White & Lime had a fabulous time presenting at Karen Millen in Canary Wharf this month. Not only did we get to talk to an inspiring group of professional women, we also got to shop beautifully cut tailoring from the Karen Millen A/W 2015 Collection. The cocktails were flowing as guests enjoyed manicures from LeSalon and skin pampering courtesy of Balance Me. I was asked to talk about Clear Head Coaching: Read on to discover our three top tips on how to boost concentration, stay focused and up your productivity levels at work.
1. Pay attention to your state
When I’m under pressure, I focus hard. I become glued to my seat, enjoying the feel of relentless productivity. But then, gradually and subtly, my state changes. Research shows that the brain works best in 90 minute bursts. I know that I’ll get a better outcome from the day if I remember to stop every 90 minutes and take a quick break. But sometimes when I feel overwhelmed, I tell myself that there’s no time to take a break and this is when I end up frazzled. I become tired, irritable and start to blame the world around me.
It is important to get into the habit of regularly pausing to take note of our mental and physical state. When we pay attention to the state we’re in, when we are mindful, we listen to the wisdom of the body and we take responsibility for our own wellbeing. It can be powerful to get into the habit of asking ourselves ‘What’s my stress number on a scale of 1-10?’ and ‘What do I need?’
2. Prioritise wisely
We all fall into the trap of prioritising according to who is screaming the loudest. The urgent stuff comes with an adrenaline rush and we get a buzz from all the rushing around. The danger of this is that we fail to differentiate between the things that are urgent, and those that are important.
Important work is that which will have the greatest impact on our key goals. In the heat of the moment, when adrenalin is pumping, it’s easy to lose our judgment about this. If we don’t step back and question what’s really going to have the greatest impact, we get lost in the tsunami of distraction that is 21st century corporate life.
3. Do one thing at a time
Multi-tasking is the biggest myth of our time. It dilutes the quality of our work and makes us tired. If you want to boost productivity you are better off focusing on one task at a time. Read more about why multitasking is a draining and destructive habit here.
It is always rewarding to open up space for conversation at the end of a session. So what do high-flying city women really want to know? Even women at the top sometimes struggle with saying no. As women we are brought up to want to please, but obviously it is impossible to be able to please everyone all the time. Two main questions echoed throughout the group: 1. How can I say no without seeming incompetent or unable to cope? 2. How can I say no without sounding harsh? This leads on nicely to one of our next topics, the art of saying no. Watch this space.