programs to get
Claire Burge Wunderlist is a to-do app
that allows you to share lists
DREAM and projects with others and
CATCHER sync them to all devices.
Your life goals don’t have to remain a pipe Any.do is a task manager app
dream. Productivity expert Claire Burge knows with seamless cloud syncing,
and daily review reminders.
just how to increase your productivity and
achieve your goals now. TIME TO Keynote.com is a program
VALUE YOU which helps you to make
There’s a saying; you know that thing you’ve always every digital interaction count
wanted to do? Well, go do it. That sounds very simple, Women more than men – no time-wasting allowed.
but then you recall the kids/partner/job/social life/all
of the above, which leave very little time to get started tend to use the classic Uskape.com is a connected
on any secret ambitions you might be harbouring. But instead
of daydreaming about shifting the time-space continuum in excuse that their partners workspace program which
order to wedge another day between Wednesday and Thursday,
know that it is possible to create the time to achieve your life and children take up too unifies your workflow into
goals. Whether it is getting an entrepreneurial idea off the
ground, expanding your current business, learning a new skill, much of their time, leaving one fluid system.
or even writing a book, streamlining your hectic lifestyle and
getting organised is the key to success. Productivity expert and very little time leftover
author of Spin: Taking your Creativity to the Nth Degree, Claire
Burge has made her career out of helping her clients to harness to work on the projects
creativity through maximizing their productivity.
that have been sitting on
their to-do lists. “I don’t
usually like raising the gender divide when I’m working
with clients,” says Burge. “But this is something I hear from
women more than men. It sounds a little harsh, but to me this
excuse is a clear indication of someone who doesn’t organise
their time well. You actually have a lot more time than you
think you do.” Regardless of whether you have a lot going
on professionally or personally, the key to creating time for
you is to prioritise it and work it into your daily routine. Not
taking the time to prioritise your own goals, can make you
feel, begrudgingly, that your other obligations are consuming
all of your time. “When you feel resentful you are not going
to be the colleague, partner and mother that you actually
want to be,” warns Burge. “If you actually prioritise time for
yourself, you approach time with them differently, because
you value it and you can focus fully on it – it will feel better,
more like proper quality time.”
144 IRISH TATLER OCTOBER 2014
DON’T WASTE AWAY NOT TAKING THE TIME TO PRIORITISE
YOUR GOALS, CAN MAKE YOU FEEL,
An important step on the road to productivity is to eliminate
time wasting activities like social media. “The worst time waster BEGRUDGINGLY, THAT OTHER OBLIGATIONS
is unplanned time on social media,” says Claire. She advises ARE CONSUMING ALL OF YOUR TIME
switching off the notifications on your mobile device, forcing
you to physically click into Facebook or Twitter to check those until last or whenever you have a spare minute. However, Claire
channels. “I use social media very actively to communicate with warns that you have to be prepared to make some adjustments to
clients and people, but they don’t rule my day. I have a very make this happen. “Getting up earlier, means going to bed earlier,
specific allocated time of two half-hour slots that I dedicate to adjusting your exercise schedule and avoiding the snooze button
social media.” Another time-wasting mistake is allowing your in the morning,” says Claire. “Yes it’s hard at first, but think about
email to drive your day. “People check their email before they go the sense of achievement you will have when you start making
to sleep, first thing in the morning, and then they spend the whole headway on the thing that you’ve always wanted to do but seemed
day chasing their inbox, not getting the thing they actually want impossible. Put the alarm clock on the other side of the room if you
to get done,” says Claire. Turn off the email alerts on your desk have to, but just do it. The quietness and peace of the early morning
top and mobile devices and instead check in every hour. “I don’t hours really lend themselves to productivity and creativity, and that
open my inbox before 12pm every day, but I have communicated positive sense of achievement stays with you all day.”
to my clients and my friends that I will not answer emails before
midday, and that is the key. People are fine with this concept once PLAN TO SUCCEED
they know where they stand, and if it is urgent people can, of
course, text me. I don’t have that sense of urgency once I wake A big thing that people overlook is the value of taking time to plan
up in the morning and it doesn’t run my day, or monopolise my your day each evening before going to bed. “One of the key things
most productive period – the morning.” If you are using email to that you need to give yourself is what I call a shutdown period at
communicate with a team for work purposes, you should think the end of the day,” says Claire. This time is should allow you to
about creating a task management environment instead. There are review your tasks from that day, the things that were completed
a lot of easy-to-use software options, which can make this happen. and those that didn’t get done, to get an idea of what your task list
is going to look like tomorrow. “You then decide what the most
MORNING GLORY important thing you need to do the next day is and prioritise that
as the first thing you will do in the morning; say for instance that
The reason Burge feels so protecive of her morning productivity report you need to write.” Then you move down your task list to
is because, she says, that’s when our brain is at its most powerful other things that might need some preparation in advance, such as
and its most creative. This is why you should do the most difficult packing the kids’ schoolbags or even your own gym bag and you
or least attractive item on your list first – the one that requires organise those. You must also remember to include time for things
most effort. And whatever that is, it should happen before you like exercise, eating well and relaxation on your task list. Never
open your email. “Checking and answering emails is the first underestimate the important of your physical wellbing and the
thing we do in the morning even though it requires the least huge part it plays in your productivity and creativity.
amount of brain power, so we are effectively dedicating the most
productive part of our day to the least important thing.” If you
have a project that you really want to get working on, think
about getting up earlier in the day to do it, rather than leaving it
What’s Your Will have ten things in progress, but case. They struggle to start doing
Time Style? nothing actually completed. work because they are constantly
researching until they get to the point
Many people think it is their THE PERFECTIONIST where they can make a decision and
personality type which makes them They really, really struggle to finish something.
seem disorganised when it comes to multitask, as they just like to do one
productivity, but in truth it is their task at a time. However, whatever THE LAST-MINUTE RACER
time style. This measures people’s they do, they do it really well and People who absolutely need a deadline
natural inclination towards how they finish it to a high level. to actually get work done. The Last-
organise their time and their day. minute Racer gets into that real peak
Educating yourself on your time style THE DETAIL DODGER performance time before the deadline,
is the first step to better productivity. They are a very high level thinker, but say for instance, the Drop and
Burge has identified five different who don’t like to get into finer details Hop will struggle with the deadline
styles – read on to see which category of how something is actually going and become stressed about it.
you might you fit into. to get done. This means that they
don’t like routine tasks and prefer to Claire is founder of Get Organised
THE DROP AND HOP delegate. Ireland (Getorganised.co) and
A person who starts something, will be speaking along with other
doesn’t finish it and moves on to THE PROCRASTINATOR keynote speakers at the IMI National
the next task, sometimes collecting One of the most misunderstood Management Conference on 9
more work along the way. They can time styles because to everyone else October, which takes place at the IMI
be found with twenty tabs open on around them they don’t seem to be Conference Centre, Sandyford Road,
their computer at the end of the day. doing anything, but that is not the Dublin. imi.ie n
OCTOBER 2014 IRISH TATLER 145
“MULTIPLE STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT
THE MORE FREQUENTLY YOU CHECK
YOUR EMAIL, THE LESS PRODUCTIVE YOU
ARE AND THE LESS HAPPY YOU ARE”
Are you a slave to your inbox? Do your email habits prohibit
productivity? It’s time to take back control of your working day.
Jocelyn K Glei wants you to kill email anxiety, avoid distractions
and get real work done.
Email can take up as much or as little of your day If you must conduct it is rarely productive to check your email first thing in
as you choose. How much time you spend on it your meaningful the morning. In fact, it’s usually counter-productive to
is really a question of self-control, which is why work in the start your day by letting other people’s demands set your
it’s crucial to devise a daily routine for checking afternoon due to priorities. Instead, devote the first 60–90 minutes of your
email and to understand the obstacles that can throw day to a task that advances your meaningful work goals.
you off course. immovable morning This way you are doing your most important and
Once you have a system in place that works with your obligations, try challenging work when your brainpower is at its peak
natural creative rhythms and sets expectations for those doing a “reboot rather than later in the day, when you’re harried and your
you work with, it becomes exponentially easier to stay energy is depleted. It also means that when you do turn
focused and execute the tasks that really matter. Here’s ritual” to clear your your attention to email, no matter what you find there
how to get started. mind before you – what fires you have to put out, what unwanted questions
Start your day with meaningful work. Despite the fact begin. Ten minutes you have to respond to – you’ve already gotten some good
that one in two people look at their email before breakfast, of meditation, a work done that day.
brisk walk around
the block, or a
power nap are all
124 IRISH TATLER NOVEMBER 2016
Don’t check your email more than two to three times a “IT’S COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE TO START
day. There are two types of emailers: Reactors, who rely YOUR DAY LETTING OTHER PEOPLE’S
on notifications and near-constant monitoring of their DEMANDS SET YOUR PRIORITIES”
inboxes to nibble away at their email throughout the day,
and batchers, who set aside specific chunks of time to power EXTRA anxiety or urgency — feel more distant and less pressing.
through their email so they can ignore it the rest of the day. CREDIT The more clear your primary work screen is, the more
Not surprisingly, batchers are significantly more effective serene your mind is.
when it comes to getting shit done, and according to recent I would also
research, they’re also less stressed. To get yourself into the recommend carving Mind the switching costs. Every time you stop doing
groove of batching, I recommend setting aside 30 to 60 out blocks of time a task you are working on to check your email, you incur
minutes in the late morning and a similar amount of time on your calendar for what researchers call a “switching cost”. Particularly if
in the mid- to late-afternoon for checking email. Depending you’re doing any kind of work that requires deep
on the volume of email you receive, you might want to add meaningful work, concentration (aka creative flow) such as writing, coding,
a third and final email processing window at the close of even if it’s just once or assembling a presentation, it typically takes at least
your workday to tie up loose ends and leave work with a a day first thing in 25 minutes to get properly back into the task after you’ve
clear conscience. the morning. If we interrupted yourself. Even worse, multiple studies have
don’t explicitly plan shown that the more frequently you check your email,
Specify blocks of time for batch processing your email to do the work that the less productive you are and the less happy you are.
and put them on your calendar. By setting aside time on matters, it tends to That’s a huge price to pay for a quick glance at
your calendar you explicitly commit to devoting a certain fall by the wayside. your inbox.
amount of energy to email. Because you have time set aside Putting something
to process your inbox, it’s easier to move forward with Be aware that willpower declines over the course of
other tasks, knowing that you’ll have time to tend to your on your calendar the day. We do not have an infinite supply of willpower.
email later. More importantly, it also requires you to commit means you are Every time you exert your willpower during your
to blocks of time when you are not checking email. committing to it. workday, you have a little bit less left over.When it comes
to email this means it becomes more difficult to resist
Treat your calendar time blocks like actual meetings. ACTIVITY the temptation to check it as the day goes on. It also
That means you show up, you start on time, and you finish becomes more challenging to make good decisions and
on time. There may not be other people present at this Map two weeks compose messages as your best self.As willpower wanes,
“meeting”, but the point is to respect your time just as you of work into your our email weaknesses loom large, and we risk giving in
would respect someone else’s at a meeting. If you’ve calendar. Include to our penchant for gossipy remarks, cutting sarcasm,
scheduled a block of time for meaningful work, give it all time blocks for dictatorial language, or a good old-fashioned flame war.
of your attention and effort. Don’t give up if it takes 10 to checking email, The good news is that once you’re aware of the rhythms
20 minutes to get in the zone, and don’t be afraid to lock doing meaningful of willpower, you can use them to your advantage: try
yourself in a conference room if necessary. Exercise the using your late-morning email block to respond to the
same discipline with your email blocks: when your scheduled work, and any messages that demand a maximum of craft and
time is up, stop checking your email and move on. This other activities, like composure and your afternoon block to reply to relatively
forces you to prioritise who you respond to and at what meetings or client mindless emails.
length – a useful skill.
calls, that are an Set expectations publicly. Once you’ve defined your
Use VIP email notifications. If you’d like to stick to essential part of email schedule, tell people about it. I cannot stress how
specific blocks of time for checking email but you have a your workday. helpful it is to openly discuss communication ground
special someone who will freak out if you don’t tend to Make sure you rules with bosses, co-workers, and clients before problems
their email within five minutes of receiving it, compromise don’t schedule arise. Ask your boss how swiftly you need to respond
by using VIP notifications. On an iPhone you can designate everything back- to their emails – within 15 minutes? 60 minutes? 24
certain people as VIPs so their emails go to a separate VIP to-back; instead, hours? Outside of work? You may be surprised by her
inbox. You can also configure your notifications to play a answer or you may be disappointed, but at least you’ll
special tone when that inbox gets a message. If you have deliberately know. Share your work practices with co-workers so
an Android phone, you can use the Gmail app to set up a build in some they understand how to best communicate with you and
similar system for notifications when messages arrive from slack time each you with them, such as asking them to email you with
pre-designated priority senders. This method helps you day so you have non-urgent questions and come to your desk with urgent
ignore your email when you need to without worrying windows to rest ones. Tell your clients upfront what kind of response
you’ll miss something crucial. and recover, deal time they can expect from you – for example, a same-day
with unexpected response on emails before 3pm while their project is
Avoid leaving your email open in the background. interruptions, or active – before they come to a different conclusion on
Research has shown that just having your email programme react to urgent their own. If you don’t want to be available on email at
open in the background of your computer screen as you situations on the fly all hours, you need to proactively set expectations with
focus on another task, even if the window is minimised, without sabotaging others and stick to them religiously.
can decrease performance. Even if your email isn’t front your routine.
and center, your brain still knows it’s there in the background You’ll also want to UNSUBSCRIBE: HOW TO
and devotes a certain amount of energy to monitoring it, account for the KILL EMAIL ANXIETY, AVOID
which takes away from your ability to truly execute the fact that willpower DISTRACTIONS AND GET REAL
task at hand. Avoid such distractions by quarantining your and focus typically WORK DONE BY JOCELYN K GLEI
email in a separate area from your main workspace. This wane as the day IS PUBLISHED BY PIATKUS IN
might mean setting up a separate monitor just for email or goes on. Scheduling PAPERBACK. AVAILABLE NOW.
checking your email only on a mobile phone or tablet. demanding tasks
Checking your email in a physically separate space can for earlier in the day
actually make your incoming messages — and any attendant and easier tasks for
later on is ideal. Try
to adhere to this
schedule for the
full two weeks, and
see if you aren’t
productive in the
work that really
matters to you.
NOVEMBER 2016 IRISH TATLER 125
If your job satIsfactIon Is at a low, It can easIly seem lIke the
workIng week Is an exercIse In surVIVal. somethIng of a guru
on posItIVIty In the workplace, Janice Haddon tells us how we
can thrIVe, not just surVIVe, at work.
We spend such a huge amount of
time in work, how we feel about them. It’s not something that we think about often, but it
it can make or break us. Our is worth taking the time.
Personal values are the standards that we set ourselves
stress levels are up so much that and provide the basis of our responses and behaviours.
stress is one of the biggest causes for sickness absence and They are the keys to our interactions on a daily basis. A
our mental wellbeing is now at the peak of concern. So match with an organisation’s culture and values is the
how do we strike the balance and get it right? key for your happiness in the environment you are in. A
We can only be truly happy in work if the culture that match and you have the potential to flourish – a mismatch
we find ourselves in fits with our personal values. If we and you have the potential to spiral downwards.
have a value of respect, for example, and end up work- Change
ing in an organisation where rudeness and bullying are
accepted, we are not going to be happy. Even if that Change impacts us all in many different ways and in all
rudeness and bullying isn’t directed at us, it will not be an areas of our lives. We all go through a cycle of emotions
environment in which we flourish. Working in an environ- when change hits us – the speed, timing and how we deal
ment that goes against our personal values will cause
with it varies from person to person.
internal conflict and, ultimately, stress.
If the changes fit with how we view ourselves and how
So how do you know if the culture fits with your
we want life to be, then we are more likely to be positive
values? First you need to start with understanding what
about it. If we haven’t chosen the change and it is some-
your values are. Make a list of your top six and prioritise
thing that doesn’t match what we thought our future
142 IRISH TATLER march 2014
RemembeR, it is not what happens to us,
but how we deal with things and how
we Respond, that defines us.
. Break bigger tasks down into manageable chunks
. Set yourself time scales for achieving things
. Be realistic – climbing Mount Everest when you
don’t have the right shoes just won’t lead to success.
But it is important to stretch yourself
. Keep the vision of what you want in clear focus
. Tell someone! When other people know about it,
it can spur you on and add to your motivation
would be, we are more likely to resist it. As well as having clarity on your goals, being successful in the
This type of situation can generate feelings of anxiety or fear workplace requires a great attitude and positive self-esteem. Ask
yourself the following questions – if you get a negative answer to
which in turn can trigger the “fight or flight” response – where any of them then set yourself some goals and make some changes
emotions are raised in a strong enough way to get us up to “fight” that you are in control of. Be honest with yourself about your
for what we want or to “flee” to a place of safety. There is also a work attitude. Are you helpful and willing to take things on, or
third response where we “freeze” and are completely unable to do are you more the kind of person who can’t be seen for dust if
anything; decision-making goes out of the window. there’s work to be done? Think also about your own levels of
positivity. No one likes to be around people all day if they behave
So, with all change, it is important to get clarity. To help you like the clouds have just fallen in.
get clarity, it is important to write down and understand:
. what is happening
. what the circumstances are There are various other ways you can control your satisfaction.
. what the impact is on you How do you dress? Are you smart and well-groomed? Scruffy
. what options you have people don’t inspire confidence and, whether we like it or not,
most people still judge a book by its cover. When you are at
Weigh up your options – look at the pros and cons of each one work, you are representing your company’s brand and if you are
and decide the best course of action to take. Then set yourself striving for success, you need to look the part.
Next, think about your communication. Practise being clear
We alone are in control of how we deal with things – take and articulate. If you mumble, it’s difficult to connect with people
responsibility for yourself and look after your health in terms of and you will soon be isolated. Put the utmost of energy into this
physical, nutritional and positive mind. and into as much of what you do as is possible. A spring in the
step alone can make you exude confidence and capability and
Remember, it is not what happens to us, but how we deal with confidence to ask the right questions. Remaining calm in a crisis
things and how we respond, that defines us. will also benefit your work capabilities while earmarking you as
someone reliable who can think clearly and resolve difficulties.
One of the most important things to remember when you want
Successful people have goals! Here is the most effective way of to thrive, not just survive, is to work hard, over-deliver and, if
ensuring you achieve yours: you don’t know something – ask! That is how we learn and grow.
. Write them down – be specific And lastly, smile! It is impossible to feel miserable if you have a
smile on your face.
Janice Haddon is a qualified coach and has a passion for
integrating performance, personal positivity and wellbeing into
the work place. A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel
and Development with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology, an MA in
Psychotherapy and an MBA from Henley Management College,
Janice is also a master practitioner in NLP, a cognitive
hypnotherapist, psychotherapy counsellor and runs a number of
businesses including Morgan Redwood. n
march 2014 IRISH TATLER 143
START The jouRNeY of GeTTING You dReAM joB BY ReVIeWING YouR ReSuMe. TAke
ThIS CANdId AdVICe fRoM Paul HicHens, LeAdING CAReeR SeCToR AuThoR ANd
PIoNeeRING CV WRITeR.
Forget about all you have ever
learned, or have ever been mistake. A top quality CV can propel you 6TPIRPASC: TICAL CV WRITING
told about CV writing. Admit- up the career ladder, whereas an average Make sure it is enticing to read
tedly this is a somewhat unusual or even good CV can see you stagnate, Make it no more than two pages,
precursor to a list of CV tips, tottering about indefinitely on the same preferably with neat single line
and especially since some of the advice old rung. If you value your career, then
already out there is good. Even so, you also need to seriously value your CV. 7bullets, rather than multiline entries.
there are solid reasons why you should Your cV Must look the part
not set your stall by traditional advice 3 honesty is the Best poliCy But don’t forget that the content
when it comes to CV writing. is even more important. You need
This doesn’t just apply to what you say to sell yourself and do it eloquently,
First of all you should be aware on your CV, it is also relevant when it
that traditional advice is effectively comes to assessing your CV, and your 8proactively and concisely.
that – traditional, sometimes painfully own CV writing abilities too. think of what the eMploYer
traditional. Most of it has been doing Ask yourself... wants to hear...
the rounds for years if not decades. ..Rather than just what you
And it is frequently at odds with the 4 ...is your CV really as
modern day world of work, and the good as it Could Be? 9want to say.
way 21st century employers think. It is trY to think of Your cV as a
ironic that while we are zooming along Does it sell all your skills to the Marketing docuMent, rather than
in a new fast-paced technology tingling maximum? Do you think your CV is what you traditionally understand
millennium, most standard CV advice better than that of your competitors? to be a ‘curriculum vitae.’ If you read
is still stuck in the dark ages. Here are If the answer to any of the above ques-
the ten steps to move your CV into the tions gives you cause for concern, then
you need to do something about it.
21st century: 5 do something aBout it! a particular point on your CV, and it
doesn’t sound like an achievement,
1 Be open to the possiBility Yes, you could just ignore the problem, then this indicates that you could
that there are Better ways and you may still get the job if you do. improve it with a bit of thought and
of writing your CV However, just be aware that every time
you apply for a job, you are effectively 10creative writing.
Just because everyone has written CVs entering a kind of competition. It’s not don’t rush Your cV. It’s
in the same manner for years, it doesn’t quite a ‘who has got the best CV wins’ the most important job
necessarily mean that there aren’t better competition, but very frequently it is a hunting tool you have. If
ways of doing it. Progress is a natural case of who has got the best CV stands it means creating numerous drafts,
form of events in most fields, but in the best chance of landing an interview. or seeking professional help to get
order to progress someone must at first There are therefore very good reasons for it right, then do it. You can get a
question the status quo, and investigate being proactive rather than passive. professional ‘CV appraisal’ free of
the possibility of more effective alterna- charge.
tives. That hasn’t really happened, until
now that is...
2 understand the Paul Hichens is head of top CV firm CVSucceed.co.uk and is a leading CV consultant.
importanCe of your CV His new book The One Page CV is published by Pearson Education, and is available
via Amazon and in good bookshops. If you would like Paul or one of his team to assess
Many people underestimate the impor- your CV free of charge, then you can do so via CVsucceed.co.uk.
tance of their CV, and this is a huge
100 IRISH TATLER february 2014