Five Women Founders Share Their Favorite Productivity HacksFeatured

Five Women Founders Share Their Favorite Productivity Hacks

I always have my eyes peeled for a new productivity hack to try, although I should admit, I’m secretly hoping for something along the lines of, “Study finds that binge-watching episodes 4-6 of Star Wars Sunday nights increased participants' productivity by 100%!” Unfortunately, I’ve had no luck uncovering such a hack (yet). In the end, who’s better to turn to for productivity advice than five kick-ass women founders who are absolutely crushing it? No one. The answer is, no one.  So, with that realization, I reached out to said women founders to see if they’d be willing to part with their most precious productivity hacks, and they did not disappoint. 

The Founders

Gloria Dallas, Mariah Gonzales, & Yemi Belechew of Envision Inclusion

Janelle Wavell-Jiminez of Stellari

Liz Hernandez of Lazy Hype

Their Productivity Hacks

Envision Inclusion

Instagram: @envisioninclusion

Bio: Envision Inclusion is a women of color-led diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consultancy. We envision a tech industry where everyone, regardless of background, can thrive. We work with startups to embed DEI into their DNA.

Gloria Dallas | She/Her

[email protected] 

As one of the founders of Envision Inclusion, Gloria helps businesses diversify their pipelines, create more inclusive interview processes, and understand the importance of building and fostering diverse, equitable, and inclusive teams. She’s worked with a variety of companies of all sizes but found startups to be her sweet spot

Gloria’s Go-To Productivity Hack: 

Gloria recommends scheduling regular breaks throughout the day (she opts for a break in the morning, afternoon, and early evening). Stepping away from your work can give you a chance to reset and come back to it with more focus and energy. She also recommends blue light blocking glasses to help alleviate the negative side effects (i.e. trouble focusing and sleeping) that result from looking at a screen for long periods of time. 

How It’s Impacted Her Work: 

By scheduling breaks throughout her day, Gloria saw a noticeable decrease in stress (even on her busiest days). When she isn’t able to complete everything on her to-do list, instead of becoming discouraged, she realizes she over-stretched herself and makes sure to factor that knowledge into future planning. 

Productivity Tip: 

Gloria suggests finding your to-do list style match. She favors Google’s Tasks Tool but knows others who’ve found Asana, sticky notes, and email lists helpful for keeping them on-track. 

Mariah Gonzales | She/Her

[email protected]

Mariah is one of the founders of Envision Inclusion and is dedicated to helping early-stage companies develop scalable, lasting, and actionable DEI strategies. Before Envision Inclusion, she worked as a teacher and then transitioned to a career in People Ops. 

As someone who often has a lot on their plate, Mariah’s mastered the art of backward planning. She prefers to map-out her deliverables starting from the end goal and moving back from there. She then makes detailed To-Do lists (Asana is her go-to) to organize and breakdown deliverables. 

Mariah’s Go-To Productivity Hack:

Mariah recommends utilizing social media screen controls to help keep you from getting distracted throughout the day. She suggests scheduling time in the evening to check your accounts; this way, if you go over the allotted time limit, it won’t interfere with your work. 

How It’s Impacted Her Work:

Mariah’s found the screen time controls have helped protect her productivity and kept her from aimlessly doom scrolling during work hours. 

Productivity Tip: 

Mariah suggests creating a detailed calendar of everything and then conducting a monthly audit to ascertain how much time was spent on each task and whether it was in alignment with that month’s goals. From there, you can utilize that information to create more realistic/achievable targets. 

Yemi Belachew | She/Her

[email protected]

As a founder of Envision Inclusion, Yemi wears many hats from sourcing and recruiting to using her expertise to develop programs emphasizing diversity and equity. 

Juggling several differing priorities requires her to be an expert multi-tasker. While Yemi prefers working this way as it helps keep her engaged and energized, she’s found using the Tyme app in conjunction with a detailed calendar is imperative for helping her stay on track. 

Yemi’s Go-To Productivity Hack: 

Yemi recommends incorporating time for outdoor activities throughout the week to help decrease stress and avoid burnout (she sets aside time to hike 3 times a week) along with setting boundaries to protect your me-time, like not taking meetings or calls before 10 AM. 

How It’s Impacted Her Work: 

By scheduling regular time outdoors and creating firm boundaries on her calendar, Yemi’s seen a dramatic increase in her focus and energy that helps her bring her A-game each day. 

Liz Hernandez | She/Her - Lazy Hype

Company Bio:Lazy Hype is an ethically made lounge and activewear company seeking to implement sustainability into everything we make. 

“I’m a Latina millennial woman passionate about her family, friends, grumpy dog, and fashion career.”

Liz has worked in fashion for the past 12 years. She began her journey into sustainability three years ago which led her to create her apparel collection, Lazy Hype (launching soon!). Through Lazy Hype, Liz was able to use the knowledge she’d learned about sustainability to create a collection she’s truly proud of. 

When it comes to productivity, Liz focuses on communication, time management, and accountability. She’s found strong communication is imperative to setting the tone for each week and ensuring she and her team meet their goals. To keep herself on-track and avoid multitasking, Liz gives herself strict timelines for each task which keeps her from feeling like her attention is divided between different priorities. She’s also found that by holding herself accountable to being a strong communicator and managing her time well, she’s able to mitigate undue stress. 

Liz’s Go-To Productivity Hack: 

Liz recommends figuring out what times you work best and setting aside that part of the day to tackle important tasks. She suggests trying out a few different times to figure out when you’re at your sharpest. 

How It’s Impacted Her Work: 

By curating her schedule to accommodate when she learns and works best, Liz has seen her focus and productivity improve significantly. 

Productivity Tip: 

Liz recommends creating a solid routine for starting your day and kicking it off with something you enjoy. As an avid coffee drinker, she begins each morning by brewing her morning cup before tackling her To-Do list. 

Janelle Wavell-Jimenez  | She/Her/They - Stellari

Company Bio: Stellari is an LA-based fashion startup committed to ethical and sustainable design and business practices. We believe every step we take to live more compassionately, ethically, and sustainably brings us that much closer to a better world for everyone.

Before launching Stellari, Janelle was in the video game industry where her work selling digital clothing for characters helped games rake in Billions in revenue. In 2020, she decided to exit the corporate world to fulfill her dream of launching a sustainable fashion line. 

When it comes to productivity, Janelle doesn’t ascribe to being productive for productivity’s sake. She believes productivity should have a reason, whether it be to make money, personal fulfillment, or reaching a goal. Otherwise, she’s a big proponent of resting and giving yourself the freedom to relax. 

Janelle’s Go-To Productivity Hack: 

For those who are noticing a lull in their productivity, Janelle suggests Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy to help you understand how to tune into your circadian rhythm. She suggests creating a set sleeping schedule that aligns with your circadian rhythm. 

How It’s Impacted Her Work: 

The greatest benefit Janelle’s noticed has been during the more difficult points in the pandemic (i.e. this summer) when she experienced intense lows as a result of the stress of launching a business and the overall effects of COVID-19 on her, her community, and all around the world. Even on the days she felt heavy with despair, she found a sense of comfort in the consistency of her schedule and often wound up accomplishing more than she expected. 

Productivity Tip: 

For those in creative and/or strategic roles, Janelle recommends protecting your calendar by finding out which meetings are necessary and which can be handled via email. She suggests making sure you’re able to prioritize your time to strategize, research, so you can build effective plans of attack. “Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re not ‘productive’ just because your calendar looks empty.”

Whew, I feel more productive already! As you try out different productivity hacks, remember that it’s okay to get creative and adapt these tricks to fit your work style. 

A huge shoutout to Gloria, Mariah, Yemi, Liz, and Janelle for sharing their productivity tips and tricks!

P.S. Author’s Productivity Tip: I try to commit the first part of my morning to mindfulness meditation. This helps me start my day with a clear head and stay focused on tasks.