Published on January 2, 2019

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Courtesy of Misha Nonoo

We’ve barely put our champagne glasses away and tiptoed into the New Year, and yet it’s already time to start thinking ahead. You’ve said it before, but this time you really mean it: This is the year you become your most productive, organized self. And since imitation is the highest form of flattery, we’re kicking off your year of productivity with tips from an expert—Misha Nonoo.

Fashion designer Nonoo’s eponymous label is all about efficiency. She’s best known for her “Easy 8” collection (wherein buyers streamline their wardrobes into a capsule closet of chic, minimalist pieces) and emphasis on eco-conscious design; essentially, she’s perfected the art of doing more with less and using sustainability and smart decision-making to drive innovation. And she’s got the accolades to prove it: Nonoo was a finalist for the 2013 Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund, a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree, and one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business 2018. So we figured—who better to give us tips on productivity and efficiency than one of fashion’s leading voices in the field?

Keep reading for Nonoo’s advice on everything from workspace organization (hint: It’s okay not to be perfect) to proper caffeinating.

What is the one:

… morning ritual you never skip?

As well as meditation, I always make sure I either go to the gym for a workout or take Thatcher (my gorgeous Cavapoo) for a walk to get me in the right mindset.

… trick you have for tackling your to-do list?

I meditate every morning, and that gives me a clear head so I can divide up the day ahead and prioritize what’s most important. What I will say is, don’t add too many things to your list, as you’ll only feel discouraged if you can’t get everything crossed off—there’s only so many hours in the day.

… organization tool you swear by?

I would be absolutely lost without my Smythson diary. Events, brunch dates, photo shoots, and strategy meetings are always penciled in. And it’s so beautiful.

… way you keep clutter or distractions at bay?

I try to make sure that when I begin a project, I complete it or do as much as I can before I shift my attention elsewhere. It’s easier said than done when your inbox is constantly filling up with things that need to be looked at. Also, if you’re tackling something that needs your undivided attention, put your phone in a drawer for an hour so Instagram can’t tempt you.

… tip you have for an organized desk?

I have to say that I’m meticulously organized in most aspects of my life, but my desk is something I have to really work to keep in order. I try to never keep any unnecessary paperwork on my desk. I either file it or recycle it.

… thing you do to beat that midday slump?

A large cup of green tea.

… small luxury you indulge in to keep yourself sane?

A phone call to my mom in the UK always recalibrates me if I need a quick time-out.

… shop you love for office supplies?

Papier does lovely notepads and notecards, which you can also get personalized. As a Brit abroad, I also love a thank-you note, so I’m a serious stationery nut.

… tip you have for being the most productive at work?

Delegate to your team and play to their strengths—you can only be in so many places at the same time.

… trick you use to get out of a funk when you’re feeling uninspired?

Whenever I hit a creativity roadblock, I love visiting art galleries or museums around New York City. I can always find inspiration on their walls.

See more ways to make 2019 your most productive year yet:
Here’s How a Productivity Expert Plans Out Her Week
Yes, There Is a Way to Meal-Prep—One Pro Shows Us How
30 Things Your Home Doesn’t Really Need

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