This month I chose to read Ivanka Trump’s Women Who Work: Rewriting The Rules For Success! It was a great read and really inspired me to put together a post all about my strategies for staying productive at the office throughout the day (and even throughout the week).
The President’s elder daughter is an excellent role model for women of all ages. As a successful businesswoman, entrepreneur and a mom to three young kids, Ivanka inspires many young professionals–especially women–all over the globe.
I read her first book The Trump Card a couple years ago, and was so excited when she debuted this one a number of months back. To this day I still keep a lot of what Ivanka has to say in mind, both on and off the job.
Write it down: Before I start anything work-related, I make sure to write it down. This is how I start any and every assignment or project because it really helps me to organize my thoughts. Plus, it’s great to have a physical record of everything tucked away safely in a notebook.
I also keep track of everything with the help of a weekly/monthly planner! Writing down my daily goals and plans really helps me stay on-track.
Organize your space: My ability to concentrate is severely diminished by a messy workspace. Whether I’m at home or at the office, I always keep everything in its spot.
Several times a day, I will take a few minutes to tidy up my space. This technique is definitely more effective than letting the space get super-messy and having to spend a half hour at a time getting all my things organized again.
Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water isn’t so much a rule for the office as it is a rule for life in general! I feel unstoppable when I am hydrated, and that is essential because I go from task to task often throughout the day. To stay alert and keep from crashing during the afternoon, I always carry a reusable water bottle with me, which brings me to my next piece of advice…
Ditch coffee: I’ve never been a coffee drinker. Instead, I go for green tea or other healthier forms of caffeine and energy. This helps me avoid distracting jitters while working, as well as crashing before the job is done.
Dress comfortably: Looking polished doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort! There are so many timeless, gorgeous and–most of all–comfortable pieces on the market today. Recent trends and changes in style have also made it acceptable to wear comfier, more casual pieces as part of your everyday wardrobe. (Meaning certain sneakers look fashionable, as do baggy sweaters and slacks.)
At work, I tend to go for simple, relaxed pieces. Then, I add a few statement-making accessories or fun makeup to dress things up. I find that I am my most productive when my outfits are tidy and I am not distracted by how uncomfortable I feel. My go-to combos are high-rise cigarette jeans and a fitted t-shirt, or ankle-length slacks and a chunky knit sweater.
Take time away from screens: Even if tech helps you get the job done, don’t be afraid to step away from your phone, tablet and/or laptop/desktop during the day! As a PR professional, these digital tools play a huge factor in the work I do, but I understand that to be my most productive, I need to take regular breaks from them.
A few times per day, I’ll turn my computer to “sleep” mode, put my phone in a drawer, and do some work behind the camera or in a notebook. This always leaves me feeling refreshed and productive. I am definitely very lucky to have a dynamic career that allows me to be on my feet often, talking with clients and co-workers, and observing the daily operations of the company.
Collect inspo: This is especially important for those of you who, like me, work in a creative field. At work and at home, I love to keep tons of magazines and books for reference–I’ll even pull out the pages that really catch my eye and hang them on my bulletin board.
Collecting inspiration this way is great because it’s affordable and easy to change as needed. Plus, you have direct access to it throughout the day (and it is another productive activity that doesn’t involve screens)!