Mentioned in the video…
It’s 5:00 PM.
You look up from your laptop and it hits you…
You feel a mix of anger at yourself and at the world, because it just seemed like everything that could have distracted you today did (rude).
And what do you have to show for it?
One and a half tasks accomplished and about a zillion more still to do (which will all need to get pushed. Again.)
At that same time, you kind of go into a mild panic…you have deadlines you’re already behind on, and the work that you didn’t get done today is just going to get added to that pile. 😥
You know what this means.
I would love to share top productivity hacks with you!
Btw, some of these are online business productivity hacks, some are more just life productivity hacks.
I think both are equally important because I am not so concerned about where I get my time back from, I just want more time to be able to do the things that I enjoy and less time doing the mundane daily life stuff and work!
I’ll also share with you one fantastic productivity hack I absolutely live by that I learned from the one and only Tim Ferris!
So let’s get into it!👇
Yep. I actually do this.
When I know I sitting down for a work sesh, I will hide my phone somewhere where I can’t physically see it, so I don’t get distracted by it.
Whether that’s under a pillow, hidden inside my purse, behind my laptop, whatever.
Why? Because when I can see my phone, I find myself just picking it up out of habit.
So if I need to get real serious work done, I make sure to do this first!
Then suddenly, I just kind of forget about it! Out of sight, out of mind, right?
These deep focused work sessions are where I tend to knock off the most tasks most quickly, because my brain train isn’t being derailed every 5 minutes by something totally unrelated to my business.
When I say I’m not on social media, I don’t just mean I try not to look at them when I’m working…
What I mean is that I either don’t have the app on my phone, or literally just don’t have an account altogether.
Facebook I’ve had to make an exception for because it is more convenient to my students to be hosting any groups or student communities that go along with my online courses, rather than making them sign up for some other platform.
But outside of that? Nothing.
I’ve never had a Tik Tok. And I don’t even know how to use Twitter. 🤷♀️
So if you want to get hours of your life back, I highly highly recommend just straight up deleting these apps from your phone!
Seriously, go into the time tracker settings on your phone to see how much time you’ve spent on each app and think about what having all those hours back could mean for your business and just generally your well-being!
The best thing about bailing on social media is that you are no longer distracted by shiny objects or what other people are doing because you simply won’t know.
I think this gives me the ultimate advantage because there’s no more comparison. I’m just free to think up my own ideas, build my business in a way that fits with how I want to live, and my creativity is not influenced by what’s happening around me.
I personally use Asana (complete video on how I use it there 👈) but literally any project management system or planner will work. I find a digital planner or system easier, just for the fact that if I need to tweak my plans or move a deadline, I’m not having to erase and rewrite the thing, mucking up the pages of my pretty planner in the process.
So what does using a project management system mean for my productivity?
I spend absolutely no time wondering what I should be working on when I sit down at my laptop each day.
I also don’t have to spend time putting out a bunch of tiny fires in my business because the little things ended up falling through the cracks.
Every time I have a thought, or I remember “I have to do XYZ thing”, it immediately goes into my Asana.
So if you find that every time you sit down to work you are spending time trying to figure out exactly what you should be doing, or you find yourself bouncing around from task to task because “oh, I forgot to do this one little thing over here” then I promise you getting yourself set up with a project management system is the best thing you could be doing to move yourself closer to your goals in your business.
Having everything organized in one place will make you much more effective at managing your time.
Maybe you already have something like Asana, but–looking at your working habits–you wonder if you’re truly using it to it’s full potential…
If so, check out the video I recently did where I walk you through exactly how I use Asana to manage both my business and my personal life for more productivity and wayyyy less stress! 👇
I don’t know about you, but when I look at my calendar and see I have a meeting on the books, it pretty much ruins my entire day.
All I can think about is “oh yeah, I have that call at 3:00 PM” and knowing I’ll have to drop what I’m doing soon to hop on zoom, I can never really get into a work flow with any of my other tasks.
But when I look at my day and see I have a solid number of hours of uninterrupted work time ahead, the amount I can accomplish in that time is incredible!
So I’ve set up my entire business in a way that I pretty much never have meetings (with the exception of the regular live Q&A calls I host for students of my online courses, of course!)
I talk more about how even with a team of 5 people, we manage never to have meetings in this video!
My next productivity hack comes from the wonderful Tim Ferris!
In one of his books, he mentions that one of the ways he stays productive is to just decide to check off certain tasks without doing them.
So when I sit down to look at my own Asana and what I’m supposed to be doing that day, if I see a task in there that I know I’ve been bumping for weeks telling myself “I’ll get that done, I just don’t have time today”, I just make the call to check that thing off my list without doing it and move on.
If I’ve already moved that task multiple times, clearly it’s not as important as I thought it was!
And what about the 1 in 100 chance that checking that task off without doing it could cause a bigger issue down the road?
I’ll just cross that bridge when I get there (while thanking myself for not wasting my time and energy on the other 99 tasks that ended up being no big deal at all!)
Once a quarter, my team and I ruthlessly track our time.
So rather than just sitting down and starting the clock and stopping it when we wrap up our work for the day, we get super specific about what exactly we are spending that chunk of time on. (Like down to the minute!)
It seems a bit overkill, but I promise you’ll come away with some crazy realizations about the way you work in your business!
You’ll have to record every time you got distracted checking your email, or got lost in a social media wormhole, or hemming and hawing over a decision that honestly didn’t matter for the big picture.
You’ll start to spot major inefficiencies, and if you have a team, you’ll be able to see how many times people were bottlenecked by someone else because they couldn’t move forward on a task until they had something they needed from that person.
My team and I faithfully do this for 3-5 days each quarter, then it’s up to each of us to self-reflect and see all the things that weren’t a good use of our time, and therefore were holding us back as a business and just generally adding unnecessary time spent staring at our computers.
We’ve even made hiring (and unfortunately, firing) decisions based on what we learned!
If you see that you are spending 2.5 hours a day doing something that honestly anyone could be doing, you can make the call to outsource that task to a VA (virtual assistant), or to delegate to someone else if you already have team members.
So if you feel like you could use 5 more hours a week to be working on something, you now have a place you can go to find those 5 hours!
We once had it where, after doing our time tracking exercise, we realized that half the time we were working was spent answering questions or preparing all the details needed to delegate certain tasks to another person.
(But, if after this they still couldn’t cut it, we knew it would be time for them to go!)
This one has been life changing!
As a business owner, I don’t always have time to be going out and grocery shopping and meal planning each week, and I don’t always feel like cooking, but I also don’t want to be eating out every day!
So I signed up for a meal kit delivery service where once a week, I just pick from their list of menu options, and they deliver a box full of all the exact ingredients I will need (in the exact quantity I need) along with a super simple recipe card to follow.
If you end up loving that recipe, you now have all the know-how you need to be making that thing again in the future, even without ordering from their service.
I spend zero time driving to a grocery store, standing in a checkout line, and potentially having to hit a second store if they don’t have what I need.
The time it takes to cook each meal is also significantly reduced because all the ingredients are already measured out for you. You just have to chop them and/or mix them and you’ve got a beautiful meal with exact portions for however many people you want to order for.
If I know we are having guests, I just go in the app and change the portion size, and I often order a portion size of 4 people, knowing it will just be the two of us eating because then we can have leftovers (meaning even less cooking for me!)
My next life hack is potentially weird, but let me tell you…it’s life changing!
So anytime something needs to be in a pair (like a pair of socks) or has two separate parts in order for it to function and therefore need to be somehow stored and kept together (like tupperware with lids) I buy multiples of the exact same thing.
No more time spent tracking down a lid that will actually fit, or trying to find a missing sock to match because they ALL match. They are all the exact same.
I’ve been doing this for years and my sock drawer and tupperware drawers look 🤌.
Sounds dirty, but it’s actually a hair thing.
And it’s something I just started doing recently that has totally transformed my morning routine.
So it’s a perm, but instead of marking your hair permanently curly, it makes your hair permanently straight.
I go to the salon every 3-4 months, they put some liquid on my hair, blow dry it, then straighten it. Boom. Done.
You do have to let it sit for a few days which is kind of gross, but then after you wash it out, you’ll have super smooth, silky hair (like you just walked off the set of a shampoo commercial!)
It’s mind blowing. And it takes absolutely zero maintenance in the morning for it to look that way.
Here’s what my hair would look like straight out of the shower before vs after getting this treatment.
I used to spend hours, straightening my hair super thick hair. I bought every fancy hair straightening tool known to man, hoping it would make my morning routine easier.
I bought one of those Dyson air wrap things so that if I do want to wear my hair curled, I can at least cut out the step of drying it.
But I used to have to coordinate my whole week around my wash days for my hair because I sure as heck wasn’t going to spend all that time blowdrying it, but air drying meant I couldn’t really go anywhere until it was dry and I could straighten it (which would be literally hours later).
But this Brazilian blowout treatment means I literally washed my hair, put a comb through it and step out the door, knowing it will look great when it air dries!
Another hack on the beauty front that saves me time every single day is getting my eyelashes dyed so I don’t have to:
A) put on mascara
B) spend time trying to wash that mascara off that night
I’m exceptionally lazy at taking off my makeup at the end o the day (I’ve slept in it on a lot of occasions…I know…gasp).
And I’m not even all that into makeup. Like, I can go without foundation. I can go without lipstick. But my eyelashes are so naturally blonde that without something on them, they are basically see-through. (Not my fav look on me.)
So yah, it’s the smallest thing, but with my beauty routine already done for me, I can wake up and head straight to getting other stuff done, meaning I can often skip out of work early because I got so much more done!
So combined, I’d say all these hacks for business and life tend to save me about 15 hours a week of what otherwise would have been completely wasted time.
Imagine having 15 extra hours in a week!!!
And you may have noticed that most of these hacks cost very little or even nothing to start doing! The ones that do require spending money are still fairly reasonable, especially given you’d probably have to spend money to do them the way you were doing them before.
Getting my eyelashes dyed costs about £15 every few months (that’s $18-ish USD.).
HelloFresh meal kit delivery service costs me tops £50 (about $60 extra bucks a month compared to what I would normally spend on groceries or eating out).
My hair treatment is a little steeper at £200 pounds every 3-4 months ($240 ish USD) but seeing that it legit 3-4 hours a week, I’d say that’s well worth it!