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Must-Know Productivity Hacks From One Of Australia’s Busiest Entrepreneurs

The General Manager of new co-working space Kafnu and owner of Bondi café bRU shares his top tips for working more efficiently.

Simon Hall knows a few things about enhancing work productivity.

The Sydney-based entrepreneur has over 30 years’ experience in business management, is the owner of popular Bondi café bRU, and is the General Manager of Australia’s first-ever co-working space-slash-hotel Kafnu Alexandria.

“I think being a General Manager of any business requires you to wear multiple hats,” says Hall.

productivity hacks

With over 30 years’ experience in business management, Simon Hall knows a thing or two about work productivity. Image: supplied

“We need to be across all areas of the business to ensure we can provide guidance and support to the team. Juggling multiple tasks such as staff recruitment, marketing operators, sales, and even just general maintenance can be a task, so it’s important to have procedures in place to stay on top of everything.”

The new Kafnu Alexandria is a reflection of what Hall has learnt about productivity in the workplace throughout his career.

productivity hacks

Kafnu’s open networking policy means there is always someone nearby you can bounce ideas off. Image: Kafnu Alexandria

An open networking policy means there is always someone nearby you can bounce ideas off. Its full-service membership means an outsourcing of day-to-day admin issues like office bills, maintenance and IT support. And an onsite virtual fitness studio and meditation room make creating work-life balance almost inevitable.

If you aren’t a Kafnu member, however, below Hall shares his top work productivity hacks. He outlines how to structure a workda, as well as how to tap into the often-unused creative part of your brain so get the most out of your time.

Start each morning with a priorities task list

productivity hacks

Most everyone knows it’s important to make a to-do list in the morning, but Hall says it’s how you structure the list that matters. Image: Pexels

“It may be an old one, but making a list in the morning makes it really easy,” Hall says. “But I think it’s important how you make the list. It should be your action list that you want to priorities across your day.

I normally break my day down into 90-minute blocks. So, I make sure I spend 90 minutes on a task, and only 90 minutes and then I’ll stop and go do something else. When I come back, if I haven’t finished that take, I make sure I get onto another task in that second 90 minutes.”

Be strategic about the priorities list

Hall says he aims to be strategic about his priorities list. “I think you need to achieve stuff,” he says. “I think you need to cross things off. I like to put [on the task list] one thing I’d like to do, one thing I know I’ll finish quickly, and one thing I know I’ve left maybe since Friday and it’s Monday afternoon.

“It doesn’t happen every time, but it’s with good intention.”

Try to handle e-mails only once

work productivity

One of Hall’s productivity hacks is to handle e-mails only once – especially when they’re the sticky ones. Image: Pexels 

“Unfortunately, I’m pretty bad at e-mails,” he says. “I normally get pretty distracted by them. However, I know that handling one thing once is the key – especially when they’re the sticky ones.”

Hall says he often spends Sunday afternoons or evenings organising his inbox. “I’ll sort by person rather than date, so I can through and get rid of some of the e-mails while watching TV,” he says. “That way, on Monday morning, I can open it up, and I’ve got my priority e-mails at the beginning.”

Step away from your desk to tap into creativity

“[To tap into the creative part of my brain], I move away from the desk,” Hall says. “I normally take a pencil and book, and I’ll do a mind map. I always start with that.

“If I’m in a co-working space, I would find a common area where, even if I’m with other people that I’m not connected with or working with, at least it’s a different vibe.”

For the standard office worker, if possible, he suggests finding a way to get away from the distraction of your monitor and mobile phone.

“I would recommend that if you can take five or ten minutes away – you don’t have to change into your workout gear – stop, listen to some music or try to meditate,” he says. “Sounds a bit weird, a bit jinga-jinga, but it’s well worth it.”

(Lead image: Unsplash / image: Nigel Tadyanehondo)

Published 05 March, 2019