Ever noticed that the busiest days at work are the ones where procrastination is most tempting? We still can’t put our finger on why that is, but staying productive and engaged during office hours can feel like a full-time job. That’s why we continue to be inspired by the successful CEOs and entrepreneurs who seemed to have cracked the code to a productive, distraction-free work day.
We know Tina Craig to be one of those leaders. Craig started Bag Snob, an online destination for the bag obsessed, back in 2005, and she’s since built a six-category-strong digital empire, Snob Essentials; designed a vegan-only handbag line for HSN.com; and launched a jewelry capsule collection with a renowned Parisian jeweler. Needless to say, this CEO’s days are only getting busier, but that doesn’t stop her from standing on the front line with her team.
“Every good CEO remembers what it’s like,” Craig tells us. “You shouldn't ask anyone to do something you don’t know how to do yourself. Time management is key. It’s all about taking advantage of the small things that make time work in your favor.” Craig’s 20-plus-year career has taught her volumes about how work performance has more to do with the habits you establish at the onset of your career that can ensure success at every stage.
Here, she shares her tried-and-true productivity tips.
Turn off your phone in meetings
The temptation to idly check your texts and emails during a meeting is all too real. Craig says, “If you need to check on the time, remember, that’s what watches are for. You can glance quickly at your wrist without having to tap the screen or get distracted.” Craig relies on her TAG Heuer LINK Lady timepiece.
Limit time on social media
We’re living and working in a digital age that has us dependent on social media, and it’s so easy become a slave to the scroll, especially in the form of double-taps, likes, and emoji. They not only take over your entire day but also jeopardize the quality of the work you put out. So Craig recommends that you “turn all your social media notifications off, so that you’re not tempted to open an app when something pops up—and then get lost in a wormhole by scrolling over posts for hours throughout the day.”
Set aside time to check emails
“I’ll glance at emails every 30 minutes when I’m between meetings. This way responses are returned on time but you’re not a slave to your inbox,” advises Craig. Carving out a schedule that works for you is a surefire way to stay efficient and not have unread messages hanging over your head.
Lose the acronyms
When it comes to sending formal business emails, keep it strictly professional and get to the point. Nixing social messaging acronyms from your 9-to-5 vocabulary can work in your favor with the people you’re relying on or doing business with. “For example, when people send me a routine business request or a press pitch and end their email in LMK instead of ‘Please let me know,’ I will most likely not comply. Save the LOL and TTYL for texting your BFF,” Craig explains.
Work in 30-minute Intervals
According to Craig, keeping your meetings to a maximum of 30 minutes prevents “your whole day from falling off schedule.” A similar approach is exercised over emails as well. “I’ll generally answer emails with less than three lines the first go-around. Keep them short, concise, and straight to the point. Trust me, the recipient will appreciate it,” Craig adds.
What productivity tips have you learned from your boss? Share them with us in the comments below.