What’s slowing you down probably isn’t a huge procedural issue, but a bunch of small, anti-productive habits that add up over the course of your day. Fixing small challenges can have a big impact on your day.


Respect the 2-minute rule:

Think about the important piece of paper that you shuffle from one side of your desk to the other instead of dealing with it immediately. Then, two days later, you find yourself picking it up again.


This is where the 2-minute rule comes in. Many of our immediate responses are to shuffle rather than to just act. Break the habit and just act – take 5 seconds to assess whether something will take you less than 2 minutes to do. If it passes the test, DO IT IMMEDIATELY!


Look at the emails sitting in your inbox from last week. Take 5 of them, and, with each one, determine whether you can act within 2 minutes. If you can, do it immediately. If you cannot, wait till later. Always remember, nobody will hold it against you if your reply is shorter than usual. The main thing is to reply and get it done.



sunflowers in the field in summer

sunflowers in the field in summer

Check your e-mail on the go:

No, don’t check your emails while driving, but when you have a few minutes here and there during the day, when you’re waiting in line at the coffee shop, waiting for your next appointment to arrive and so on.


The underlying and most important thing about checking email on the go is that you make your “desk time” sacred. This is when you get real work done. Often, emails are not “real work”. Reply, forward, archive and delete from your phone. If a message requires more, you can save it for “desk time”, then you’ll have a much smaller pile that actually requires your attention than your typical overwhelming unopened inbox.


  • Don’t check your email from your computer today (yes, I know, you can’t help refreshing that screen as you’re reading this now).
  • Set aside tomorrow morning to answer any email from today that require more than what you could type or do on your phone.



Having 24 hours in a day is something we all have in common. This means that we all have the same amount of time each day whether we are a homeless person on the street or Raymond Ackerman or Donald Trump.


A scary thought for me is that where I am in my life today, is a direct result of how I have been spending my 24 hours each and every single day, up to this point. Doesn’t that scare you?


Is your business thriving the way it should? If not, maybe you’ve not been putting enough hours into the correct activities. Please note: I did not say that you’re not putting in enough hours, I said not enough hours of the CORRECT ACTIVITIES. How can successful people like you get more hours in a day?


You need to become very good at saying NO! (and mean it every time you say it).


I’m going to give you three reasons why saying NO can make you more successful:




  1. Feed your own family first

If you’re anything like me, my family is the most important part of my life and spending time with them is not negotiable. My priorities in life are in the following order:

  • My family
  • Myself
  • Business
  • Friends

My family always comes first. There is nothing in the world I would not do for my family.

Next on the list is myself – I need to care enough about myself to ensure that I’m healthy, happy and living a good life.

Next, is my business. Why is this more important than my friends? Well, because of my family and myself. The success of my business depends entirely on me and the amount of time and effort I put into it – partying and having a good time with friends is not going to keep a roof over my head.


  1. By saying yes, you are saying NO to something else

Are you always agreeing to do things just because you’re too scared to hurt someone else’s feelings? Are you a people pleaser? Are you scared of what others might think of you if you just said NO?




Today is the day when you will take a bold step, make the change and JUST SAY NO! Why? Because you have probably been putting other people before yourself most of your life (like me). You deserve better. When you say yes to something, you are actually saying NO to something else.


How many times have you said yes to something (helping a friend during business hours, chatting on the phone about a rugby match, or, if you’re a female, talking about girly or mommy stuff) when you should be working on your business?


2013-07-02 14.26.26


  1. If you give them a finger, they will take the whole hand – have you ever heard this expression?

I don’t know about you but I’ve often experienced how selfish many people are and how often they take advantage of good-hearted people like you and I. Being the “go to girl/guy” is great, but does it bring in the money you need to keep a roof over your head?


I’ve loved being the “go to girl” all my life but the minute I hint that I’m going to start charging for my services, everyone runs a mile – just goes to show. I’ve built up a reputation of being the “go to girl” who almost always says yes to weird and awkward requests that no one else will help out with (not even their own family).  I’ve said yes too many times because I did not want to be the bad girl to say NO.


I’ve made a decision to push myself out of my comfort zone and started saying NO. How about you?


Now is the time to finally take your life back and stop living for other people.


Disclaimer: I just need to say that I don’t mean you should say NO to everything that comes your way. I just mean that you should become a lot more conscious of what you are actually saying YES to. You should be saying YES to requests as long as they don’t interfere with your list of priorities.


For example: a friend phones during business hours to chat about last night’s rugby game – do you chat or say “sorry, I’m just in the middle of something, can I call you back tonight?” and continue working on your business or do you spend an hour or more talking about THE GAME when you could have been earning money?




Always think about your priorities –

A before B, before C, before D, before E.


Get the point?


Successful people share and are generous, but seldom with their time. Why? Because they also only have 24 hours. They are more likely to donate to charity than give a random person a free one-on-one meeting. Why? Because although they have lots of money, they still only have 24 hours in a day.


Where do you find it difficult to say NO?


Drop me a note and let me know.

Have you tried problem solving through discussion, brainstorming and a whole lot of creating with your hands? Well, then you need to try what is called Rapid Prototyping.

Think about a challenge you are currently dealing with at work or at home. Then follow the steps below to start coming up with incredible solutions – while having fun.

What’s the purpose of doing this?
Rapid Prototyping forces you to start generating ideas to problems you’re stuck on. The aim of building a physical prototype isn’t so much to get an accurate representation of the solution, but rather to force you to get off your computer and work with your hands (which can help you see things from a different perspective and get away from the distractions of your everyday work) and give you something to work with when you’re trying to explain your solution to others.

How to prepare:
You don’t need much to get started. All you need is to have a problem in your mind that needs to be solved. For materials, you could go to a craft store to get some supplies or you could work with whatever you have lying around. You would need items like modelling clay, paper clips, chopsticks etc, however, the less materials you have, the more creative you will be forced to be.

Gather a few things from around the office – sticky notes, scissors, coloured paper, tape, paper clips etc but don’t feel like you have to have a whole lot of supplies.

Although you can do Rapid Prototyping alone, it’s a lot more fun (and easier to generate better ideas) with another person or a team so see if your co-workers are willing to join you.

You need to set up a few ground rules: the most important rule is to stop your technology from distracting you. The easiest would be not to allow any phones, tablets, laptops etc in the room. You could put your phone on silent and put it on a table in the corner, provided you are disciplined enough to ignore it when it “rings”.

Next, you need to grab a timer and stick to the allotted times for each step of the activity. By compressing time, you actually get better ideas, faster.

Here’s the process you need to follow:

Step 1: Immersion: Time = 5 minutes
Start by reviewing all the information you have about the problem you need to solve and make notes (on the sticky notes so you can work with them later). Where are you now? What do you know about what people want or what could be improved? What are other people doing that you like?

If it’s not something you feel you have a ton of personal experience with, you could sneak a phone or computer into the room (for this step only) and quickly scan any research that has already been done in the area, such as user surveys or articles reporting on data on the subject you’re discussing.

Step 2: Insights: Time = 5 minutes
Now take all your sticky notes and look for connections within them. Are there common threads that stand out? Are there any ideas you could group together into a bigger concept? What surprising things stand out to you?

Can you see why it’s useful to write on sticky notes? You can move and group similar ideas to help you draw those connections.

Step 3: Strategy: Time = 10 minutes
Now, with all this information you have, it’s time to brainstorm ways to address your problem. You want to come up with many ideas, and not be held back by anything that sounds “too crazy”.

Depending on the size of the original question you started with, you may need to hone it in a little at this point.

Step 4: Design: Time = 10 minutes
Now, pick one of the strategies you find most interesting and build a prototype of it. Depending on what you’re working on, prototypes can take a lot of different forms: a storyboard, a paper prototype or a physical sculpture.

The prototype you create does not need to be perfect or functional. It just needs to tell the story of your solution in a way that’s quick and easy for people to understand and that allows you to start seeing how your solution could play out in reality.

The result:
Will the solution and design you come up with during this activity be the final answer to your problem? Probably not, but you will definitely have started to generate ideas, and you’ll have a solid jumping off point to build on. It’s not about what you’re building, but about what happens afterwards.

Take the prototype you’ve created, and think about ways it could be improved or added to. Take it to your team (your manager, boss, wife, significant other) and get their thoughts and ideas. Go through this activity again to come up with more solutions until you feel yourself getting closer to the result you want.

Just doing this activity will help you get closer to your solution. It will force you to start coming up with ideas and open your mind to more creative ones.

What problem has this helped you solve?

Let me know at #PriorityAdminDiva