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Wendy Clark
SVP of global marketing, The Coca-Cola Co.

Most Productive People: Wendy Clark

SVP of global marketing, The Coca-Cola Co.

Wendy Clark

SVP of global marketing, The Coca-Cola Co.

"The No. 1 thing that anyone wants from me, at work or home, is my attention and my focus. The most productive day to me is one in which I have given my focus to everything that needed me. I'll have anywhere from 9 to 11 meetings every day. There are curveballs all the time. But I don't want to upset anyone if I move their meeting back, so I encourage my team to drop by my office to let me know if I'm holding them up.

I figured out a long time ago that having an empty inbox is a false goal. The volume of email I get--more than 100 a day, and we're a global company, so it comes in around the clock--is impossible to handle and do my job well. My job is to sort it and find the pieces that need me. A lot of times you're just copied on stuff, people wanting to FYI you. Email tags help. The first words in the subject line, it's 'Inform' or 'Action Required.' Just those two little tags; if I'm time constrained, I'll look for those. We do it within our team.

I leave at 7:30 in the morning for an 8:00 call or meeting. Driving is immensely important. It's just enough time to mentally go through my checklist. What are the handful of things I need to do? I'll have NPR on, but with the radio, you're just on receive. Everyone knows I'm off the grid from six to nine every night, because of my husband and little kids. Then I'll take a look at what has ensued in the past three hours. But then, around 11, I work out with an elliptical machine and a treadmill I have in my basement. I'm a religious worker-outer. It's as much for my mental stability as physical. My neighbors must think I'm crazy, but it's very much like the driving time--you can't send an email or take a phone call. It's forced time to reflect on the day. I remember things I didn't do that I thought I should do. It is invaluable."


Time she gets up:

6:30 a.m.

First thing she does each morning:

Cuddles with her 6-year-old, who crawls into bed.

Apps and other assists:

Pling, "a quick, easy way to send messages to other people--like a voice text."

Philosophy:

"Identify a No. 1 issue, and then the next 10 things you have to do. The rest of it is checking the pulse on what people need
from you."

Last thing she does each night:

Work out, take a hot shower.

Time she goes to bed:

Between midnight and 12:30 a.m.

[Photo courtesy of Coca-Cola]

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1 Comments

  • Chien-Yu Lin

    Anyone who has "an empty in-box" as a goal, personally or professionally, is confusing activity with productivity.