How to be a productivity ninja

Written by on August 17, 2013 in Body & Mind, Wellbeing - Comments Off on How to be a productivity ninja

Ninja_zen_calmnessEver feel like you’re drowning in paperwork? Or feel like you have a never-ending task list? If you’re a creative and innovative person (which I like to think I am) and your workload is leaving you hardly any time to be imaginative and pioneering, this can be really disheartening.

Recently, a colleague of mine expressed that she had come across a refreshing new outlook on how to balance and prioritise your workload. She suggested that I should read Graham Allcott’s ‘How to be a productivity ninja’. At first, I was dubious, often self help books are the product of a mid-life crisis or the padding of a charity shop bookshelf. I instantly pictured a scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary whereby she bins her self-loathing books and refreshes her bookshelf with books like ‘How to get you want’. However, with my to-do list beginning to look more like a list in a phone book, I decided to give in and allow myself to be inspired.

To my surprise, Allcott’s book was a revitalising. It is as though it could have been written by you or one of your colleagues, by a guy who completely understands work-life balance and that in today’s society this is something that needs to be regained.

agilityninjaThe great thing about this book is that it’s not all fluff. Allcott offers actual solutions to problems. Some of my favourite suggestions are the idea that you should get your inbox down to zero. These three email folders – @Action @Read @Waiting can help you with taking action. Another, suggestion is that breaks and lunch breaks can actually make you more productive; ‘lunch is not for wimps’.

Allcott emphasises that as soon as you accept that your task list is an ongoing project, and it is not something to be completed at the end of each day, you will start to feel less stressed and anxious every time you look at it. Allcott warns that you shouldn’t become bogged down in ‘productivity porn’; systems that claim to help with your workload but actually act a procrastination tool. However, you should recognise that, by keeping your task list digital (Trello is my favourite online to-do tool) it is easier to keep track of. The use of such products will make you a ‘weapon-savvy ninja’.

Allcott, adopts the ninja persona to demonstrate that zen-like calm, ruthlessness and stealth and camouflage (hiding yourself away to get large projects done) and unorthodoxy, to name but a few of the stages, are all conducive to a productive and skilful environment.

633185551314398984The chapter I most enjoyed was; ‘The Lizard Brain’. An idea adopted from Seth Godin’s book Linchpin. A Lizard blends into their surrounding for fear of predators. In this chapter, Allcott challenges us not to be a lizard. He recognises that some rules are in place for a very good reason but many rules are waiting to be challenged. If you have an idea that will break rules for the greater good then suggest it!

All in all, Alcott’s book is a great way to challenge the way you currently do things. You can even use some of the initiatives in your personal life. So, don your imaginary ninja mask and regain control, productivity and originality.

About the Author

Christina Latham

Christina is one of our original writers who helped with the launch of allmygoodness. She has a love for finding vintage treasures and organic products in unexpected, undiscovered places. She has previously worked as a journalist for CD News at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy and Bader TV News in Berlin. She also writes freelance articles for Fitzrovia News and BetaTwentyOne. Follow her on Twitter @ChristinaLatha