BY Fast Company SA 3 MINUTE READ
Glenda Mansfield – Co-founder, CMO, Marketing CSI South Africa

Very early in her working career, Glenda Mansfield realised that her passion for helping people make the most of themselves and others took precedence over everything else. After cutting her teeth in the retail industry, she set up her own marketing agency in 2009 after launching the Tommy Hilfiger stores in South Africa. This venture brought Mansfield into contact with her two businesses partners, who helped create Dreamcatcher Creative Consulting and now MCSISA. With three teenagers in the house and running her own company, this former Western Province relay runner clearly has the staying power to switch South Africa on to the good news through the MCSISA portal that connects corporates and social causes.

The meaning of productivity
“Being productive to me means that, at the end of the day, I should be able to look back and see what I’ve achieved against what I had to do. Planning is essential to output. I’m a list maker. I don’t have hundreds of different lists, but one concise one that houses everything that needs to be done in all the aspects of my daily life.”

Sleep schedule 
“I wake up at 5:30 a.m. every morning. Bedtime is at 11:30 p.m. for the latest, but only once my mind has been ordered and those emails are answered. The very last thing I do is pray; I ask God to bless all that I have, and to give me the strength to work with the talent I have so that others can benefit from it; I pray for good health and successful businesses—provided I have the appetite for it.” 

First things first
“Breakfast with my kids at 6 a.m. each morning.” 

Most productive space 
“Anywhere I can sit and just be with my mind.  If I have a particular problem to solve, or need a specific strategic idea to come into focus, as long as the space is quiet and I can be left to think, I get my best results. It could be in the bath, my car, office or walking along the beach by myself—and no phone calls! 

Inbox etiquette 
“Filter spam and respond immediately to important mails, acknowledging I’ve received the correspondence and will attend to it during the day or when I have the information (if it’s something that cannot be addressed immediately). I have a rule that I need to get back to everyone within 48 hours.” 

Best habits
“I’m a perfectionist. Everything must be clinical, including the way I dress. I like straight lines, and not more than four colours at a time. My best work habit is thinking aloud.” 

Daily breaks
“I have a wandering and extremely enquiring mind and an overactive brain, which doesn’t allow me to remain focused for more than 30 minutes. I usually create the disruption, so breaks for me are essential.” 

Healthy body, healthy mind? 
“Yes, I believe in healthy eating, and I’m very disciplined when it comes to cooking and eating. I do believe regular intake of good food that can keep the brain functioning optimally is essential to maintaining creativity and work output, especially when on deadline.” 

Favourite app
“Financial and banking apps to monitor our company and my personal finances, but also my notes app on my phone—I can’t do without it. 

Go-to motivator
“I have my sons; they motivate me. The wisdom they have as young men in a new-age world inspires me tremendously.” 

Area for improvement
“I distract others—I love sharing (which is both a positive and a negative).”

Me time
“I read in all my spare time: I consume everything I can find on the Internet about a particular subject that’s occupying my time and thoughts, be it for work or pleasure. I have a thirst for knowledge that shows no sign of being quenched! I’m also curious; for me, the Internet is a bit like the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. I never know which direction it will take me. I love that about our access to knowledge these days—we never know what we may learn.” 

Great advice 
“Never give up! Eliminate temptations that will distract and waste time, our most precious commodity. Have a plan and stick to it, but be open to adaption where required. As much as I’m a ‘doer’, I also listen deeply. Be aware of what’s around you and be involved, but don’t get side-tracked too often.”