Productivity Interview with Sara Grant of Harvard University

I recently reconnected with an old friend from CUA, Sara Grant, who now works as a technologist for Harvard University.  What follows is the sum of our conversation- enjoy!

  • How does an institution like Harvard raise the bar when it comes to personal productivity among its employees?

    While I can’t speak on behalf on Harvard, I can say that in my working career here and at other organizations, goal setting (both organization and personal) helps motivate workers to achieve more and to take more risks. Rarely in my experience can managers get more out of their employees without goal setting. And it’s not about setting your goals for the year and then ignore them until that end-of-the-year review. Managers and employees need to continue the goal plan throughout the year—monthly check-ins or 1:1’s help.

    • What do you do each week to stay organized and effective?  each day, etc. ?

      I am a runner—5 days a week—in the mornings before work. I am fortunate to have a flexible schedule that allows me to take some time out to do this. I also try to organize my work space every day rather than once a month or not at all. When I get in… I try to assess the email inbox when I arrive, look to see if I have any v-mail and then I take 30mins to quickly note 3-5 bullet items I need to do before days ends. I also have a sticky note near my computer that lists a quick goal list so that I am constantly reminded of my plan for the year.

      • Which social networking tools (i.e. LinkedIn) do you employ to stay on your productivity game?

        I am interested in social media as a marketing tools so I am dabbling with Twitter right now and also keep tabs on old friends through Facebook. My professional network is also on LinkedIn although, I must confess to spending more time on FB than any other networking site today!

        Thanks Sara for some great perspective.  Sara can be reached via Twitter- @saragrant

        Photo by Chaval Brasil