Top of Mind: 6 Ways to Stay Productive Under Pressure
It’s always about the result. I have disciplined myself to make choices regardless of how I feel about the situation, so I simply choose what has the greatest impact and do that.
—Kat Loterzo, director, Kat Loterzo
I prioritize by answering the question: What is the next most powerful thing to move my team, my clients, myself and my business forward? I envision each project as a set of actions. The only way toward the completion of any important project is by accomplishing every single task involved, and the most meaningful thing you can do at any time is think through, complete or delegate the next task on the list.
—Christine Renaud, CEO, E-180
I make a list. The most important items to complete are at the top. I love putting big check marks as I complete each task. It helps me visualize that things are actually happening.
—Laura Hall, co-founder, For Love & Lemons
I focus on one thing at a time and try to knock out the biggest issues or tasks first. Once one problem gets solved, move on to the next.
—Justin McGill, CEO, LeadFuze
I find it’s easiest to start my day by identifying what absolutely needs to get done today, and then I do the hardest thing first. After that, I focus on the important but not urgent tasks, like recruiting. I’m with Eisenhower on this one: “There are urgent problems and important problems—the urgent are never important, and the important are never urgent.”
—Corbett Drummey, CEO, Popular Pays
On a typical day I use a calendar and a to-do list to get my priorities straight. In the event of a high pressure environment, I toss my to-do list routine aside and go into “emergency” mode. I originally experienced this in my first job as a food server at a hotel, which was next to a Formula One circuit. During the race week, instead of serving 40 people for breakfast, we had to serve 200. It was crazy, but my teammate and I did it. We kept the grand picture in mind, tapped into our inner reserves, and then just “went with the flow.” I have learned how to summon this modus operandi when needed.
—Hanna Adeyema, co-founder, COO, Tenacity
This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.