sweet feeling of progress as an extra.
🔥 If unproductive, this is when I get one or two of my ‘not urgent but feel-nice’ tasks done! Somehow getting one of these tasks done really gets me back on track. Then I move back onto my priority list. Happy, present and productive!
[BONUS] Name one to three books that helped you to become a better leader?
For me it was not a book, it is a person! I think learning from each other is real, fun and powerful! From people to people. And here we are back to the topic of lasting connections 🙂
If you have any questions to Laura, please leave your comment below!
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Thank you for reading 🙏
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