10 Time Tactics to Double Your Productivity

Content was originally published on Inc.com on August 16, 2017. 

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Here’s a clear list of 10 proven time-tactics guaranteed to double your productivity…

Do you find yourself complaining about your consistent lack of time? Here are 10 proven time-tactics guaranteed to double your productivity. In fact, you put even five of these time tactics to work and you’ll find yourself breaking through to a new level of production and success.

1. Identify – in writing – those few activities you do (or could do) that truly create the most economic value for your company.
The most essential time tactic is to get concretely clear on the specific few places in your company where you contribute the most value. If you can pay someone else $100 or less to do it, then you likely shouldn’t be doing it.

Here are just some of the top value producing activities I have helped my business coaching clients identify in their companies:

  • Closing a major strategic relationship that leads to a massive increase in sales.
  • Making a great senior level hire.
  • Making a key strategy decision as to things like pricing, business model, selection of market, etc.
  • Intentionally designing and role modeling company culture.
  • Questioning a “sacred cow” in your business that has become a drain on resources.
  • Etc.

2. Learn to say no to things that don’t progress the company and create little value.
Now that you’ve identified exactly what you do that creates massive value for your company – do that. This means saying no to all the bright shiny distractions that don’t contribute deep value.

This is perhaps the single greatest secret top entrepreneurs leverage to create more value – they grow their ability to say no to everything in their working life that doesn’t move them forward towards their important business goals. Less successful entrepreneurs choose the comfort of saying yes to low value people and activities, rather than do the uncomfortable thing and fanatically guard their time so they have more blocks of discretionary time to forward their companies.

3. Forget “multi-tasking” – discipline mono-tasking is the key to top production.
Multi-tasking is just not a pathway to business success. Sure you need to be flexible and able to shift your attention from one thing to another, but the best time masters have cultivated their ability to block out distractions and temptations and focus on one thing at a time, and follow this most important thing until it is complete and producing for their businesses. I call this disciplined focus “mono-tasking.”

4. Do your “Feared thing first”.
In the words of Mark Twain, “Eat that frog.” Just get it over with and you’ll free up a tremendous amount of energy with which to get on to the rest of your day. This may be a phone call you’ve been dreading to make, or an email you were scared to write, or a team member you need to sit down and talk with, get it over with as early in the day as possible.

5. Cut your losses; shed your losers.
If you know a person, a strategy, a product, a partnership just isn’t going to get you what you need, make the hard decision early and free up your resources to find a solution that will meet your real business need.

We call this principle, “Feed your winners; starve your losers.”

Where (or who) are you currently wasting your time, attention, and money on right now that you know, painful though it may be, is a business “loser”.

6. Narrow your focus.
As the best entrepreneurs grow their companies they narrow the things they do for their companies to fewer and fewer things that create magnitudes more value. More is not better; better is better. Develop the habit of narrowing your focus to those tasks and activities that create the most value for your company and progressively hand over everything else to your systems, team, and internal controls.

7. Learn to let go.
Letting go includes learning how to effectively delegate to your team.

Letting go can also mean deferring a project or idea to a later date to free up attention to do your other projects better.

Letting go can mean ditching ideas that while good, just aren’t great, and don’t have the potential to ever really be great.

Finally, letting go can mean forgiving – yourself and others – freeing up vast quantities of emotional energy to fuel your deep business projects and passions.

8. Start your day by identifying your “Big Rock”.
What one task that if you completed it, or made real progress on it today, would have the biggest impact on progressing your company? This task is your Big Rock. Get clear on your Big Rock at the start of your day so you give it a block of your best time – today.

9. Develop your integrity muscles by making and keeping commitments.
Be on time. Finish what you said you would do. And do all of this without excuses and even when you don’t feel like it because the best time masters know that your integrity is a muscle, the more you exercise it the stronger it becomes.

10. Maximize your learning from your life.
After a project, event, or meeting, ask yourself, “What went well? What would I do different next time? What are the most important lessons for me to take from this experience? How do I see my company using these experiences and lessons to become better in the future?”

We do this every quarter with our business coaching clients and we’ve found that this formal review of key lessons and how you see your company applying them helps you compound your learning and mature your organization.

If you enjoyed the ideas I shared, then I encourage you to download a free copy of my newest book, Build a Business, Not a Job. Click here for full details and to get your complimentary copy.




Keywords: executive coaching, business coaching, business coaching program, build a business not a job, grow your business, negotiation

Business David is a Wall Street Journal and Business Week bestselling author of 11 business and financial books. A syndicated columnist for Inc.com and HuffingtonPost.com, David’s articles have appeared in over 6,500 publications. As the founder and CEO of Maui Mastermind®, David has worked with 100,000+ business coaching clients and community members to buy, build, and sell over $5 billion of businesses.