January PWAC Productivity Tools - Seminar Highlights

From left: Dustin Meneses, Susannah Coneybeare and Luigi Benetton at our seminar on improving productivity.
If you managed to join us for the first PWAC seminar of 2016, there’s a good chance you’re aiming to start the new year by making a more focused commitment to being productive. Productivity was the word of the day as panellists shared their thoughts and ideas on the latest tools, tips and tricks that are sure to get you generating more results in less time.

Luigi Benetton

Tech-savvy PWAC member Luigi Benetton started with a reminder that productivity isn’t as much about tools and apps as it is about building good habits. He suggested turning off mobile alerts and tackling your most difficult tasks, what he calls “eating the frog first,” at the start of the day. Once the task you dreaded the most is behind you, you’ll have the energy and enthusiasm you need to get through the rest of your day with a positive, productive mindset.

He also suggests you avoid checking email first thing in the morning and managing and clearing your inbox so that it’s empty at day’s end.

Identify a scheduling routine that works for you, and try the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method that uses a timer to break the work day into intervals, typically 25-minutes, separated by short breaks.

Dustin Meneses, Freshbooks.com

Dustin explained the features and benefits of this cloud-based accounting system, which can help manage invoices and track time and expenses to increase productivity and revenues.

He also offered some easy, helpful productivity tips:

  • Gather your clutter
  • Shred it
  • Get the tools you need for success
  • Don’t get complacent
  • Account for accounting
  • Get professional advice
  • Getting rid of paper makes it easy to stay organized

Freshbooks is currently offering all PWAC members a 10% discount on all of the monthly subscription options. Sign up at the discounted rate at FreshBooks.

Susannah Coneybeare, Officize Inc.

Organizing professional Susannah’s message motivated and inspired us to clearly define what we need and want in order to be productive. She also suggested we identify the time of day or evening that is prime time for our brain and schedule our work accordingly. Like Luigi, Susannah recommends taking whatever approach works for you when it comes to listing your daily tasks or goals and scheduling your appointments. She also pointed out that as long as we know what absolutely must be done by a certain time, we typically will get it done.

Susannah encouraged us to know our own strengths and weaknesses as well as the importance of compartmentalizing to help us separate our work and personal lives. She is a firm believer in the importance of exercise and slowing down. She maintains that even a 30-minute walk can have a significant impact on our productivity.

The overwhelming theme of the evening was that a clear mind, clear goals and a willingness to experiment and do what works for you can really boost productivity in 2016.

Thanks to Luigi, Dustin and Susannah for their insight, the volunteer board members who organized the event, and all those in attendance for getting us all off on the right foot this year!


At Pomodoro  –  learn how to effectively manage your time in small increments.

RescueTime is a time management program/application that can be used to block distracting and time-wasting websites, report on your productivity and even track the time spent on specific activities, websites, programs and documents.

It’s Focus Time is a productivity tool that helps boost your focus and manage your time more effectively.

Go to FreshBooks  for a 10% discount on cloud-based accounting software.


Jack Choros (@jackchoros) is a freelance writer from Mississauga, Ont., specializing in website content and content curation, with a passion for sports and viral content.