In this episode of The Grown-Up Girls Report Podcast, Alex chats with Julie Jones, a ‘Productivity Ninja’ from Think Productive about how we can work smarter, worry less and love what we do even more!

Julie is not about doing more or working harder rather about getting balance and a sense of wellbeing in our lives so we can focus on the right things. She teaches how to manage overwhelm and think clearly with the aim of having playful productive momentum in our day. Sounds fabulous, doesn’t it?

Julie Jones aka Productivity Ninja

About Julie Jones

Julie has a background in corporate marketing. A self-confessed ‘A type’ personality, Julie spent the bulk of her working life juggling high-level executive jobs, kids and family and going hard. But after 2 bouts of cancer, Julie learnt that working smarter was the key to getting real balance. She is now all about helping people find balance in her role with Think Productive, an organisation dedicated to helping people work smarter.

The Ninja Mindset

Julie shared a few key aspects of the Ninja Mindset:

Boss Thinking. In the Ninja mindset, there are two different types of thinking: Boss Mode and Worker Mode. First up, every day, try spending 5 to 10 minutes doing some Boss Thinking, ideally in the morning, to plan your goals and tasks for the day. You should also allocate time for these tasks too (this will be your Worker Mode). Then choose your top 5 things to do today to reduce overwhelm. Worker Mode is when we ‘go dark’ to get the actual work done – try the Pomodoro technique – 25-minute bursts of focused work with 5-minute breaks in between. After 4 of these, take a longer break. Julie suggests using the Forest App to help control your time here. During your 5-minute break, make a tea or go to the bathroom. It might take some practice!

Attention Management. Scheduling your hardest tasks when you are at your most productive will reap big rewards too. Identify when you are at your best? School and uni students will often say from evening into the wee hours. Julie acknowledges she is a morning person. She can get up at 6 and have her whole day done by midday. Don’t schedule hard work for afternoons if that’s your energy low point. Also think about weekly energy – if you’re out of steam by Friday then plan your week accordingly.

Women and Productivity

Men’s brains are wired to be very single-minded while women tend to be wired to flex and do a lot more juggling, which means we are more likely to feel overwhelmed!

Julie’s tip to manage overwhelm – do a brain dump. Write everything that is going on in your head on small pieces of paper, one thing on each piece – a Post-It note is perfect. You are essentially getting your brain down on a page. You will then be able to sort through the tasks and identify what the most important things to focus on not just the noisy, shouty stuff. You can also create links between tasks and work out a logical way to approach the tasks. Then put everything into your 2nd brain – your diary – either paper or electronic. Your brain was not designed for storage rather for problem solving. Then you can breathe!

Doing Something You Love

A happy life is all about balance. Julie is a big believer in finding something you love and ensuring you make time for it every week. It will energise you and help foster your creativity. Make sure you have something on your list EVERY week that you love to supercharge your productivity and sense of wellbeing.

A Special Offer for Listeners of the Podcast

Julie and the very generous team at Think Productive are offering listeners of the podcast some additional opportunities to learn more about productivity. They include:

  1. Productivity Ninja Academy sign up – which includes a free downloadable of the complete How to be a Productivity Ninja book – Click on this link
  2. The Productivity Ninja Guide to Flexible Working pdf –    
  3. And, very excitedly, a free Flexible Working workshop for listeners of The Grown-Up Girls Report podcast on Thursday 9 July at 9am for 1 hour. Click here to register.

You can listen to Alex’s full chat with Julie on your favourite podcast app, or on the link below. Happy listening!

Alex xx