4 questions you should ask yourself to improve productivity

Aug 11, 2021

I recently asked my private creator community what topic they would love to learn more about.

Their answer?

Time management.

More specifically, how do I organize my time to maximize my day with several different businesses?

I use a system that has been talked about by time management gurus like Tim Ferriss, Rory Vaden, and David Allen.

I didn't make it up myself.

So, here goes.

Each week, I push everything on my calendar through a simple progression of choices:

Eliminate --> Simplify --> Automate --> Delegate

Question 1: What can I eliminate?

Often, I'll notice upcoming meetings that I shouldn't have booked, podcasts I don't need to be on, favors for friends of friends that aren't urgent, and other meetings that aren't aligned with my top priorities.

The best way to figure out if something should be eliminated is simply by asking, "Does this move me closer to my most important goals?"

No: Eliminate
Yes: Move to question 2

Question 2: What can I simplify?

Once things are eliminated, I begin to simplify.

Simplification usually comes in the form of simpler processes, a reduction in the scope of work, or being satisfied with an MVP.

A recent example would be my new course, The Operating System: How to Grow and Monetize LinkedIn.

I almost chose to do an 8-week coaching program but decided against that complexity.

I could have chosen to make it a more elaborate production with lighting, cameras, and editing.

Instead, I recorded each video in one take on my webcam with no editing.

Can this be simplified?

Yes: Simplify it 
No: Move to question 3

Question 3: What can I automate?

Automation is critical for running multiple businesses.

Any system that I can set up to save time, I do it.

I start by listing all of the manual processes that I have across my businesses.

Next, I look for obvious places to insert automation.

A perfect example would be my advising business. Here's my old process:

  • Step 1: Finish a discovery call and type out a long email recapping my services. (15 minutes)
  • Step 2: Once they replied, I'd create an invoice in Stripe, and then wait for payment. (15 minutes)
  • Step 3: I'd mark on my Google Calendar when to send them the next invoice and then have to hunt payment down if they were late. (15 minutes)
  • Step 4: I'd create a Google Drive folder and 1:1 document and invite everyone from the client-side (15 minutes)

That's 1 hour of my time.

So, I moved to automate all of this using AirTable and Zapier.

Can this be automated?

Yes: Build automation
No: Continue on to question 4

Question 4: What can I delegate?

Delegation is a skill that is required to be a successful entrepreneur or solopreneur.

And it's one that I, and many other people, struggle with.

Learning to delegate means releasing control of work that is less valuable than the time it would take you, personally, to do.

I delegate using services like Upwork or Fiverr and then create a process document that shows the worker exactly what to do.

For example, I wanted to create an eBook of my top 50 LinkedIn posts called, The Swipe File.

I could have spent hours copying and pasting, formatting, designing, etc.

Instead, I spent 5 minutes of my time creating a process video and then paid someone $40.93 to create the eBook for me.

It ended up netting $7,500 in sales in just one day.

Can this be delegated?

Yes: Delegate effectively with a process document or video.
No: This is work left to be done by me

So, what work do I normally do?

There are 5 non-negotiable pieces of work that end up on my calendar:

  • Interact on LinkedIn for 60 minutes with my audience
  • Go to the gym for one hour
  • Write for 90 minutes
  • Interact with my private community
  • Attend client calls

And a normal day looks like this:

  • 7:15a to 8:15a: Interact on LinkedIn for 60 minutes
  • 8:30a to 9:30a: Go to the gym with my wife
  • 10:00a to 11:30a: Write
  • Noon to 3:30p: This is the only window I take client calls (Tues - Thurs only)

In between those time periods, I'll read interesting books, interact with my private community, catch up with friends, and spend time with my wife.

Of course, there are times where I have projects that fall outside of the 5 categories listed above, but this is a pretty common day for me.

I hope that this article will help you better organize your day, or take away a few nuggets that you can use to prioritize more effectively.


Join 26k+ subscribers growing their audience and business online.

Every Saturday morning, you'll get 1 actionable tip on audience and revenue growth for your online business.

I will never sell your information, for any reason.