Productivity 101

How to personally be more productive – it’s a topic of interest that executives keenly pursue as they strive to excel in their profession as well as outperform their competition. Paul J. Meyer, author and founder of Success Motivation Institute wrote, “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” Here, we share the insights of five area executives.

Gina Crumbliss
Senior Vice President, First Bank

Scheduling! Like most people, I have diverse yet concurrent projects that require me to multitask. To stay on top of these dueling priorities, I keep a master list of to-do items categorized by topic/subject and list high-priority items within each by their due dates. Keeping an electronic “tickler file” with programmed reminders also keeps me on point. I try to keep Mondays and Fridays free of routine appointments in anticipation of impromptu opportunities that invariably arise.

Diana Bullock
Economic Development and Government Relations, EPB
I like to start early and use the time before others arrive to focus on work that requires my undivided attention. Too often, people think productivity and multi-tasking are the same thing. I find that thoroughly completing a project that really makes a strategic difference is better than juggling lots of tasks and either not completing them or not giving them the focus they require.

Joe Johnson
President, The Johnson Group
I like starting my day with exercise so when I arrive at the agency, I already feel energized and productive. Using a stand-up desk helps me maintain that alert, productive feeling. Then I work from a prioritized list so the day doesn’t run me. And finally, I’m a big proponent of using a whiteboard in meetings because it enhances brainstorming and keeps everyone
focused on the topic.

Steve Hunt
Managing Partner, Berry and Hunt
The single best thing that helps me to get the most out of my work day is the people that I work with. I am surrounded by talented, intelligent, hard-working colleagues, which allows me to get the most out of my day. I generally wake up around 4:00 to 4:30 most mornings. Getting started on my “To-Do” list in the quiet morning hours is a key component of my work day. In the evenings on the drive home, I have a conversation with Siri on my iPhone. We make a “Didn’t Do” list for that day which is the start of tomorrow’s To-Do list.

MaryStewart Lewis
Regional Director, AT&T Tennessee
I’m a proverbial list-maker, so I always like to start the day thinking about what the most important things are and making a list. On a personal note, I use an interactive calendar to keep my family on the same page. Instead of having to tell grandparents, babysitters, kids, and my husband when we have baseball games or family functions, they can all check the calendar and know what’s going on. With technology, it can run us or we can run it. I try to find the smartest way to utilize it for the best good.

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