AQE Quarterly

Team Top 5 Productivity Tips

Being as productive as possible at the office can translate to increased efficiency and superior results. But adopting more productive habits isn’t easy. In fact, greater productivity can involve overcoming some very human tendencies.

To that end, we asked the Active Quantitative Equity team to share some of their productivity practices and tips. Here’s what they had to say:

Adhiraj Mallik, CFA

Global Product Manager 

Productivity Tip:

Early in my career, I noticed that ad hoc tasks can take a lot of time away from other priorities. I learned to combat this by categorizing the work I need to do on any given day, based on the Eisenhower Decision matrix. (President Eisenhower famously said: “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”)

Here’s how the categorization works, from the highest to lowest priority: 

  1. Urgent and important – items that are critical to the overall needs of the business and have a fast approaching deadline
  2. Not urgent and important – items that are also critical to business needs but are not time critical; longer term projects fall in this category
  3. Urgent and not important – many day-to-day ad hoc requests fall in this category, including phone calls and emails from colleagues
  4. Not urgent and not important – Web surfing, exploring cafeteria menu options, reading up on non-work related news

Simon Roe, CFA, IIMR

Co-Head of Portfolio Management 

Productivity Tip:

I try to make good use of the “follow-up” flag function in our email application. I flag every email according to deadlines and urgency. Having the follow-up flag due dates on the right-hand side of my email inbox shows me very quickly what has to be done today, tomorrow, this week, next week, and so on.  And if I can’t get to something today, I change the flag to move the task to the next reasonable completion date.

Bruce Apted

Vice President, Active Developed Equities, Australia

Productivity Tip:

I recently took part in a course for managing both your emails and time. Dermot Crowley is the author and mastermind behind the method; his book is called “Smart Work: Centralise, Organise, Realise.” More information is available at

In the course, I learned a simple system that can help those of us feeling overwhelmed with emails:

Set up a new filing system two folders – Filing and Reading

Every email that comes in can then be classified into one of four categories:

A. Delete
B. Filing
C. Reading
D. Create task

Each morning, get your inbox under control and create tasks that need to be managed. Assess all your tasks in the task manager and prioritize what needs to be done by changing dates for your tasks as required.

Aim to have a zero inbox at least once a week. A tall order, but something to aspire to!

Thomas Bilbé

Senior Portfolio Manager

Productivity Tip:

Making good use of technology applications can contribute a lot to productivity. For example, Tableau is a super-powerful and easy-to-use data visualization tool that helps me to be more productive. I use Tableau every day to build various data visualizations (“viz’s”) that help me understand trends in the markets, my portfolios or our stock-selection model. Because data can be added, merged, layered and manipulated so efficiently within the tool, it makes quick work of building dashboards that might otherwise take a lot of time and effort.

Olivia Engel, CFA

Global Chief Investment

Productivity Tip:

I’m most productive after I’ve had enough sleep, so my top productivity tip is: get plenty of sleep!

To do this, I actively commit to a proper sleep schedule. This can sometimes mean saying no to things that prevent me from getting enough.

Team Top 5 Productivity Tips


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Exp Date 08/31/2020