Anne Kansiime, Comedienne and businesswoman
Prayer and exercise: I start every morning by dedicating my day to God in prayer. That way, I feel confident in tackling the tasks I have for that day.
I exercise by running and skipping every morning. Keeping fit helps you stay focused in mind and body and, of course, I want to look good. I know I am not a musician but you know, I have to always look my best and what better way to do it if not through exercise.
Good rest: Like any other person, I like to have a good time, go out with friends but you will not find me in the bar until 4am in the morning, having good rest and discipline is important.
Employing help: My two managers; Johnson Mujungu and Emma Kakai, do a lot for me. They book the shows, help me cut the deals and basically get me business. I have come to rely on them a lot.
I also have a personal assistant, not because I cannot do my own work but because my assistant is the one that will remember that my hair is a mess, or that my nails are chipped.
She will go, “Anne, surely you know that you are a celeb and you have to look good.” If I want a cheap pair of shoes from downtown, it will be hard for me to jump onto a boda boda to go and buy it, but my assistant will be able to help me.
Carol Beyanga; Managing Editor, Daily Monitor
Advance planning: I always make sure that I plan my next day’s events before I leave the office. This is the last thing I do before I walk out of my door. I plan out the tasks that I have to handle the next day so, that way I know what I have to deal with the next day and that makes working much easier.
Delegating: I have also learnt to delegate tasks to people who are capable of helping me. I used to struggle with this a lot before because I did not feel like there was anyone capable of doing things the way I could do them.
I wused to do it all. But as the responsibilities grew, I realised that I could not sort out everything that is put on my desk.
So, if someone sends me, for example, a story to look at, I first think of who can best help, then I send it to that person. But when I get some free time, I make sure I take a look at the final copy to give feedback. I believe you cannot deal with everything that comes your way.
In the end, you find that you are not being very efficient so if you have someone to help, let them. That is a lesson I have learnt and it also makes the people around you feel competent and appreciated.
Keeping diaries: I keep a personal diary and a work diary, and I do not mix these two. In the personal diary, I document all the private stuff, say a date with my husband, an evening with my friends, or an appointment to see the doctors with my young ones. The work diary has all the appointments, meetings and tasks at work.
I make sure nothing collides in either diaries and I do not divert from the set programme. I have failed to use my phone to document my activities because I find a traditional diary is much easier for me to use.
Patricia Munabi Babiiha; Executive director, Forum for Women in Democracy and Vice Chairperson of Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET)
Schedules: First of all, as a professional you have to learn to balance your personal life with your work.
Striking a balance between the two makes all these aspects manageable and you do not find yourself overwhelmed. 8am to 5pm is the time designated for work. I always keep a schedule for work so that I know what meeting I have to attend and what tasks I need to accomplish for the day.
I have engaged the help of a personal assistant who is responsible for making appointments and sometimes, I will forget something but she helps to keep me on track by reminding me of what I have to do in the day.
Delegating: I have also learnt to delegate some of the work that I might not be able to do myself. Fortunately, for me I have very competent managers who know a lot about the organisation and I’m always comfortable knowing that if I cannot do something they will ably represent me.
It also takes off pressure from me knowing that even if I’m not available to deal with something, the organisation is well represented.
Accepting help: The principles that apply to the professional work are the same that work for your personal life, having people around that you can trust to help you has helped. My job requires me to travel sometimes; I also go up-country a number of times.
Fortunately, my husband is very cooperative and he always steps in to help with the children and run things at home when I am not around.
Aster Ruzindana: Director Seven Uganda, Advertising, Public Relations and Marketing firm.
Waking up early: I wake up very early so that I can do the things I need to do early, and I get to do more things. Luckily for me, rising early is no problem.
Exercising: Exercising is very important, it does not only get me relaxed but I also find that I’m more energetic and awake when I take off some time for a quick jog. Once in a while when I get some time off, I like to swim as well.
Not missing meals: The other thing that I do that maybe people will find a little funny is that I always make sure that I take all my three meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. This helps me stay energetic and rather than thinking about eating all the time, I can remain focused on the issues at hand.
SIX OTHER SUCCESS HABITS
The most successful people share a striking number of similar habits. Regardless of whether they’re the CEO of a technology startup, or manage a popular local neighbourhood retail outlet, their reoccurring patterns of behaviour often pave the way to ongoing levels of achievement.
Below are six habits that hugely successful people use to maximize productivity, effectiveness and success – by following them, you can also catapult yourself further and faster towards achieving your own personal or professional goals.
These sneaky time consumers undermine concentration and can make it hard to stay focused on a task or consistently follow important train of thought.
Learning to ignore these nuisances can help you create less stress, improve productivity on the job, and enjoy a happier workday, so put your phone away, log out of your social media accounts, and close your office door during your most productive hours.
If you’re not quite sure which distractions eating up your day, try tracking your schedule by creating a running diary for two to three weeks to find out.
Get enough rest
Productivity can suffer if you don’t feel your best, and one of the most important factors of feeling up to par is maintaining a consistent sleep schedule.
Getting enough rest is one of the easiest things you can do to revitalise your mental clarity, passion and energy. The National Sleep Foundation states that there’s no magic number when determining the right amount of sleep needed, but studies show that those who get seven hours of sleep a night are far more productive.
Research dating back decades also shows a marked decline in productivity after a typical 40-hour workweek – anything more produces diminishing returns.
So, be sure to take breaks, rest, and recharge: It may vastly improve your creativity, productivity and output.
Follow a morning ritual
By doing the same things every day when you wake up, you are letting your mind focus on the bigger tasks at hand.
Plus, establishing a routine of getting up and getting active first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day with a blast of energy – energy you can immediately begin spending on professional and personal development. (Hint: The smartest investment you can ever make is in yourself.)
For example, many hugely successful people don’t just wake up earlier and spend time working out to improve fitness, start the day strong, and reduce stress. They also read business books, catch up on the news, get up-to-date on emails, or listen to podcasts while exercising, starting the day off strong by accomplishing multiple goals in one fell swoop.
Prioritise your day
Hugely successful people have a daily agenda that helps visualise what they would like to accomplish that day. It’s an easy way to give them a sense of work balance since they can see exactly what’s on their plate, as well as help them focus and mentally prepare for the challenges that they’ll be facing.
Mimic their behavior by creating a daily “to-do list” of your own the evening before each workday, and prioritise tasks by importance. That way, you immediately know where to begin your work the next morning, and can tackle the most difficult challenges first, improving productivity and making the rest of your workday look like a breeze by comparison.
Take care of yourself
You may have heard successful men and women say, “I work hard but I also play hard.” These folks are well aware that it simply isn’t possible to operate at full speed every waking hour.
They know that taking time for yourself is one of the biggest steps in avoiding work burnout. Try relaxing a little each day and use your free time to indulge in something you truly enjoy.
Taking care of yourself also means eating a healthy diet, which includes breakfast, to fuel your body and mind for the challenges ahead. Staying organised both in the office and at home eliminates stress and is another way to take care of yourself.
Put first things first
Not every task is equal, and successful people account for this when they budget their time. Whether you function best in the early morning hours or late in the afternoon, use your peak performance hours to knock out harder tasks and bring you closer to your goals.
Save less-pressing tasks such as skimming through interoffice memos or submitting speaking proposals to annual industry conference organizers for a time when you’re not exactly ready to move mountains.
Get the most important tasks done first – the rest will seem trivial by comparison. These important tasks should be tackled while you’re at your freshest, most awake, and best.