The Secrets Of Very Productive People, Lisa Messenger

Posted on 24 August 2015


It doesn’t matter what you do or where you do it – everyone is always looking for ways to be more productive. Excessive amounts of caffeine and list-making won’t get you any closer to reaching peak productivity levels though. Being productive is also not about one’s intellect or capability. Being productive is about practicing certain habits over others, so that you can get the most out of your days. In our Productive People series we will be profiling successful and influential women in business (VPPs) who not-only view health and fitness as a non-negotiable investment in their wellbeing but also see it as a complete necessity for their productivity.  This week we chat to Lisa Messenger!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get to where you are today?
I have a very varied background. I started off as a horse riding instructor in England. Since then I’ve worked in sponsorship, marketing, PR and events.  It was a good and random combination that finally took me to publishing, I worked as a book publisher for 8 years publishing over 400 books before I went into launching the Collective two years ago. I had never worked for a magazine prior, so it has been a whirlwind!

2.What is one of the most important lessons you have learnt as an entrepreneur?
Know your “why” and your purpose. Have an unwavering self-belief, surround yourself with an awesome team, fail fast.

3. What daily habits keep you productive?
Green smoothie every morning. Meditation. Journaling. Lots of outdoor exercise.

4. Why is health and fitness a priority for you?
Without my health I cannot be productive or be a good leader, Health is always number one for me, as it should be for everyone.

5.  How do you prioritise your workload each day/week?
I try not to be reactive to everything (easy to do when there are a million things flying at me as we grow).  We’re building some pretty robust systems and processes so I have an awesome team around me picking up all the slack and actually making things happen. I hire my weaknesses (I am terrible at detail…) and I concentrate on the things I am good at – creativity, vision, big strategic stuff and partnerships.

6. What do you do to concentrate?
Try to remove distractions from around me … there are many.  I always do my best work when I am outside the office… on planes, at home, on holidays.  In the office I am “busy” but that does not mean I’m being productive all the time.

7.   Do you have a morning routine or ritual?
Many. I check social media for about half an hour whilst still in bed (many people would say this is bad… I agree… but I am an instant gratification junkie).  I then go for a run or do some kind of exercise to clear my head and get my energy flowing.  I do some meditating and some journaling. Then head into the office where a green smoothie is religiously waiting on my desk (it’s my only “Devil Wears Prada” type of request)

8.What do you do to unwind?
I LOVE anything outdoorsy or sporty – for example this weekend even though it’s the middle of winter, it was beautiful – so I went and jumped in the surf at Tama with my Art Director after a Saturday photoshoot for the next cover. I paddled around for a few hours while my dog sat on the rocks and we then soaked up the sun, read mags and ate good food.

9.  At Vie Active we celebrate the notion of being FLAWSOME, realising that we can’t always be perfect and that our imperfectness is what makes us who we are – what makes you FLAWSOME? My crazy brain that has a million ideas an hour.  It is crazy and needs harnessing, and my ideas need ironing out by a kickarse team. I couldn’t do any of this without them.

10.  What are your thoughts on mistakes, challenges or failures?
Bring them on. It is only from here that we learn.  My biggest catalysts for change and incredible projects in my life have come from the hardest times I have experienced.  As soon as we realise this and are able to ride out the tough times, life becomes pretty extraordinary. I live with the thought that “something wonderful is always about to happen” even through the most difficult times … and let me tell you I have certainly had my fair share!


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