Make the Most of Your Time: Practical Productivity

Make the most of your time.

Do you have a big dream? An idea of what you’ll be, do or have when you achieve all your goals and make stacks of cash?

I do! I’m not going to share it here, because this isn’t about me, but I bet you have one too. Something that keeps you motivated to take that next step and consistently move forward even when it’s a struggle. It could be about the kind of impact you want to have on the community (or the world!), a property you’d love to have or even the opportunity to do whatever the heck you like with your free time. For most of us it’s probably a combination of a bunch of different things.

It’s the same for my clients. They are generally pretty community-minded and family-focused individuals. They want to make a contribution to their neighbourhood, enjoy delightful experiences with the people they love and spend time in places where they can connect with nature. Funnily enough, a common theme amongst them – clients who come from a range of industries – is the desire to have a beach house. Somewhere they can escape to and enjoy quality with their families on weekends and holidays while being closer to nature. It ticks a few boxes, and I must admit, it sounds pretty idyllic!

So, they know what they are working toward, and you probably do too.

The problem is that so many things seem to stand in the way of realising these dreams that it can get discouraging, and sometimes we get so caught up in the chaos that we forget the bigger picture completely.

We overbook our calendars until today’s to-dos become next week’s past dues. We procrastinate on the things that are important while giving attention to things that are easier to get done, even if they don’t create much value. And often we simply take on too much – even when we know better.

Moving consistently in the direction of our bigger vision requires us to use our time efficiently and be productive where it counts. To that end, here are five productivity hacks that you can utilise to get more done in less time.

Rituals and Habits

Put simply, a ritual or habit is a consistent way of doing something. You probably have a morning ritual (wake up, coffee, get everyone fed, shower, school run, get to work), evening ritual (dinner, check homework, tuck the kids in, watch some Netflix, and hit the hay), weekend ritual (sleep late, mow the lawn, kid’s sports, catch a movie, visit your mum etc), and many others.

The trouble is, if you’re not careful with your rituals, they can turn into productivity killers. Is checking Facebook or email a part of your morning ritual? Is checking the news part of your at work ritual? Distractions such as these can turn even your best intentions into hours of wasted time.

Take a good look at your rituals and habits. What are you doing that you know is disruptive – or that could be moved to another part of your day? What are you missing that would make things easier? Make your routines more efficient and you’ll automatically get more done without tons of extra effort. 

Download your free, easy to use Habit Tracker!

Establish and track new healthy habits that will support both your wellbeing and business success!

Calendar Management

Want to know how much time you really have available for that new project? Try blocking off time in your calendar for all your existing projects or clients. Fill in all your client meetings and deliverables, your business admin tasks, time for meals and breaks, outside appointments, and everything else you’re committed to. What’s left might just shock you.

Make it a habit to block time in your calendar for every commitment, and you’ll naturally stop over-promising or over-committing yourself. For more tips on time blocking read about 3 Ways to Get More Time in Your Day

Learn to Let Go

This might be a new idea for you but here is the truth: You do not have to do everything in your life or business. You can (and should) hand off low-level, time-sucking tasks to someone else. Hire a VA to create your documents and manage your calendar and inbox. Let a tech support person manage your website, and a copy writer or freelance marketer handle your social media and content creation. Turn over your bookkeeping to an accountant or bookkeeper if you haven’t already.

The time you free up will allow you to work on the things that are truly important – and that only you can do. This is what time management expert and author Laura Vanderkam refers to as your core competencies – the areas where you both excel and enjoy yourself. This could be as a parent, working directly with clients, managing a team etc. Wherever possible we should ignore, minimise, delegate or outsource activities that don’t fit into this core.

Work Hard, Play Harder

You are not a machine. You cannot work all day every day and hope to be at your best all the time. Take a day off. Get some rest, or relax on a long, slow hike. Take a friend out to lunch. Go to the zoo with your kids. See a movie or a play. Do something – anything – other than work.

Not only will you return to work feeling much more refreshed, but you’ll find yourself more creative and productive than before as well. My business-owner clients tend to be people-people, fun is in their nature, but often they neglect to make it a priority as their businesses grow and become all-consuming. Part of our work together is exploring how they can make it a more prominent part of their life. Read more about why self-care is more important than you think.


Multi-tasking is impossible. You cannot efficiently create a new content or products, meet with a client, or make a sale while you’re simultaneously surfing Facebook, keeping an eye on the kids, and answering the phone every time it rings.

Instead, after blocking the time off in your calendar for the important stuff, turn everything else off so you can focus on the one thing you want to do. No phone, no Facebook, no kids or spouses or neighbours or pets demanding “just a minute” of your time. Use some noise-cancelling headphones if need be! Tune everything out and have a clear goal, and you’ll find your work getting done much faster.

I’m not going to pretend this last part is easy, in fact sometimes it’s almost impossible (lockdown and home learning with an 8yo anyone?) but just because it doesn’t always work doesn’t mean it isn’t worth persisting with! I still find it a challenge some days even though kids are back at school and we can move freely again. Setting boundaries around our time – especially with family or when we haven’t had a lot of practice – is hard, but it becomes more and more important as your business grows. If you want to say “no” more easily, download our free e-book!

Managing your time and turning up your productivity is not something that comes naturally to most people but when you practice these skills, you’ll find yourself better equipped to handle the many challenges running a small business presents. Keep your big dream in mind as you plan your day, knowing that the better you get at managing your time, the faster that dream will become a reality!

If you are exhausted and could use more support with managing your time, book a free Intro Call and see how our business owner coaching programs can help.

Until next time,