Productivity tips to power your day

They say time and tide wait for no man.

Time is a precious resource which is stretched thin for many working adults due to the barrage of deadlines faced daily. So how do we maximise the time at hand? How can we remove unnecessary time wasters and tackle the task in front of us? 

We spoke to some of the top industry experts to share more on how they stay productive….

Getting Rid of Clutter 

For Timothy Johnson, INTI International University’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Products & Partnerships, preparing a list of priority tasks and ticking them off as you go is essential so that you don’t miss out on priority items. His other tip is to start off any job with a clean table. 

“I find that when your table is filled with a lot of paper /notes, one gets distracted easily. A messy table is non-productive, so regular cleaning of the work desk is crucial to avoid distractions,” he shared. 

Managing technology 

“My phone is mostly on silent mode. This ensures mindfulness in whatever I do, and helps me be more creative and productive,” Entropia’s Founder Prashant Kumar shared.

His relationship with his phone plays an important role on how he manages his time, “I try to minimise the number of apps in my phone.” He says that this helps him to keep distraction to a minimum. 

Prashant also has an innovative new way of staying productive during those long brainstorm sessions. 

He finds it more effective to take photos of things that he wants to remember during meetings, rather than taking notes. 

“I no longer take notes at meetings, just photos of things which I find to be important. These photos can also be easily shared with others.” 

If you think all the productivity tips from this digitally savvy man is online based, think again, to save time Prashant prints out his documents to read in the car. This method helps him to focus on meetings and brainstorms when he is in the office.

Going back to basics 

Ensemble Executive Creative Director Chan Woei Hern’s top productivity app: a pen and an A3 layout pad. Check out his tips on how he stays on top of his game:

1. Take naps. 

2. Be brutal about time allocated to work on stuff. 

3. Try not to attend more than one client meeting a day. 

4. The best app is still a pen and an A3 layout pad. 

5. Spend alone time before you do brainstorm time. 

6. Play. 

7. This book- ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counter-intuitive Approach to Living a Good Life’ 

Explore new productivity tools

As forward thinking as his radio station, BFM’s Chief Executive Officer Malek Ali is never afraid to try something new, “I’ve used so many notebooks to record notes in the past, but I find that they did not function beyond being a repository of notes (I guess that’s why they’re called notebooks!). 

The bullet journal, on the other hand, is something I use for calendaring, note taking, to-do lists, ideas repository that can easily be retrieved in the future.” 

“But the biggest time sink for me today is calendaring, have not been able to solve that one yet (start-up culture also does not allow for a perk like a personal assistant) but I have been given an AI software to try out,” he said.

Malek’s usage of ride-sharing apps, Grab and Uber is a key function in how he maximises his time. 

‘I used to drive, and I would have to clear about 60 emails in my inbox by the time I get home most evenings, which usually means about 1.5 hours of work before I go to bed. But with Grab and Uber, I can clear my emails in between journeys, so I can just chill when I get home.”

Effective project management

Apart from focusing on personal productivity, a key to better time management is working effectively as a team. One way of how AirAsia’s regional head of branding, Rudy Khaw does this is by using apps like Trello or Slack.

“Apps such as Trello and Slack tend to help with tracking the progress of projects within teams and also across teams when there’s a larger involvement. Trello especially from a checklist point of view, and Slack for discussions and a quick check on things,” he said. 

He also says Google Drive can help increase one’s productivity, as it’s good for collaboration, simple, easy to access, easy to simultaneously update and boosts efficiencies.

“Apps aside, though, it’s always best to work based on something the individual or the team is comfortable using. If the team isn’t used to it and is uncomfortable with the process, then it’s a waste of time implementing the use of a new app.”

“Sometimes, the most efficient is a good old pen and paper checklist and actual communication. Human interaction beats apps anytime.”


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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

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APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
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