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Productivity Advice From White House Deputy Chief of Staff

There's no denying White House Deputy Chief of Staff Mona Sutphen is a busy woman. She works for Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, coordinating the president's public-policy priorities, a position that makes me tired just thinking about it. The multitasking maven shared some of her proven productivity secrets with this month's Self magazine.

  • On getting organized for the day:
    It's a job that involves a lot of problem solving, so I schedule a quiet block each morning to deal with issues that crop up overnight. That way, I'm not letting minor crises take over my day.
  • On her "one-touch" rule:
    When I open an email or pick up a phone message, I try to deal right then with any issue I need to resolve so I don't have to go back to the same piece of paper over and over again.
  • On "stressing selectively":
    I have learned not to work myself up about things I have no control over. When I receive bad news, I calmly focus on managing what happens from there on out.

Do you use any of these tactics to stay productive and on the ball at your work?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I like the one-touch rule.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I do the "selective stressing" technique all the time. With my job, there can be a relative sh*tstorm of stuff going on at once and you absolutely have to prioritize or nothing will get done. I worry about anything that is "stat" first and then I focus on things that are urgent but not of immediate importance. I always do the least important things last. That way, if I don't finish the least important stuff, it can wait until the next day. Hey, works for me.
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