With the Christmas party season well and truly in full swing the "burning the candle effect" is beginning to take it's toll. Now more than ever optimising your working day is essential so you can take advantage of the Christmas lunches (and early pub drinks) without drastically falling behind on your workload. In fact a study published several months ago revealed that most employees average 2 hours and 53 minutes of work in their 8 hour working day! Seriously? That means the majority of us are at work for 5 hours A DAY not actually doing any productive work. So how do you jump ahead from your colleagues and make your day successful?
As a female founder I have recently joined the Allbright Academy - a collective set up to give female founders the skills and confidence to build their business' in a world dominated by men. Being surrounded by some incredible women inspired me to tap into their top tips on how to make every day successful.
These are their words of wisdom... so take them on board, and enjoy the Christmas festivities whilst being effortlessly successful.
PIPPA MURRAY. FOUNDER - PIP & NUT.
Pippa Murray is pretty much the poster story for how to be seriously successful in very short space of time. She set up Pip & Nut 5 years ago, selling the delicious nut butters at farmers markets, and now, just a few years later she has won countless entrepreneurial awards and her products are stocked in Sainsbury's, Ocado and Selfridges. This is one of her tips on how to achieve it.
"We live and work in such a distracting world that sometimes it can be difficult to stay focused on a task; after just one interruption it can take up to twenty minutes to get your head back into whatever you were doing. It sounds so simple but one small change that I made a while ago was to turn off all push notification on my phone. It has made a huge difference and keeps me focused on the task at hand."
DEBBIE WOSKKOW, SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR & CO-FOUNDER OF THE ALLBRIGHT ACADEMY
Debbie set up her first company at 15 selling scrunchies and since then has set up an international PR firm and more recently Love Home Swap, the world's leading home sharing platform. She is also one of the co-founders of the Allbright academy. These are her tips on making success happen every day.
"First, you need to find an outlet for your stress. Mine has always been exercise – I’m not really a yoga person; I like to punch things. My routine is to wake up early and let off some steam. Secondly, you need to have a thick skin – a rhino hide, in fact. My experience with some female founders is that we can get very distracted by wanting to be liked by what’s not worth it. You have to work hard, stick at it and stay graceful under pressure."
LUCY COOKE, AUTHOR & AWARD WINNING DOCUMENTARY MAKER
Lucy Cooke is a TV presenter, New York times best selling author, award winning documentary maker and Cambridge educated zoologist. Not a bad intro I think you'll agree. This year Lucy published her latest book - The Unexpected Truth about Animals. A book which Bill Bryson described as 'Eye-opening, informative and very funny!' - and THE Richard Dawkins said it was 'Well-informed and downright funny'. Basically a gold award for endorsement. These are her methods of success...
"First and foremost I think the essential ingredient for success is to do something you are passionate about. If you love what you do then you have no problem devoting so much of your time, focussing intently and going the extra mile for it. Success generally takes a lot of work, so you need to be happy doing what you do. The love you have will be infectious and fuel your business. It is also important I think to make sure that you take time out, away from your mission to switch off. Even facing the worst deadlines, try and make space for a walk in the park - it is always in these moments of 'downtime" that I have my most creative ideas."
SALLY SPENCELEY JONES - HR DIRECTOR BRUNSWICK GROUP
Sally Spenceley Jones is the HR director for the Internationally award winning Financial PR agency Brunswick and she also has an MSC in Organisational Behaviour from Birkbeck specialising in the psychology of productivity at work, so she knows a thing or two about managing workload.
"My top tip for productivity - strong coffee and breakfast are essential. I just don't think you can function efficiently without fuel in the tank. My approach is to identify 3 things I want to achieve each day and try to stick to this as much as possible whilst keeping flexible for changing priorities. I also keep longer weekly and monthly lists. Chatting to different people and sharing as much as possible also really helps my thinking and brings fresh ideas when I've run out of steam. If all else fails - I find taking a walk really improves my productivity. Lots of studies have shown a link between creativity and exercise. I always come up with better solutions to problems when I'm moving."
ANNA JONES, FORMER CEO OF HEARST MEDIA, AND CO-FOUNDER OF ALLBRIGHT.
Anna Jones is the other co-founder at Allbright Academy along with Debbie and previously was the CEO of Hearst Magazines, not just one magazine but the entire middle shelf no less. And not to sit on her laurels she has also launched ShareStyle. A treatment app which means you can save time on ShareStyle. These are her tips...
"Try and start each day with a fresh perspective. Even in the toughest times each day offers the chance to look at your challenges in a new light. Take action (i love the saying ‘swallow the frog’) it means don’t ignore problems, tackle the biggest ones first. Also, know your numbers. You have to be able to tell your story clearly, but numbers help you tell it better. So many people get distracted with a concept or a narrative, but numbers are the lifeblood of business."
Sara Milne Rowe is one of the UK’s leading performance coaches, she founded her award-winning company Coaching Impact in 2008 and works with a variety of organisations throughout the UK and across the world. She has just written her first book "The Shed Method: How To Make Better Choices When It Matters" which focuses on daily success and how to build a framework for habits that lead to achievement.
These are her tips:
"Getting my heartbeat going is key. This could be going for a short run round the block if there’s time, half a dozen press-ups or simply walking up the escalators on the way to work. Even having a short, cold shower. These all have an instant rallying effect for me and get me energised for the day ahead. I have learnt that spending time in the previous week identifying the next week’s moments that really matter to me and my business, allows me to conserve my energy and be really clear about where to pay attention that day."
All the books are available at all good websites and if you are interested in finding more about Allbright click here for their website.
Enjoy work and the festivities.