You have big goals and dreams for your life. You want to make an incredible impact with your work. And you want to do it while looking fabulous, feeling fulfilled and yes, making some good money.
Today, I am sharing seven productivity hacks that have personally helped me and that have helped my clients and students work less and produce more: more ideas, more projects, more quality content, and yes, more money. So are you ready to dive in?
- Discover the 7 Productivity Hacks that have personally helped me and that have helped my clients and students work less and produce more
- Learn the one thing you can do today to help you make progress and become more productive and move yourself forward
Rather read than listen? ⬇️
Alright, productivity hacks are seriously one of those buzz words that always ranks high in Google and Pinterest searches, especially among women entrepreneurs. Why is that?
Well, we have a lot going on and chances are if you are anything like me, you have really big goals and dreams for your life. You want to make an incredible impact with your work, reaching 100s, thousands, or even millions of people. Maybe you want to create courses, create VIP high-ticket experiences and retreats, write books, and do so all while looking great, feeling fulfilled, and yes, making some damn good money doing all of that.
And because we want to use our only non-renewable resource really well (which is time, BTW), we look for ways to jump the line or put ourselves ahead of the game. Hence, the obsession with productivity hacks. And it is good news for me because as a productivity coach, I have plenty of hacks that I’ve tried out over the years.
So in this episode, I am going to share with you 7 of those hacks that have personally helped me and that have helped my clients and students work less and produce more— more ideas, more projects, more quality content, and yes, more money.
Ready to dive in?
Productivity Hack #1: Set a timer when you work.
This hack is responsible for me creating a lot of high-quality content in a very short amount of time. It’s what I use when I am scripting podcast episodes, when I am working on copy of sales pages, and even when I sit down to write fun little emails like these.
I hear from women that I am coaching that they don’t know how long something will take so it makes planning their days and weeks hard, and they usually underestimate the amount of time that they need to get something done.
Which is when I suggest that they pull out their phone and set a timer for 20 or 30 minutes, and put their head down working until the timer goes off, just to see how much they get done in that time.
Here’s why this works:
- Rather than giving yourself unlimited time, you get to set your own deadlines. You get to say, “I’m giving myself 30 minutes to get this done.” And I promise you, you’ll be able to focus so much more in that 30 minutes than if you’d given yourself all day to do something. You get it done faster plus you can do more things that you actually care about doing.
- You are gathering really good data about how long specific things take. For example, I can tell you that batch-creating a month’s worth of podcast episodes for me takes roughly 5 hours total to outline/script, record, and upload for editing. It allows you to get better and better with accurately planning your time.
Productivity Hack #2: Don’t get stuck in the “this is how we’ve always done it” trap.
This next hack that I am diving deeper into was one I’ve struggled with implementing in the past, just a little bit.
But it’s powerful. Like saving-you-valuable-time-and-energy-and-money-powerful.
There is great value in knowing the strategies and tactics that have worked before. They provide inspiration, direction, clarity, and yes, even a bit of confidence.
But just because there is a way that things have always been done or an “industry standard” that everyone seems to follow, doesn’t mean that you have to do it that way.
New and novel ideas are what will push you forward. The landscape of online business and especially social media is constantly changing. (I mean, do you think people would complain about the algorithm if it didn’t change ALL THE TIME?) And innovative ways of showing up and responding to the needs and filling the gaps are what will make all the difference.
So how is this a productivity hack? Productivity means effectively making progress on your goals.
And by opening yourself up to new ways of thinking and innovative strategies to get to the results you desire, you are giving yourself the freedom to make that progress without the constraints of what is “acceptable” or “standard” practice.
The path can change, while the goal remains the same. And you’ve just upped your chances of achieving that goal by expanding the new and novel ways that you can get there.
Productivity Hack #3: Create a morning routine that helps you feel exactly how you wanna feel each day.
I used to get up at 5am every day, workout first thing, do 45 minutes of journaling & meditation, and then spend 45 minutes or so reading or learning new concepts. This was what the book The 5am Club by Robin Sharma told me to do, so I did it.
And it worked. For a while.
And then it stopped working.
And I let the shame of not sticking to THE morning routine hold me back and for a really long time after that, I didn’t start my day well.
Until I changed my perspective on it. Rather than trying to fit myself into someone else’s idea of the perfect morning routine, I gave myself permission to play with my morning routine & custom-design it for me!
The result? I now love getting up every single morning and I start my day in a way that leaves me feeling how I wanna feel, which is the whole point!
So, I’ll ask you, if you’ve had difficulty with sticking to a morning routine, why is that? Does that morning routine feel like a “have-to” or a “get-to”?
Productivity Hack #4: Give yourself just 3 tasks each day that MUST be done
I have a question:
Have you ever dreamed of checking everything off your to-do list for the day by 2pm, sauntering outta the office like you’re in a Beyoncé music video, using the extra time to drop by the salon for a blowout and manicure before meeting your hubby for happy hour?
No, just me then?
All joking aside, being able to finish what you have planned for a single day is a dream of many women entrepreneurs that I speak with, women just like you who feel that wish will always be just a dream.
But it is totally possible for them, and it is totally possible for you, too.
But you are gonna have to stick to…
Part of productivity is feeling accomplished, like you’re making progress, and if you never finish anything, how are you supposed to feel like that?
And I’m not talking BS busy work. I’m talking 3 needle-moving tasks. Every day.
Once you choose those 3, prioritize knocking them out as early in the day as possible. Stuff will come up & derail you. So you have a much higher chance of finishing if you start early.
Productivity Hack #5: Be flexible and, if plans fall through, immediately make a contingency plan. Don’t let it go.
So I’m gonna be brutally honest here for just a minute: Stuff is gonna come up and wreck the plans you’ve made. It will. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when”.
And when I say that, your response might be something like “why create a plan at all?”
Because it gives you clarity & direction. That’s why.
But how do you deal when chaos ensues & your plans are ruined?
Well, that’s where hack comes in.
As an entrepreneur, you need to be agile and flexible. It’s a requirement, my dear. And part of that means when your plan goes to crap, you make another plan.
You pivot, get scrappy, change expectations, but you don’t stop and you sure as hell don’t give up.
Yes, part of my enneagram 8 coaching style includes some tough love. But it’s becauseI believe in you & your ability to succeed at this whole entrepreneur thing.
Now, let’s go!
So before I jump to #6, I’m sharing just 7 hacks with you today, but I have created a full list of 113 Productivity Hacks for Unstoppable CEOs that you can get for free, so head on over to erinhaworth.com/113hacks to download.
Productivity Hack #6: Create a ritual for when you first sit down to work each day to get you in the right headspace.
I’m just gonna go out on a limb here and take a guess: some days you just don’t feel like working, even when you need to.
One of the top complaints I hear is “I’ve lost my motivation.”But that statement steals your power to show up & create what you need to, when you need to.
I get it. There’s no one else holding you accountable in your biz. No boss to answer to. Which is why you’ve got to create habits that allow you to make progress regardless of external circumstances.
No, I’m NOT saying, “Suck it up, Buttercup.”
I AM saying that this hack will help you go from unmotivated to brimming with creative energy & ready to go.
Creating a pre-work ritual may seem a bit woo, but it really doesn’t have to. If “routine” is more comfy for you, you do you, boo.
The important thing is to figure out what small things help you feel empowered, energetic, creative, & ready to work.
Here are a few ideas to inspire you to create your own ritual:
- Fix an awesome cup of coffee or tea
- Fill up your H2O bottle
- Review your priority list or planner for the day or the week
- Meditate for 2 minutes
- Visualize how you want the day to go
- Have a solo dance party
- Put on a Focus Playlist (search on Spotify) or any other music that motivates you
- Free write or brain dump everything in your head
- Do 10 burpees to get your blood flowing and wake up your mind
- Go for a 5-10 minute walk to get any nervous energy out
Productivity Hack #7: Give yourself grace if you get distracted, procrastinate, or fail to reach a goal.
Okay, this is the last hack I am gonna dive deeper into with you right now.
We aren’t perfect. That isn’t what we are striving for.
But when we inevitably screw up, fall off the productivity train, burn out, have a failed launch, or waste time and money, it can be hard to continue to move forward.
So this final hack is specifically for you to continue to make progress on your big dreams and goals, no matter what.
Your default reaction to screwing up may be to get angry with yourself or feel ashamed. I get it, that is what we’ve been taught in this culture. If I don’t succeed or do something wrong, I am wrong, I am bad.
And that’s bulls@#$.
The only way you truly fail in anything is to stop working towards it. So that is where this hack really comes in.
When you screw up or fail to reach a goal you set for yourself,
- acknowledge that the situation happened.
- tell yourself that it’s okay and that you can realign and keep going (this is the grace part)
- get curious about why it happened
It’s hard to get stuck in a shame spiral when you are in detective mode, which is why that 3rd piece is there. It allows you to learn from everything.
BTW: I get this question a lot when chatting about giving yourself grace:
“Aren’t I just making excuses for myself by making it okay?”
There can be a fine line between giving yourself grace and making excuses and here is the difference.
If it is pushing you forward and allowing you to keep making progress, it’s grace.
If it is blocking you from getting anywhere or holding you back, that’s when excuses come in.
If you follow the three-step process I shared above, you can’t go wrong!
I always like to end each episode with an action step that you can take right now to help you move forward and begin to implement immediately. Here is your action step for this episode: First, go download the rest of the 113 Productivity Hacks for free at erinhaworth.com/113hacks. Then decide on just one hack that you need the most right now and start implementing it today.