What you’ll learn in this episode:
Growing a business takes time and effort, but it doesn’t have to be a 1:1 trade off of time and money.
Most of us believe that the only way to produce more clients and money in our business is to do more. An antidote to this cycle is to learn to be more productive so you can instead create more with the same or less of what you put in.
In today’s episode I share with you the 5 things I’ve done in my business, and what I’ve helped my clients do, that have power charged their productivity and taken their results and outputs to new heights.
By the end of this episode, you will have the tools to start making more with less and to power charge your own productivity in a way you haven’t before.
Here’s a glance at this episode:
- Understand why you need a plan and how to create one
- Stop the cycle of crash landing into your day
- Explore the 80/20 rule and determine what in your business really moves the needle (and how to incorporate those things into your day first)
- Manage your calendar in a way that protects some of your most important business assets
- Delegate, delegate, delegate – and delegate some more!
Mentioned in this episode:
Work/Connect with me:
[0:01] Well, hello, everyone, and welcome to this week’s episode of the practical mindset Podcast. I’m Jess Miller.
[0:07] And I’m so excited to be here with all of you to talk about productivity. One of my favorite things is being productive. I know that may not be in vogue, a lot of people are like, Oh, anti-hustle, you know, you don’t have to be working all the time. And I have to say that I actually agree with those sentiments. Absolutely. But I love being productive, anything around efficiency and productivity, totally my jam. I think the reason that I love it so much is because I think it is fascinating and powerful, to be able to constrain your inputs, and get more than you put in out of it as a result. And as such, I spend a lot of time in my business thinking about how can we be more productive and efficient? How can I help my clients be more productive and efficient, at the end of the day, time can be a constraint.
[1:06] And if we learn to use it wisely, if we learn to bend it, we actually can be incredibly productive with a very small amount of input. And one of the ways that you can really create bigger results in your business and almost 10x your outputs is to learn how to be more productive, doesn’t mean you need to work harder doesn’t mean you need to work more, it means that you’re focusing intentionally on what it is you want to create, and how you create those things with less input or keeping the inputs constant. So same amount of energy, same amount of work, same amount of time, bigger return and output.
[1:49] So today, I’m going to talk to you about power, charging your productivity, there are a handful of things that I do every day, every week that really have taken my productivity to a whole new level. A lot of these things seem really second nature to me. But what I found in talking to so many of my clients this week, is that those things were not necessarily second nature for everyone. Right now, as we’re recording this podcast, we are in the heat, literally the heat wave of the summer. And these are the times where I think our productivity can really get stressed and challenge where I feel like I said, time becomes one of those finite things that you need to really understand and work with. And a lot of times in the summer, we’re kind of at odds with some of these inputs.
[2:43] And so I want to share with you five things that I do that I think are going to power charge your productivity and take your output and move it to the next level. So if you’re wanting to create more money, more time, more clients more leisure in your day, that spaciousness, that beautiful whitespace I talk about all the time, you need to power charger productivity.
[3:07] So let’s jump in and talk about some of the things that I do to power or charge my productivity. Some of these things that I’ve seen with my clients do as well, and how you can do those in your business right now.
[3:19] So number one, one of the ways to power charge your productivity out of the gate, is you need to have a plan. I have talked about this, if you’ve listened to any of my episodes at all on the podcast, this is something I talk about all the time, you cannot create what you want, get where you want to go do the things you want to do, if you do not have an intentional plan of how to get there, I’m going to tell you a funny story of where this concept really hit home for me and it was not in my business. It was actually my personal life and my health and wellness.
[3:52] So we hear all the time, you need to drink a lot of water to stay healthy, right? You need to stay hydrated, you need to drink two liters of water a day or whatever prescription you ascribe to, you know, they talked about X amount of ounces per weight, whatever, let’s just pretend it’s two liters for sake of argument. So I believe in this and I said, You know what, I’m going to really make this intention at all that I do this. But before I actually set the intention, I was walking around with this belief that I’m drinking plenty of water, plenty of water. Well, here’s the thing. I wasn’t tracking any of it. I didn’t have a plan on how to make it happen. And what I found, like I have found with so many business owners, and frankly so many people when it comes to drinking water, is that what I thought I was creating and what I thought I was doing and where I was ending up was completely different than what I wanted.
[4:46] So not only was I not drinking enough water, but the amount of water that I was drinking was so far less than what it was I needed to drink. Sidenote, anyone listening to this podcast who has ever made an intention And to actually drink two liters of water a day knows that if you do not feel like you are floating out the door, or running to the bathroom all the time, I promise you, you are not drinking enough water. So once I started actually tracking it and planning around what it was I wanted to do, everything changed. Not only was I able to actually consume two liters of water, because it can be very difficult, especially if you aren’t used to it. But everything else that I wanted after that like feeling better, being able to perform better run faster, all those results came from the action of creating and following a plan.
[5:41] So in my business, and what I teach my clients is that you need to have a plan and intentional plan. Now, where you put this plan, whether it’s in your electronic calendar, or in a written notebook, I use the saver planner, which I love. It is a handheld spiral bound planner, awesome, awesome, highly recommend it, we will put the link in the show notes, you could use something physical, you can use something electronic, here’s the thing about what you use, the key is you need to use it, I use a combination of the written planner, the saver planner, and I also use my electronic calendar in my phone that syncs to my desktop.
[6:20] So the combination of here’s what you need to do every day on my electronics along with the written calendars where I can like write in my planner and write notes and do things like that has totally catapulted my productivity. How I do it, and I recommend to my clients is you want to have both a weekly plan you’re planning on a weekly basis, so you can look out, as well as planning on a daily basis.
[6:45] When we do year end planning or bigger planning, like annual planning, I work in 90-day chunks, 90 day years. And so I plan at the largest level on a 90 day plan, and then I back it into my weeks and my days. But for the purpose of this podcast, we’re just going to stick to the weeks and the days. So every week I plan what is my intention for this week? What are the things that I want to create? And I usually keep it to three priorities. So what are my three priorities that needs to happen this week that are going to move the needle, okay, and I literally write them down in my planner. From there, I discover what do I need to do every day, so that I can hit those goals.
[7:27] Now here is the crucial piece. When you start your week, or before you get into your day, you need to have a plan laid out. Sidenote, not every day or every week, are you going to be able to follow that plan to an absolute tee, it is your best laid plan life happens, we get it. But when you have some insight, and you have some intention, you can roll with the punches. So you want to make sure that you plan out your week and your days, okay, so that you have a clear roadmap of what it is that you need to do to move the needle in those top three things that you have planned for that week. Okay, so that’s the first thing is, do you have a plan? You need a plan?
[8:15] I want you to go and look at your calendar at your planner, like is first of all, is there one? And second of all, is it something that you are using and following because in order to get where you want to go, you need to have a plan in order to be productive, you need to have a plan, you need to know what you’re doing and where you’re going. Okay, that’s number one. So, first, if you’re listening to this posit, go look at your calendar and your planner. Is it there? Is it populated? Are you following it? If not, it’s time for you to make a plan.
[8:46] Number two is know what you’re going to do the second that you sit down and start your day. This is a big one. How many people show of hands I can’t see you but mentally I am. How many of you CrashPlan into your days, meaning that you sit down and you’re like, Okay, what do I do now? This was me if I mean totally transparent when I started and became an entrepreneur many years ago, the reason I did that was for freedom. And frankly most of you that are listening to this you’re doing it for freedom to what I thought freedom was literally like floating through my days having no schedule, having no structure crash landing into each morning in my yoga pants with no plan and no direction. And you know what happened? Not only did my mood plummet, but my productivity literally took a nosedive. So when you sit down in your seat every morning, you want to know exactly what you need to do. You need to know, as we said with that plan that you’re planning out for your day. What are the things that I need to work on today? And what is going to happen?
[9:53] The second I sit down, there is no lazing into the day with no direction that is a recipe for disaster. If You want to be productive, you need to know what you’re going to do. And frankly, when you look at that plan, I always look at mine the night before, you’re already mentally solving problems. That’s what this does, it starts your brain working. And you’re actually already working through the problems and starting to get ahead without actually doing anything. You know, so much of success and productivity. It’s an inside game, it’s how you show up. It’s what you do from these thoughts that you have that you’ve planned for intentionally.
[10:28] So the second thing is, you want to know what you’re going to do the second you sit down, if you make your plan, guess what you can open up your calendar, and you will know exactly what is on there for you to start doing. The moment you sit down, you are in the game, that is the key, you want to be in the game, you want to know what you’re going to be doing the second that you sit down. So my question to all of you is, do you know? Can you go into your calendar right now in your planner and look so that tomorrow, or today, if you’re listening to this at six o’clock in the morning, like I do a lot of times as my podcast, you know, when your day starts, do you know what you’re going to do the second you sit down? If not decide right now, what is the important thing?
[11:10] And what are you going to do when you sit down, start to make it happen this moment, which leads me to the next thing number three, you want to start with your priorities, the biggest priorities in your business. First, you want to identify what moves the needle in your business the most. And those are the things that you want to do the first thing in the morning, for any of you who have not listened to Episode 44 of my podcast, it’s called the 80/20 rule, you should definitely take a listen to that podcast, it talks all about how there are 20% of things in our business, this is a universal rule. 20% of the things in your business are actually creating 80% of your results. You want to know what those 20% of things are. And those are the things that you want to start your day with.
[11:55] Now, here’s an awesome hack that I learned from Tim Ferriss from the book, The 4-Hour Workweek, if you have not read it, you ought to read it. And I heard my coach Don Miller mentioned it the other day in a real that he did on his social media. If you don’t know Don Miller, check him out, too. But one of the things that Tim had said, and Don sort of echoed this was in the morning, he teaches that you should block out time in your calendar, and actually do the things that are the most important that are your priorities. This has been a game changer for me. So in the morning, I will sit down. And I will say what is something that is driving the most results in my business. And I’m going to do it now.
[12:39] So when I make that plan, it is in my calendar. First thing pro-tip if you shut off all the dings from your social media, all your notifications on your phone, there’s no windows open on your computer, literally, you are hijacking yourself to sit there and get that thing done. That is going to have the biggest impact in your business. Before you do anything else.
[13:00] I promise you, you will double your revenue in a millisecond. Because those things that you’re focusing on are the things that are driving most of your results. And if you get them done first, you will have massive success. So Tim was saying, essentially, like hijack your environment, like shut off all those notifications, let people know, between nine and 10, for example, you know, you’re not going to be available, like if there’s an emergency, yes, they can call you, you know, set up whatever structure that is that if there’s an emergency people can get you. But other than that you are literally censoring everything out and you’re doing nothing with the things that move your needle in that moment.
[13:38] So what are your priorities are the on your plan, start your day with those priorities, I promise you, your business will literally double because we are spending so much time. First of all, without a plan, crash landing into our day when we sit down and not knowing what to do, and then doing things that are not the most important things in our business, and that are not really moving the needle, that we are wasting so much time. And we are really not creating the results that are the biggest results we can get. So once you dial that in and you start really focusing on the things first that move the needle, your business will grow like crazy.
[14:15] The fourth thing is block your calendar. So this is something that’s kind of related to what I was just talking about. One of the most, the most important things that I used to have done that I used to do not really well is I would set boundaries around my calendar, I needed to block time for myself in ways that would allow me to be more productive, create more output. As human beings, we are terrible. multitaskers we like to think that we can do a lot of things really well. But the truth is we cannot. And if you want to focus on one thing at a time and you want to actually make things happen and be productive. You need to have blocks in your calendar that allow you to do that.
[14:56] What I just talked about with starting your day with the priorities in That is one hack that I have used in my productivity that have made a huge shift, I blocked that time in the morning, I don’t sit down at my day and get go right into a client call or, you know, get pulled into the fray of something, I blocked my calendar to really focus on those priorities, that has been a game changer for me. I’ve also blocked my calendar so that I have working hours. And I tried to be really diligent about not bleeding outside of those hours. Now, transparently, sometimes I do and sometimes business demands that, but it’s not most of the time, and we are successful. And we create our lives by doing the things that we really want to be doing, or spending our time the way we want to be spending it most of the time. So blocking my boundaries of my day also gave me that constraint that allowed me to be productive in the time that I had. This is so important.
[15:51] Most people think they need tons of time, I am here to tell you, you absolutely do not. You will use the time that you give yourself, the more constrained you get by blocking your time and saying, I’m going to do this thing within this amount of time, the more productive and efficient you get, I promise you this is true. One 100% of the time, I have fought with people over this, I have yelled at my own coaches about it. I’ve had clients challenge me on it, and the result is always the same. constrain your time, you will get more productive.
[16:22] The other thing that is so crucial that I have done in my business. And I’ve also talked about this a lot. And there’s a podcast I recorded about whitespace is block your calendar to protect your whitespace there is so much of your success in your business that comes when you are not quote unquote, working in your business. It is an epidemic that we believe that if we are not doing something in our businesses, right now, we are not working like sitting at our computer, we are not creating money and clients and success that is 100% False, your whitespace the time when you are not in front of your computer, where you are marinating when you are doing other things is equally as important to your success. As the time you’re sitting at your computer or in front of your client or mapping out your business plan.
[17:10] I promise you, the more that you give yourself time, to the whitespace to that creative process to the marinating and opening up, the more money you will make in your business. And the better you will feel and the more fun you will have. You need to treat your whitespace on your calendar as if it was part of your business plan. And you need to protect it and block your calendar around it. In 2021. This was the number one thing that catapulted my business to the next level, I made the decision that I was going to put whitespace into my calendar intentionally.
[17:44] And here’s what I did, I made sure that I spent some time by myself, once a month, it could be a day in my office, it could be a day away from everyone else. But I was going to intentionally put time on my calendar to be away. I discovered also that my clients needed this too. So in many of my programs, we literally account for white space on the calendar as part of the program. We have implementation weeks and weeks that are free of constraint of calls for people to go out and be in the white space marinate in that white space. I watched my clients have so much more success as a result of that. So once a month, we bake that into our programs. I personally get space once a month.
[18:28] And then the other thing that I did is I take a business retreat, quote unquote, once a quarter, and in that space, I go and I’m just marinating in my business, I am creating whitespace around my business that allows me to really tap into this inner wisdom, and put myself in environments that foster the growth of my company, game changer for everyone that is listening here. I highly, highly recommend it. And I really believe that I am on a mission to help people understand that the money and the success and the happiness is in the white space. It doesn’t mean that you are not doing anything in your business. It just that the doing looks different. And it really compels us to utilize a different part of ourselves to create that success. And blocking that time on your calendar. Making it intentional that you had the whitespace is the first step in creating a much more productive business a much more successful business. So protect your whitespace.
[19:30] So I want you to go to your calendar right now. Do you have time blocked? I’m going to say if we were sitting in an audience show of hands, and I said Who has time locked on their calendar right now for whitespace for just that untethered time? I would say probably 10% of people would raise their hands. This is the problem, right? This is the problem. So I want you to go to your calendar, no judgement. If it is not there. I want you to do one thing for yourself. This week. I want you to put in some white space. It could be 10 minutes, it doesn’t matter. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. And it’s about making sure that that time is actually something that you can expand within, right? You can be untethered, and you can be free and use that time in a way that fills you up.
[20:13] And last but not least, you need to delegate. If you want to be more productive, you need to delegate. In 2022, when we are recording this podcast, the world is a magical place. As far as our ability to delegate. Not only are there people out there that are amazing at what they do, that we can hire that we can literally hand something to and delegate. But there are also systems and automations, and different tools that we can utilize, that we can delegate tasks to, literally, I don’t go around clicking and manually putting console calls or calls with my client on their calendars, thank goodness for acuity, right, we can do these things in the click of a button. If you want to be more productive, you need to take yourself out of the center of these equations. And you need to multiply your time and multiply your output by delegating to other people and other systems that allow you to do more with less.
[21:17] This is huge, this is huge, it’s really interesting to think that the best way that you could be more productive is to not be doing a lot of things. Right? It’s basically to be giving it to other people, other systems. But the truth is that is it, there’s only so much of you, right? And there are so many things around you that can help you create more and do more with but you have to utilize them. So if I was going to give people advice around this, I would say what are again, those most important things that have to happen in your business? What are things that streamline your time and energy that you can then go and delegate and I would start with those things? Again, like the things that don’t really matter, and don’t move the needle? Those are the lowest priorities on your list. But the things that do are the things you want to start with how do I streamline these? How do I do them better? How do I make the output greater, and you want to start with being able to delegate some of those things.
[22:13] And here’s the other thing I want to mention about this, when you put yourself in your zone of genius to do the things in your business, that allow you to make more money, bigger impact, help more people, and you give the things that are not that important to someone else. So you essentially by delegating something that’s not important to you not in your wheelhouse, allows you to then up level or do more of the things that actually do move the needle and you love, it is a win-win, and the output is always higher. So you can think about it both ways. But pulling yourself out of the equation of things that are not your zone of genius, you don’t have to do don’t move the needle on your business. Huge, huge, huge game changer, one sure way of power charging your productivity.
[22:58] So for delegating, I want you to go and look like are you in the middle of everything? Do you need to be? The answer is no. And how are you going to move these things to other places so that you don’t have to be doing them and that you could basically Power Charge your productivity by handing some of these things off. So in recapping this, if you want to have a business that thrives, you need to learn to do more with less, you need to learn to have a bigger output. power charging your productivity is one of the keys to 10x in your business, to creating more with less. And really that is the name of the game. Because you want to be able to touch and impact more people more lives help more people. And the way that you do that is by becoming more productive, being more efficient. Another way of thinking about that is increasing your return on your investment of your own time and energy. That is a huge piece of it.
[23:51] So to recap, here are the five things that I have done two power trials in my productivity that I helped my clients due to power charge their productivity, and that you can do right now it’s a Power Charge yours. So number one, you need a plan. Do you have a plan? Do you understand what it is you’re aiming at? Do you have a plan for your weeks and your days that are going to tell you what to do and get you to that outcome that you want in the most efficient way in the most productive way. You cannot be productive. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll be all over the place you need a plan.
[24:25] Number two, know where you’re going the second you sit down in your seat. Do you know tomorrow when you sit down or today if you’re listening to this at 5am. When you start your day for your business? Do you know what you’re going to do the second that you sit down? You should make sure that you do.
[24:43] Number three, start with your priorities, do the things that move the needle first. I cannot stress this enough. If you don’t know what’s moving the needle in your business. Start by figuring that out. Go to your data. Look at what’s consuming your time. What are people asking for? What are you doing that’s working? Those are the things that move the needle, you want to start your day with those priorities.
[25:03] Number four, block your calendar, block your calendar in the morning so that you can start with those priorities. Block your calendar and book end your day. So you know when it starts and when it ends, what is work time? When is playtime? Yes, they overlap some time. But there needs to be some structure. And then very importantly, block your whitespace. Protect your whitespace in your business so that you can go and actually have the time untethered to do what you need to do for yourself in order to grow your business.
[25:35] And then last, but absolutely not least, Delegate delegate, delegate. This is the biggest hurdle for many business owners, especially solopreneurs, when we’re doing it all. And that’s what we’ve been used to. And it’s our habit. And now it’s time to uplevel you have to delegate and not only delegate to other awesome people, here’s the thing, the awesome people that you delegate to that, do all the things that maybe you don’t like doing, or you maybe like doing them, but you don’t do them very well. And they love doing them, when you hand over all of your stuff to them. It is like when they are like so happy. Someone once told me like, the more that you hang on to the stuff you don’t like to do, and you’re not good at. And you take it away from somebody who loves to do it, you’re like robbing them of your happiness of their happiness. Not you’re happy about your happiness, too, right? But you’re robbing them of their happiness, delegate those things. Put it out there, not only does it get those things done without you having to do it. But it also really power charted your productivity, because now you’re getting to spend time in your zone of genius. And you get to do those things that you do so much better, and so much more powerfully. And that is like how the whole thing that’s the win-win of it all.
[26:45] So, again, I want you to go back, I want you to go back, listen to this podcast again, if you have to pause it in it while you’re listening to it. But I want you to go and look at these five things, really growing your business, making it thrive is about power, charging your productivity. It’s about being efficient. It’s about making sure you know what’s happening, and that you can create the things in your business at a higher level by doing less inputting less and having a bigger return on your investment so you can take your business to that place you really want to go and where you deserve to be