Nitro Blog

How Sam Works: 5 Tips for Staying Productive


If you’ve been to this blog before, you know that Nitro is a document productivity company. Our goal is to produce solutions that help you work smarter with your documents on a daily basis, which in turn helps you work more productively overall.

So it was no surprise when last week, Lifehacker UK interviewed Nitro co-founder and CEO Sam Chandler to talk about his top productivity tips for their How I Work series. Here’s a rundown of five of the practices Sam keeps to make sure he’s getting the most out of every day.

Structure your work week
Though there are certainly things that pop up which are beyond our control, mapping out your week is key to being as productive as possible. “For example,” Chandler told Lifehacker, “I typically have Mondays and Fridays blocked out with no scheduled meetings,” Keeping these days open for brainstorming and executing on high-priority items helps to keep moving the needle.

Curb the meetings
“When you’re always in meetings, you’re constantly switching mental gears,” Sam said. He recommends checking out Paul Graham’s essay, Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule, if you’re interested in the combined responsibilities of managing while continuing to execute on tactics and strategy.

Focus on a few goals and measure progress
Articulating three to five overarching goals you want to achieve not only helps you to focus on the steps that will get you there; it also makes it easier to measure progress. “The most successful companies I know are really good at focusing on the right things and saying no to everything else,” he said.

Healthy body, healthy mind
During the workday, you can be thrown any number of curveballs – and as CEO of a rapidly-growing company, Sam needs to bring his A-game every day. He says establishing and maintaining a personal routine is the key to staying sharp. His combines physical and mental fitness with rest and healthy eating: “It may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many people…overlook the basics of rest and exercise.”

Let technology help you
His company builds applications that facilitate document productivity, so it makes sense that Sam is a user of other apps that help him focus his time. He names Evernote as his go-to for managing his to-do’s, and Pocket for saving great content he can’t get to right then.

Check out Lifehacker UK for the full article and more productivity tips from Sam Chandler.