Have you ever wondered how super-achievers like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Gary Keller, John Maxwell, and Arianna Huffington seem to get so much done?
Their businesses are booming, their marketing is on-point, they have a built an incredible team of support, and they have vision and clarity in their business and in their life.
They don’t have ANY more time in the day than you do – but it sure seems they do. So what’s their secret?
Are you READY for this…..
“You can’t manage time, you can only manage yourself.”
We ALL have the same number of hours, minutes, and seconds in a day. The only thing you CAN manage is how YOU use those minutes.
And I’m going to show you in this post exactly how they do it.
I know firsthand that these productivity habits work, because (even after some resistance at first), because they have changed my entire life and the trajectory of my business.
The truth is, it’s not about doing more and working harder.
In fact, the more simple you can make it, the less you’ll work and the more you’ll get done.
There are some very practical steps you can take to make this happen for you – starting this week.
But remember: You can read and study all of the productivity hacks in the world, but none of them will work unless you actually implement them into your routine.
These are the strategies that separate the Titans from everyone else…
4 Steps To Streamline Your Way To Success
1. Work On Your “High-Leverage” Activities When You’re Most Productive
Are you a morning person or a night person? When do you feel mentally sharp? What time of day is your GO time?
For me, I’m definitely sharper and more productive first thing in the morning.
Example: If I sit down to write an email or blog post at 6 a.m., it only takes me about 30-45 minutes. But if I try to write the same thing at 3 p.m. it’d take me over an hour and a half.
Rearrange your schedule to free up that time to work ON your business instead of in it.
Yes, this is easier said than done, but if and when you’re ready to take your business to the next level, it’s a MUST.
When I had my fitness business, I used to LOVE coaching my early morning sessions.
However….coaching in the morning not only took up my most productive time of day, but also took up a lot of my energy. When I had a block of time to sit down and work on my business, I wasn’t as focused or as sharp as I needed to be.
I had to make the hard choice to let other coaches take those classes over for me. It wasn’t easy, but HOLY did my productivity skyrocket and my business massively shifted.
Making that decision allowed me to take my business to the next level and have an impact on even MORE clients.. In retrospect, I know I made the right decision.
ACTION STEP: Evaluate when your MOST productive time of day is. Then, create a plan to start gradually freeing up this time throughout the week so you can work ON your business.
Sounds simple, but the best of the best do this.
2. ID Your 5%… and then eliminate, delegate, or automate EVERYTHING ELSE.
Basically, it boils down to this: 95 percent of the things we’re thinking, doing, and worrying about, don’t really matter in the long run. GASP! (#truth).
They are little things – things that keep you “busy” and occupied… but that don’t improve the quality of your life, grow your business, or advance you toward your goals.
The remaining 5 percent? That’s where the magic happens – those are the things that make the real difference. That’s where you see EXPONENTIAL RESULTS.
Exactly what that 5 percent includes will be different for each of us.
In a nutshell, if it’s not something that you absolutely LOVE doing, and it’s not moving your business forward, then it’s probably not in your 5 percent.
Here are some key questions to ask yourself when it comes to determining your own personal 5%:
- What is the one thing I need to be doing to move my business forward?
- What is the highest and best use of my time?
For some fitness pros, Facebook marketing will be part of their 5%, while for others, it won’t be. Some will focus on writing and shooting videos, others will include coaching, and yet others will include program design.
For me, the 5 percent includes refining my vision, developing strategies / planning, content creation, building products, presenting, building and nurturing relationships, managing my team, some marketing, and of course, coaching.
Anything that ISN’T in your 5% needs to evaluated to determine if you can eliminate, automate, or delegate it.
→ Be RUTHLESS with your time management. You can never get it back.
3. Chunk Your Activities and “Block” Your Time.
Remember: You can’t manage your time…but what you can manage are your ACTIVITIES.
The first step to getting a handle on managing all the various tasks you have to do over the course of a day or week is to “chunk” them together.
This means you’re NOT multi-tasking. Even if you’re convinced that multi-tasking makes you more productive, it DOESN’T. It’s science.
This is a huge area of struggle for most fitness business owners. In fact, I used to be in the mutli-tasking club myself.
If you’re not blocking and chunking your time, you’re probably missing your deadlines and wasting time being “busy.”
I get how you might feel resistant to doing this, because it wasn’t that long ago that the thought of time-blocking gave me anxiety. It felt way too “restrictive.”
But after being threatened by one of my mentors that I was going to be fired as a client (literally) if I didn’t start time blocking…. I finally decided to do it – and it changed everything for me.
I realized two things:
#1. I was setting myself up to fail every day by putting way too much on my plate. I was constantly moving things to “tomorrow” that I didn’t finish.
#2. I was wasting way too much time moving between tasks and being “busy” instead of moving my business forward.
In fact, I came to understand that blocking my schedule wasn’t restrictive at all – it was exactly the opposite, because I was in charge of it.
Creating time-blocks freed me up to do the things I wanted and NEEDED to do to make real progress in my business.
And I know it will do the same for you.
Now, every Sunday, I take about a half-hour and plan my week by “chunking” tasks into manageable, bite-sized blocks. This way, I can fully be PRESENT and concentrate on those tasks (ideally- those that are in my 5%!)
When I chunk out my time I like to use the Pomodoro method.
If I’m working on shorter tasks that don’t take a long time, I’ll work in 30-minute blocks, which actually means I’m working for 25 minutes and then taking a mandatory 5 minutes off to stand up, grab some water, and recharge.
If I’m working on bigger tasks where I need to focus for a longer time, I’ll work for 50 minutes and then take a 10-minute break.
There are plenty of online timers you can use to help you with this – check out TomatoTimer, which is totally free.
GAME-CHANGING TIP: Time block your emails, time on Facebook, and phone calls.
You do NOT need to constantly checking your email or checking Facebook all day! This will suck the life out of you.
4. Get RID of ALL Distractions
Time blocking only works if you ONLY work on the task in your time block. (obviously!)
But to do that, you have to F-O-C-U-S. Turn off your email, Facebook, phone, Skype, anything that dings, and every other distraction. Clear your desk. Devote yourself fully to the tasks you’ve blocked for a particular time.
This way, you can do your best work and not feel the constant pull of your attention. The more you’re able to focus on the task at hand, the more you’ll get done. It’s the secret weapon that will ramp up your productivity.
GAME-CHANGING TIP: One of my favorite things to do before sitting down for a block of time that I need to be fully present for, is to meditate for 5-10 minutes first. This helps to clear my mind and helps me to be more present and focused when I sit down to do my work.
YOUR ACTION PLAN…
You might be thinking…Alicia….all of that sounds great, but how do actually implement these new habits in my business?
Well, I’m going to outline EXACTLY what steps you can take to radically improve your productivity.
Step #1: Do a Brain Dump
Write down anything and everything that’s on your mind. That’s right: any and every little task you’ve been thinking about, any major project you want to tackle, and everything in between. Just get it all out on paper.
If it’s in your head, it’s taking up valuable space, energy, and bandwidth!
When you put it all down on paper, you won’t have to worry about forgetting about any of it, and you’ll instantly feel your stress levels drop.
It’s absolutely normal to come up with more items to add to this list – in fact, it’s a never-ending process. But for now, just sit down and do your initial brain dump.
Next, write down EVERY activity that you’re doing on a daily basis. Every. Single. One. Keep a notepad next to you, so that you can track exactly what you’re spending your time on each day.
You get up to make a smoothie? Write it down.
Step #2: Organize Your List LIKE A BOSS.
After you have your list, eliminate anything that’s not essential to your business. If it’s not something that adds value or creates leverage, or it’s something you don’t enjoy or doesn’t move your business forward, get rid of it.
Keep in mind that this is about working smarter, not harder.
Next, divide your list into four categories on four separate sheets of paper (or google docs).
- Today – urgent or important tasks you must take care of TODAY.
- This Week – items that can wait a day or two to take care of.
- This Month – tasks that you want to tackle within 30 days.
- Back Burner – anything that doesn’t seem like a high priority, but that you still want to get done.
Highlight those things that only you can do – the tasks that are in your ideal 5 percent.
Delegation is key when you get to this point. That’s why I love creating SYSTEMS so much. When you have systems and processes built out in your business, delegation becomes EASY.
It’s one of the most critical things you can do in your business…. And will free you up from the day-to-day tasks that YOU (the business owner) don’t need to be personally working on.
As you go over your activities and tasks and assign them to the proper list, be sure to focus on the tasks that will actually move your business forward.
As you and your business grow, the activities in your 5% will change over time.
The goal is, over time, to delegate and automate more and more of the activities and tasks that aren’t in your 5%.
If you need some help with organizing and managing your tasks, try the free app Wunderlist!
Step #3: Time Block, Chunk, & Schedule Your Activities!
Next, it’s time to take action and schedule those tasks in whatever calendar you use.
I personally use Google calendar… and I color code my tasks so I can know at a quick glance what basic topic they fall under: coaching, emails / phone calls, writing, product creation, etc.
When you chunk your “like” tasks together, be sure to use the Pomodoro method, blocking off 30 or 60-minute intervals.
Also be sure to schedule your workouts, meal prep, time to eat, and also include buffer blocks which gives you a little extra time in case you need underestimated the time it took to get something done (or in case your schedule got thrown off track). Also be SURE to schedule in down time and time with your family and friends, too.
As you’re doing this, ask yourself: Is this the highest and best use of your time?
Doing this over time will help you maximize your productivity and fine-tune your schedule.
Step #4: Tweak, Refine, and Grow
You’ll get more comfortable with this process over the next few weeks. This is a new habit that you’re building, and with time you’ll see what works for you – and what doesn’t.
It’s not about creating the perfect schedule. It’s about finding ways to make the best use of your time so you can be more productive and grow your business. The more you grow, the more you’ll learn how to maximize your time to your best use.
Want Even More?
Are you ready to become INCREDIBLY productive? Do you need to build SYSTEMS in your fitness business so you can work ON your business and get out of that state of OVERWHELM? This is all a part of what I teach in my Coaching Program.
If you’re interested in learning how to build systems to create both time AND financial freedom, take 2 seconds to fill out the application (CLICK HERE to fill it out) and we can hop on a quick call to see if it’s a good fit.
Make it a productive day!!