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My Top 3 Productivity Tips

It’s a busy time of year, and it’s about to get even busier – that’s why I’d like to talk to you about productivity. While you may find that a lot of the work, like gearing up for the holidays on Amazon and Q4 sales is over – that doesn’t mean that things get necessarily less busy: all kinds of family obligations, holiday parties, sporting events, shopping for Christmas and New Year for those on your holiday list and much-much more.

And I have to tell you, I find myself feeling so overwhelmed, so busy, and so stressed out, as this week started, that I really thought that it wasn’t just me feeling this way. I thought that I’d try and share with you my top 3 productivity tips – three actionable things that you could implement in some way, shape, form or fashion into your own workflow, and find that they do have a measurable effect.

Tip #1: Use some type of a scheduling calendar and stick with it

Now, you might say: “Dan, I have a calendar in my phone, a desk calendar in the office and i do use them!” And that’s important, you have all your events there. But that’s not what I mean. Let me ask you: how much time do you spend each and every day, each and every week just going back and forth with people either through text messages, or phone calls, or emails trying to set appointments?

You all know the classic drill – you find a new supplier, or a new graphic designer, or maybe it’s a VA that you need to interview, maybe it’s an old friend that decides that he wants to catch up with you over coffee, or maybe it’s a colleague that says: “Hey, I want to go over last quarter’s numbers with you!”, whatever it may be, there are all kinds of people always vying for time, for your attention.

And we waste so much time just in the simple back and forth of trying to find a good time to meet, right? You know the drill: “Hey, does next Tuesday 3 o’clock work?”. You check your calendar, oops, next Tuesday 3 o’clock doesn’t work for you and reply back: “I am sorry, that won’t work, how about 9 am next Thursday?”. They write back: “Oh, gosh, sorry, no, – I’ve got previous obligation…”. And so it goes – back and forth. And after about a hundredth time of me wasting half an hour on such an endeavour, someone recommended that I start using a scheduling calendar. And I did, and I have to tell you – it has changed my life.

Now, when someone wants time with me, I have different blocks of time setup, I can control the days of the week that people can book, how long those meetings are booked for, and even the format that that meeting will take: meeting on Skype or a phone conversation, etc. I can now control all of that myself. I simply send a link to everyone that leads to my calendar, they get to pick a time that works with them.

There are several tools on the market that do the job, but i personally use and recommend a service called Calendly.

Tip #2: Get a standing desk

Haha! Have you seen these things? I will be the first to admit, that when I first heard of them, or saw them online, I thought they looked ridiculous, and I thought: “Why in the world would I want to stand up at my desk???”

But I have to tell you, over the previous year or so, when I spent so much time at my desk, this much sitting has done a number on my health: I gained 20 pounds, maybe a little bit more, if I’m honest 🙂 I was not nearly as energetic, I began to feel really tired about halfway through the day, started having back pains as well, and a good friend recommended me a standing desk a while back. And it is a game changer!

There are all kinds of models out there. I, personally, like the company Varidesk. Now, these things are not cheap, you can find a model that starts at couple hundred bucks and goes up from there, but I have to tell you, it is worth its weight in gold!

Think about the value of your productivity and value of how much you get done, or don’t get done, the value of your health and your happiness. These worth every penny, my friends! And just standing every hour or two for a few minutes, can make a world difference. I promise you, using a standing desk is well worth it!

Tip #3: Outsource!

Guys, all of you reading right now, I’m going to make a judgement call. All of us are guilty of sometimes doing things that we really have no business with. What is that for you? Your accounting, monthly bookkeeping, paying the bills, designing, slaving away at photoshop at 2 in the morning trying to get the design done? Maybe it’s posting on social media? Or maybe some of you are still responding to customer service inquiries?

Let me tell you, if you are selling 20 or 30 units per day, and you are still doing your customer service – you are wasting your time! And there is someone out there who is much better suited for that, who can free up your time to focus on other endeavors that are really going to move the needle and add to your bottom line, instead of taking away from it.

So! Outsource something! That is a huge productivity tip! Find something that you either do not like doing, you are not good at, or it’s just time to pass that task along to someone else, so you can have some more time to focus on the important stuff.

A service that I have recently come to like is Freeeup. Creators have made it super simple to find and outsource employees that have a specific taskin the skillset that you are looking for. They also manage the payments to people you hire, and overall it’s a simple and streamlined process. Another great pool of talents is UpWork.