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Confessions of a genius of efficiency
Confessions of a genius of efficiency

Read Lifehacker's exclusive interview with Alfa-Bank top manager Oleg Braginsky - about why he is a happy person and how he professionally solves difficult and impossible business problems.

Confessions of a genius of efficiency
Confessions of a genius of efficiency

Interview with Alfa-Bank top manager Oleg Braginsky. Oleg about himself:

I am a happy person - my work coincides with my hobby! I professionally solve complex and impossible business problems.


  • Projects in different areas and countries, innovation and artificial intelligence, Big Data and modeling, loyalty programs and behavioral forecasting.
  • Author of textbooks, patents and inventions, speaker of leading conferences, speaks several languages, holds academic degrees and scientific titles.

If you read Oleg's profile in full, only one association arises in my head - genius.

Health. What you are doing? What tools and techniques do you use? What conclusions did you make for yourself?

I admit push-ups, cyclic exercises, swimming. I do 100 push-ups on my fists in 60 seconds on the first two knuckles in order to maintain the punch in memory of the "common" 90s. Several times I do "one more push-up" so that the brain does not spare the body. I finish push-ups with a sag in the belt to stretch my back - I sit a lot.

Cyclic exercises "zero" the head, swimming I cleanse the city lungs. 10 pools I start and finish with a dive back and forth. Except for freedivers, few can repeat. I compete unilaterally with fast swimmers, even if I am already completing the cycle, and they just jumped into the pool. It is difficult with swimmers with fins.:(

I do not calm down until I achieve superiority.

I brush my teeth twice a day, I don't rinse my mouth with water, I keep a paste in my mouth for a minute - I train my breath holding and strengthen the enamel. At the same time, I stand alternately on one leg in a semi-squat. I visit the dentist once a year for professional cleaning and polishing. There are no fillings, all the teeth are in place.

I don’t use salt and sugar and don’t keep it in the house. In restaurants I go to the chefs I know, I order not according to the menu, but according to recommendations: the chef knows the origin and freshness of the products, the combination of dishes and the talents of changing in the kitchen. I check the expiration date and composition of the products when shopping.

I don’t drink, I don’t smoke.

I perceive the elevator as a personal enemy.

Planning. How do you manage and plan your time?

The calendar is kept by an assistant who knows the basic rules and plays the first violin. You don't need to make an appointment with me - a professional is responsible for them, who will put events in the plan, group territoriality, take care of a taxi, a hotel, and tickets. I see and execute the finished calendar. Like everyone else, I ask you to make an appointment with clients, time for meetings and even personal affairs. I receive messages via WhatsApp: the make and number of the car, the name and phone number of the driver, the destination and purpose of the trip.

I learned counter-emergency driving, I avoid being behind the wheel. In the back seat, you can work and relax.

I spend the maximum number of meetings in my office. I hung up a projector, a screen, a board. I use four video cameras of different remote communication systems. I work in multi-user mode with electronic documents. I print to others - I don't use paper myself. In the workplace, broadleaf plants.

I read quickly and type on the keyboard blindly. I know QWERTY to work on standard keyboards at 450 characters per minute and Dvorak layout to work up to 550 strokes in 60 seconds. At home, I myself go through the keyboards of computers and laptops in "Dvorakov".

I learned to recruit using "Solo 3.0", I recommend Stamina to my colleagues - there will be a little more typing errors, and you can learn not in two weeks, but in one. Studied reading on ICE Book Reader.

Both skills allow you to respond to mail with lightning speed, without straining when writing letters, reports and presentations. I answer emails quickly. Part I transfer to folders "Save", "Do it later", "Friend's help". Set up automatic sorting rules for multiple mail folders.

I use the technique in pairs: laptops - ultra-light and heavy-duty - carry and count, 30”monitors - do not switch between windows, data in the work computer on" mirrors ", files on flash drives of different types. I carry VGA and HDMI adapters to iPad so that clients can connect to projectors.

I don’t watch TV, I don’t read the press, I don’t listen to radio or music.

I watch films with 200% acceleration on the recommendation of friends, they also help me to understand phrases from the series, explain that "the guy is cool, because …". To get used to the faster browsing experience, I used VLC for a month at a daily increment of 3%. I got bored in cinemas, I try to go to 3D.

In the evenings I read half a book. Alfa-Bank has an excellent business library for gadgets and a subscription to. I read on recommendation and in a row - in negotiations and conversations, knowledge from various fields comes in handy. It's hard to compete with Google, but it's easy to show off your erudition in a bathhouse, in a diving boat.

I respond to a request to conduct training or speak to an audience. I will not wane, and the answers to questions perfectly organize thoughts and keep the reaction in good shape.

Oleg Braginsky
Oleg Braginsky

I save time by giving presentations at conferences and summits. So I would go and collect business cards with city phones, chasing the right people. And then he spoke and when leaving the stage, he collected business cards with mobile phones in a minute. From the second invitation to the annual events, I agree to be the first or second speaker of the day of the beginning or to be on the podium. I see the audience, a microphone is available, the audience remembers better.

Coming to clients, I hear: “I heard / saw / read you there, you are the # 1 expert in loyalty / processes / security / big data / innovations / technologies / HR”. The meeting is going faster, more productively and more benevolently thanks to the methodical work on our own brand.

I strive to be the best. Not in the Bank, not in the industry, not in the country, but … in the world.

I put some projects and publications in LinkedIn … If you want to know about me - google or read my profile. I do the same myself. I'm surprised when I see a 50-word profile with a formal last job and college. Why start an empty profile, it's better then without it at all.

I speak cursive. The advantage is not only in speed - it is almost impossible to read the records, so I write what I think. I form myself instructions so as not to keep in mind, I cross out what I have done. What did not have time, I transfer it to the next sheet marked 1, that is, the day of the postponement, the task survived calmly. If there are more than three transfers, then I do not write down the task for the next day - probably, I can not do it at all.

PresentationsI do it myself, while following the rules:

  1. Presentation - like a child, made and then she lives an independent life, so I should not be ashamed when "meeting with a child" in a couple of years.
  2. The minimum number of fonts, styles and alignment of elements is two decimal places. If you come across a large screen, there should be no negligence when flipping through the slides.
  3. If the performance is free, not social and not charitable, I do not leave a presentation to the organizers of the event and prepare much more strongly so that later the delegates demand my materials, and the organizers look for meetings with me, from which you can get preferences.

I keep track of where and what slides I showed - this allows me to speak more often and prepare less often, reusing up to 40% of the pages several times. I run reports aloud twice: in the evening before going to bed and when I wake up. I prepare presentations at a pace of 20 seconds per slide, I paraphrase the written text - at this speed and two storylines, the audience listens with a single breath.

Oleg Braginsky
Oleg Braginsky

I meticulously use punctuation marks, I despise double spaces, I am upset about avoiding "e". I try not to use parentheses, because they contain secondary text, which means you can do it.

I read the letter, document, fragment, paragraph three times. The first one is to check if I wrote it clearly; the second - I simplify phrases and delete unnecessary words; the third one is to check whether he is tactful. I use the particle "would": "would ask" instead of "ask" and "would like" instead of "want". When appropriate, say and write “thank you”.

In responsible texts I use frequency analysis, "shoulders" and check for banality. Frequency analysis reveals redundant words - makes me rephrase, use synonyms. I do not allow "shoulders" - the distance in words between the concept in the text is longer than five. Banality is a proprietary formula based on the occurrence of words in a paragraph. If the indicator is close to one - written in unique words, exceeds three - the paragraph should be deleted, the meaning of the text will not change.

I use the file naming system: Type_Customer_Performer_Project_Date in Japanese_Time rounded into the future to 15 minutes. The assistant and the team can easily understand the documents. I make backups hourly and with each "approach" to the file. I store it in WinRar with a password and recovery information. Saved more than once.

I eliminate words-parasites from speech and text, fundamentally not swearing, I avoid the words: “but”, “this”, “means”, “everyone”, “everyone”, “any”, “very”, “only” and others that express a personal impression or categoricality. I use Orfo in addition to Word checks and readability indicators.

Finance. How do you manage them? What are your three main rules in finance?

I keep my money in dollars, for 20 years I have never regretted it.

I do not use loans and do not lend.

If you need something, I try to find a professional, stylish, cool one. I am bargaining.

I pay for each service, so as not to be owed and to have the moral right to expect the same treatment from others.

I run my "treasury" in Excel, spend my salary on my family, and my income on luxury and leisure.

I collect discount cards of maximum denominations.

Checking receipts in shops and restaurants.

Relationship. What are your secrets of communicating with your other half?

Men are fighting for the future, women are fighting for today. I readily play “conflicts in place and in the moment”. I come to put up first: what difference does it make who is to blame, if you think for decades. It is able to withstand a shopping marathon once a quarter.

Child education. Your personal life hacks?

I’ll make a fire in the rain without matches, I’ll run over most of the maps, I’ll tie the laces with a reef bow so that they don’t get untied, or 100 different knots in 60 seconds, I’ll feed them in an autonomous hike without backpacks, I know hundreds of myths, fairy tales and anecdotes, but … I’m not an exemplary father …

Career. What helps you to be successful?

I strive to be the best. Not in the Bank, not in the industry, not in the country, but … in the world.

For example, on LinkedIn, I compete for search views with people from Forbes, Most Connected; automatically the most viewed in your organization.

I communicate with owners, top officials, budget owners. I do not use manipulative techniques such as mirroring: the interlocutors read the same books.

I prefer three-piece suits, do not support jeans day. I hold meetings and meetings without gadgets, I divide the planning time into 30-minute slots.

I remember the twists and turns of corporate life: today I didn't say hello to someone, and tomorrow this person will solve my question. I help regardless of grade. I use barter - I provide services for a budget or resource.

I try not to be fascinated by people, so as not to be disappointed in them later.

I take on hopeless, impossible, overdue tasks and projects. There is no competition, if you did - no one disputes the merits. I do a few slides of presentations every week to leave traces of projects.

I keep track of the average duration of watching videos with my speeches and lectures on the Internet. Trying to understand why people lose interest after four minutes of watching. I compete virtually with Comedy - their videos are watched on average for about five minutes.

It is easier to make a career if you drive to work or walk on foot so as not to waste time on the road. Eat or sleep whenever possible. During working hours I try not to dine alone.

A supporter of a horizontal career - changed several countries, worked in 13 divisions of the Bank.

Personal issues take precedence over workers, I solve them immediately. While you are thinking about your family, it is difficult to genuinely care for your customers.

Recreation. What interesting things do you do when organizing, planning and spending your vacation?

I want to be proud of the projects and the rest, the reason is important: cenotes of the film "Sanctum", the cave of "Batman", filming locations of "James Bond", the beach with the whitest / pinkest / blackest sand, the oldest hotel on the planet, the point of minimum temperatures, endemic butterflies.

Oleg Braginsky
Oleg Braginsky

For about 20 years my vacation has been organized by the same company, I recommend it to everyone. I use the Quintesensial concierge service. Why think about tickets or rooms. Specialists will take care of delays or cancellations of flights, replacement of numbers and cars - to spend food, not save.

House. What interesting can you tell about him?

I bought it on a turnkey basis: I paid in the morning, and in the evening after work I came to live. I am not ready to waste time on repairs, trade, quality control of work, alterations. Individual design, winner of nominations.

Development. How are you developing? Where and how do you get new information? Where is the inspiration?

I strive to learn hundreds of useful phrases in different languages. Every day I learn a few English words in LinguaLeo. I polish my knowledge of etiquette and national traditions. I get ideas from related fields. Heard the word. I caught the thought. I noticed the behavior. I watched the act.

I draw inspiration from the anticipation of victories.

I love to surprise, I strive to do magic.

Philosophy. Your principles of life. What do you believe in? What laws of life do you use?

I want to do meaningful things. I believe that the world needs to be changed. I trust. I influence. I study.

Daring goals for the rest of your life?

Visit all countries. I have traveled many, but in the last ten years there have been continuous repetitions. I dived the colored seas, visited the top beaches, islands, hotels. Was at most latitudes and meridians.

Visit the eight-thousanders. So far, five, and not more than 5 kilometers.

Chat with the owners of 10+ billion. It's eleven so far, and it's going tight.

Receive the Nobel Prize.

Found a university.

So, 10 life hacks from Oleg

  1. Every day, 100 fist push-ups in 60 seconds on the first two knuckles.
  2. Learn to read quickly in Ice Book Reader, view book abstracts on GetAbstract.
  3. Master blind printing in Stamina.
  4. Immediately respond to all emails and configure the rules for sorting incoming mail.
  5. Do not watch TV, read the press, or listen to radio or music.
  6. Every evening read half a book and learn a few foreign words.
  7. Respond to requests for training or speaking.
  8. Do not take loans or lend, bargain and pay for each service.
  9. Play conflicts "in place and in the moment" to women and put up first.
  10. Strive to be the best not at work, in the industry, in the country, but in the world.

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