Five EASY ways to be MORE productive!

Written by  //  January 5, 2015  //  Daily Juice  //  6 Comments

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Here are five EASY ways to be more productive. They’ve helped me SO much! Maybe they’ll help you TOO?!


5 easy ways to be more productive

So, I’m always looking at better ways to get stuff done. If you’re new here – you might not know that I have four children (aged 3 to 13), run The Business Bakery, do speaking, coaching, writing, TV and, *sigh*, am an easily-distracted-procrastinator. I have to really WORK at getting stuff done! Gah! Anyhoo –  you can be pretty confident that when I say these are super EASY ways to be more productive, it’s TRUE!

1 Have an organised workspace and work stuff

So you might already be super-organised and very tidy, in which case skip to the next point. Me? Gah!  I really have to work at this. My natural state is a workspace overwhelmed with notebooks, paper, post-its, print outs, cards, receipts….etc. But I’ve learned that being organised saves more time than it takes! My tip is to tidy up and put away as you go, keep records up to date and every so often have a big clear out!

2 Set a meaningful goal

One of the trickiest things I find about running my own business is keeping focussed. You too?! I can quickly get distracted by social media, interesting things to read, tidying up (tho’ see 1 above – not always a bad thing!) emails. phone calls and…..woosh, day gone!

What I find helps me stay focussed is having a GOOD goal to work towards. So something that’s important to me rather than something that sounds like the kinda goal I should have! [More about goals here, if you’re interested!]

Another little trick I do is this: When I start getting side-tracked I stop and ask myself “Is this helping me reach my goal?” Hmm, that usually gets me back to the important work of the day pretty fast! If you’re not sure you’ll even notice when you’re getting sidetracked (it used to happen to me!) try setting an alarm every hour – when it rings, stop what you’re doing and ask yourself the“Is this helping me reach my goal?”question. Super-simple but really works!

3 Decide what you are going to do tomorrow, tonight!

This easy tip has been super-helpful for me. I’m at my best in the mornings but I used to waste that time working out what I was going to do (and getting distracted by other shiny things – see 2 above!). Now every night before I go to bed I write my to-do list for the next day. And it’s a proper to-do list of things I can actually get done in a day, rather than a wishful-thinking list! It takes me two minutes to do the list and it’s a great way to finish the day! I also decide what task I’m going to do first in the morning, see 4 below……

4 Start the day doing the most important thing (something towards your goal)

Do the most important thing first

This really is the BEST thing I’ve learned to do: start the day by doing your most important goal-type task before you do anything else! There will be always be other important things to work on, there will always be emails to read and there will always be customers to attend to…..these can wait! Start the day with your important goal-type task, then it’s done and you know you’re making progress!

Now, let me say I find this HARD to do! I’d rather ease into my day with a scroll down my emails, a flick through social media, and maybe a few easy brainless tasks. You too?! But honestly, making my first task of the day my important goal-thing has probably doubled my productivity. Worth a try, yes?!

5 Keep a timesheet

This last tip sounds a bit boring, but it’s MAGIC! Keeping a timesheet helps you see where your time goes, which in turn helps you be more careful about how you spend it! There’s a blog post here about how to keep a timesheet, but for the quick version, here you go:

1.The simplest way to start tracking your hours is just to get a little notebook and write down every 15 minutes you spend working. You can do this like a tally chart with a ‘I’ for every 15 minutes you work  – and at the end of each day you can just add the ‘I’s up and work out your hours.

2.If you want to be a little more sophisticated you could write down what you are working on in those 15 minutes. This might feel like a chore but it’s actually super-interesting!

3.One of the things I teach in the Healthy Income Program is to look at how much time you are spending across your three key work types: your product, your marketing and your admin. We call these areas CUP (product), COFFEE (marketing) and COCOA (admin). You can record this on your timesheet too! The basics of keeping a timesheet are covered in the Warm Up for the Healthy Income Program which you can do for FREE if your reserve your spot (that’s the warm up that’s free not the whole program but you’re very welcome to do Warm Up and without any obligation to do the whole thing!)


So that’s what works for me. What about you?! Do you feel productive?! What are your top productivity tips?

PS If you are serious about making a Healthy Income from your solo, boutique, homebased, homemade or other small business you might like our Healthy Income Program! We start it again on 2 February! Free warm up is open now! You can read about it HERE!♥

5 EASY ways to be super productive


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6 Comments on "Five EASY ways to be MORE productive!"

  1. pia January 8, 2015 at 9:00 pm · Reply

    So many good tips in this post. Some I do, and some I need to adopt, like doing the most important task first and not slipping down the social media rabbit hole. One thing I find useful is to have a calendar (1 month on an A4 page) and spend 20 minutes at the beginning of each month breaking down what I need to get done in that month/ each week/ day etc. Then I cross it off at the end of each week and it keeps me on track, and seeing the big monthly picture. Lots of different colour pens get used and it gets colourful but it works for me!

    • Julia Bickerstaff January 8, 2015 at 9:12 pm · Reply

      Oh I *love* that Pia! I’m going to start doing that TOO! Thanks for sharing! Julia x

  2. Krystal January 8, 2015 at 11:03 pm · Reply

    I find I waste so much time on social media. As a blogger I understand that there is ‘necessary’ time for social media however I find myself falling into the Facebook trap – then before I know it an hour has gone by and I haven’t actually achieved anything. Your second point is my favourite – at the beginning of each week I write a ‘to do’ list for each day. I also set aside Sunday for blog maintenance – that way anything I think of that needs to be done on the blog maintenance side of things during the week can be added to Sunday’s list of things to do and I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I *try* not to allow myself too much social media time until all of the tasks on my list are completed. Such a great post – I’m going to work on keeping a timesheet next.

    • Julia Bickerstaff January 9, 2015 at 7:27 am · Reply

      Oh gosh Krystal I hear you about the Facebook trap! I hear you! Love your idea for Sunday blog maintenance – what a GREAT idea to set aside one day a week when you do that! Have fun with the timesheet! Julia x

  3. Claire Mitchell January 9, 2015 at 7:06 am · Reply

    LOVE this blog – it’s so easy to forget the basics when you’re busy AND I particularly love ‘decide what you’re going to do tomorrow, tonight’. Thank you, lovely Julia xx

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