03/03/2016 2:27 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

How To Be More Productive At Work

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Young man working on laptop

Between meetings, emails and finding the time to check voicemail, crossing off your to-do list can seem impossible.

And while everyone has their own approach to workflow, there are some key differences in the way successful people tackle their day, both in their work and personal life.

“As a mother of three, it’s about finding creative ways to keep in touch with my family and friends when I’m working, and staying in touch with work when I’m having some quality personal time,” Gillian Tans, president & COO of told The Huffington Post Australia.

Although she admits it might sound geeky, Tans explains how using instant messaging services like WhatsApp have transformed not only how she does business, but also her social and family life.

“I have a bunch of WhatsApp groups set up with my friends to stay in contact as I bounce all over the world for work. It’s just one trick I use to help me stay close to the people that matter most to me, even if I can’t be there in person all the time,” Tans said.

Here, four executives at the top of their game reveal how they get things done (and still have a life outside the office).

Firstly, they are realistic about the day’s expectations

“Each morning I’ll set myself three things I want to achieve and make them happen. Baby steps become big steps.” - Bianca Monley, founder of Eat Fit Food

They understand communication and productivity go hand in hand

“Keeping people in the loop has been one of my most successful strategies. You can’t do everything every day but you can be an effective communicator and manage expectations for yourself and all involved.” - Professor Anna M Shepherd at Regal Home Health

Always prioritise on the basis of deadlines

“Working through emails and general work flow is all about prioritising on the basis of whether it's low or high priority. If I have a shoot the next day, I will ensure references for the photographer are ready and the outfits have been finalised before concentrating on the hair and makeup briefs.” - Kate Holroyd, head womenswear stylist at

They have a stress radar

“When I feel my stress levels start to increase I know that it’s time to reassess my priorities. I take a small step back, take a few deep breaths and see if there is something on my plate that I can delegate to someone else. The key is to be self-aware enough to recognise that you need help, and then be courageous enough to actually ask for it and accept it.” - Gillian Tans, President & COO of