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Secrets of the most productive staff

Giving thanks to the hardest working staff in journalism

Secrets of the most productive staff

I enjoy Fast Company’s annual Secrets of the Most Productive People package in the same way an armchair tourist might experience magazines such as Departures or Travel & Leisure. I make a mental note of every tip and recommendation—then promptly ignore all the good advice I’ve just received. I know from reading psychologist Art Markman’s column in this issue that I should limit my multitasking, and yet I know I will continue to answer emails while I’m on conference calls. Author Lee Child tells us he has two computers in his office: an internet-connected one for research and another purely for writing. It’s a clever idea, but I could never make it through 20 minutes of writing without interrupting myself to look up something—usually unrelated—or check for messages. (I actually just peeked at Slack.)

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Fortunately, I am surrounded by a team of incredibly productive writers and editors. By collaborating and sharing resources, this small but mighty band manages to produce a daily website, a couple of podcasts, a handful of video series, an annual Innovation Festival, and a magazine. To produce this issue, for example, we benefited tremendously from the wisdom of FastCompany.com’s deputy editor, Kate Davis. Kate heads up our online leadership content, and she and her team are experts on the latest trends in time management and working smarter, which she also parlays into Fast Company’s Secrets of the Most Productive People podcast, cohosted by assistant editor Anisa Purbasari Horton. This kind of multidisciplinary cooperation happens all the time. The magazine’s beloved Creative Conversation feature has partly inspired a podcast of the same name, hosted by associate editor KC Ifeanyi. Our writers who cover design and social impact online are an incredible resource for the Next section in print.

Even a team of highly productive people can benefit from a good manager. At Fast Company, that’s managing editor April Mokwa, who creates and enforces deadlines and works across the different editorial platforms to make sure everyone has the resources they need. She’s also a terrific journalist, contributing ideas and fixes that make Fast Company better.

As 2018 draws to a close, I want to thank the editors, writers, designers, photo editors, copy editors, contributors, and freelancers who make Fast Company a special media brand—and a special (and productive) place to work. Imagine what we could do with two computers each.

[Photo: Celine Grouard]
Front row, from left: Chelsea Schiff, Shelley Wolson, Ainsley Harris, Paul Smalera, Yasmin Gagne, Charissa Jones; Middle row, from left: Alice Alves, Ruth Reader, Christopher Zara, Celine Grouard, Marcus Baram, Melissa Locker, David Lidsky, KC Ifeanyi, Amy Farley, Eillie Anzilotti, Missy Schwartz, Maja Saphir; Back row, from left: Katharine Schwab, Jill Bernstein, Daisy Korpics, April Mokwa, Samir Abady, Jay Woodruff, Mike Schnaidt, Kate Davis, Anisa Purbasari Horton, Pavithra Mohan; Not pictured: Jeff beer, Joe Berkowitz, Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan, Sean Captain, Morgan Clendaniel, Jesus Diaz, Lydia Dishman, Michael Grothaus, Burt Helm, Aileen Kwun, Suzanne LaBarre, Nicole Laporte, Michelle Lewis, J.J. McCorvey, Harry McCracken, Gwen Moran, Jennifer Weaver Mossalgue, John Oswald, Alex Pasternack, Ben Paynter, David Penick, Adele Peters, Rina Raphael, Daniel Salo, Elizabeth, Segran, Mark Sullivan, Stephanie Vozza, Cale Weissman, Mark Wilson.

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