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Ep. 26 Strategies for Productivity – How to Get it ALL Done

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Strategies for Productivity – How to Get it ALL Done

Are you looking for ways to be more productive in your day? Torie Mathis and her cohost Sean compare some productivity strategies and share how they get an incredible amount of work done every single day. Whether you’re looking for a few strategies or looking to overhaul your approach to a busy day this episode is for you.

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(transcription is auto-generated)

SAF 26

[00:00:00] Torie: Cause it’s really easy to be really, really busy and get nothing done.

Hey, welcome to Smart AF I’m your host Torie Mathis. We have got a great show for you today, so let’s get started. So we were driving down the road, the other day. And there was a van for like a van for a workout place that was called eat that frog workout. And I had never seen that. And you had said you had never heard that term.

So eat that frog is you know, I know it from, it’s a book by Brian Tracy, and talking about productivity and how to get things done during the day. And I think it’s kind of interesting because there’s definitely some different ways of how to go about planning your day so that you can get the most done.

Because I really think, you know, be as productive as you can so that you don’t have to work as long so that you have time to do the things that you want. That’s true. So the two different ways that I think are very popular is the eat the frog method or the easy win. So with eat the frog, it would be getting, figuring out what the crappiest most difficult thing, whatever the thing that you don’t want to do, figuring that out beforehand. And then having that be the first thing that you do in the morning. Do you ever do that?

[00:01:29] Sean: I am probably more than eat the frog kind of guy. Just because the easy win. I mean, it sounds good. Cause like easy wind sounds good. Right. But I could have 10 easy wins in that last one. That sucks is the only one I remember, you know, where I’d rather just get that, get that thing out of the way. Get it done. And then. Finish off my day and my week, whatever the case may be with nothing but easy wins to me, that’s more appealing, but that’s, that’s my person. 

[00:02:00] Torie: So yeah, some people choose easy wins so that you pick whatever the easiest things are, whether it’s one thing or two things or a couple things, and then you try to figure out how you can knock them off the fastest, that way you’re actually, you’ll crossing things off your list.

It gives you some motivation makes you feel good, makes you feel like, you know, you can get anything that you want. So for me, I’m not really either an easy win or any different for me. I only pick three things like three big things that will move my day forward. And those are things that like I have to get done every hour.

No. Oh my goodness. It feels like that sometimes, but no three things. I always have a running list of either tasks that I have to do for different projects and then tasks that I need to do for clients. But I try not to make my to-do lists task based just because there’s always going to be more tasks.

So I always try to think of what three things. And it’s better if I think about them the day before than when I’m in the middle of it. Like if I do it in the morning, it’s probably not as good because I’ve already starting to get emails. And email is like, that’s the worst thing is to start getting emails and have that run your day or plan your day.

Like if you can plan your day ahead of time so that you can pick out what those things are that needs to get done before other people’s stuff starts piling on that seems to work better for me so that I can move forward on my big projects, whether it’s my projects or client projects to get those done. 

[00:03:31] Sean: You do so many different things. Thank you eat the frog or any of that stuff apply to you because no one task could take you over 20 hours and that’s obviously not an easy win, but you know, if that’s all you did, that’s gonna, like, you’re not doing it in one day. 

[00:03:52] Torie: Right. I think when you have things like that, that could be like such large. Projects that will last, you know, 20 hours, 40 hours, you have to have a way to break those down into chunks that make sense so that they get done as quickly as possible without taking over like everything else that you have to do. So that’s why for me finding things that are important that move the needle forward for me are better things.

And sometimes moving projects forward. Sometimes that’s getting the most money in like there’s different ways that you can prioritize to pick your top three things or five things. Or if I wouldn’t probably do more than that just like the eat the frog, you wouldn’t pick, you know, 10 frogs you’d pick one.

And then let everything be easy. After that quick wins, you wouldn’t pick 10 quick wins, cause that’d be a lot. And you wouldn’t want that to take your whole day because it’s really easy to be really, really busy and get nothing done. 

[00:04:50] Sean: It happens and it’s brutal. We don’t have the whole Monday thing hate the Monday thing, but if I had to assign something to like that cliche, it would be those types of days. That it just feels like you just did a ton of stuff. And at the same time, absolutely nothing. 

[00:05:11] Torie: It’s easy to do. And when we talk about, we don’t have the Monday thing, like we’re not Monday haters, we don’t wake up and be like, oh, it’s Monday or thank goodness it’s Friday because it’s the weekend. I like every day like there’s no day kind of is other than like the kids have their own schedule.

Like they’re, they have Mondays and Fridays, but for us, it’s, it’s a little bit different. And I think for other entrepreneurs, it probably is too. But like really the worst kind of day is not having anything planned, not having those three things and letting email, just take my day away and spend my whole day.

And I could, I could do that every single day and just respond to emails and I would be busy, busy all day, even worse if you answer the phone. Oh, and see, I don’t, I’m sorry anybody that ever calls me, but if I answered the phone, I would never get anything. Because there’s usually things that could be responded to an email or things that I don’t need to be the one doing them.

Right. And I, it took me a while to discover that after, you know, so many phone calls that wasted so much time, which kind of sucks though, because I do like talking to clients and I’m like, oh, that’s the worst. I like talking to clients. I like giving people advice and stuff, but really I like it, it’s only me.

I can’t do that every day. I would get nothing done. Well, and if, if I did take phone calls though, I think I would have to plan my day that like I only take phone calls between like nine and 10, or I only take phone calls on Wednesdays and, you know, I don’t think it would have, it would be a free for all because you just can’t control that enough. And I think that’s part of productivity is you have to have some type of control and constraints on your day. 

[00:06:53] Sean: They don’t need to be phone calls, you know? So if somebody really does need to talk to you, we can schedule that time. Which means if it’s something that can be done in email, like that response back in the emails, that takes care of it.

And if not, then it’s okay. We’ll schedule you for Wednesday at two o’clock and then, and then that’s what it is. And then we get it done. Know, as quickly as possible at that time, but at least then there’s a little bit of effort on both sides to, okay, this we’re going to, we’re going to talk at this time. Not whenever you feel like it. 

[00:07:26] Torie: Well, I think one of the worst parts for phone calls, at least for me, and really like, we got a phone call. You got a phone call, not that long ago. While we were in the middle of filming. And so we had to stop. And then you had to take the phone call and go through that.

And then we had to start again. So that stop and start. I don’t know if people don’t realize, like, if you keep taking calls or you keep answering those emails, like that mental time and the physical time of you actually having to stop doing what you’re doing, start getting into this other mode of answering the question or doing that.

Then you have to like mentally and physically like go and start whatever you’re doing. Like at that time adds up. And if you’re doing that all, like it adds up a lot. Those are those days that you’re like, holy cow, like where did the day go? Because all those little interchange times really, really add up. And that call that you had, it could have been an email. It could have been a text, it could have been a, something that could have been answered really quickly. 

[00:08:23] Sean: It wasn’t email that he then still decided to do. 

[00:08:28] Torie: Which sometimes I think that’s okay. I think touching by a warm voice is nice and is needed sometimes. But if you want to be productive in your day, you really can’t let that take your day away. The psyche, it really is. So overall. Are you, you said, are you eat the frog? Are you three things? Are you a quick win? 

[00:08:53] Sean: I might be a little bit of, if I had something that would be considered more difficult, I would want to do that, eat the frog. But then since I thought about it, I’m also, I’m also a quick win because like for email examples, you know, that little red dot telling me I’ve got a new email, like I want to get rid of it. So as quickly as quickly as I can, I can take care of whatever that thing is. And it’s gone. That is a quick win, but I don’t think consciously do that first. Cause I do like that, you know, that, that does that big job that needs to get done. I want to go get it done immediately. It’s like when I first got the 59 Cadillac it was to gigantic car, right 20 feet long and all that. I didn’t sleep that night because I wanted to detail the car, you know?

So that was my eat the frog I got, I stayed up all night long. Cleaning that car. And then I was done. I could have waited until later, but I didn’t have it in me. I wanted to do it right then and there. And I think if some of that is a mindset too, that you can, you know, rather than dread some of these things, you know, make it exciting and you want to, you want to get it done instead of, oh, I gotta do this. Just switch it over. Nailed it, you know, I guess over done. 

[00:10:18] Torie: I tell the kids that all the time, like, there’s something that you don’t want to do. Like how do you make a game out of it? How do you make it fun? How do you game-ify it in some way, challenge yourself or set yourself some type of constraint.

Like, let’s see if I can do this in 20 minutes or something like, there’s always some way that you can do. But drudging through stuff that you don’t want to do is like. 

[00:10:40] Sean: Especially when you’re the business owner, it doesn’t go away. So all you’re doing is you’re making yourself miserable. So, 

[00:10:46] Torie: you know, I see to do, and then it just like keeps on piling on and piling on.

[00:10:51] Sean: So make it something that instead of you dread, cause it’s just gigantic project and it’s going to be difficult and take forever, you know, get it done and be excited about it. Cause then once it’s over it’s over and chances are that one project is super important for your business, whether financially or just for future connections, who knows, just be excited about it.

[00:11:18] Torie: I know for me, when I was doing a lot of magazine publishing, there was always phone calls or emails, and sometimes it was disasters that had to be put out. And I know those were always like those eat the frog time. I just got to take care of these as soon as I can and, and get those things done so that I can move on to things that actually get my business to go forward and not just putting out my customer service type things.

[00:11:42] Sean: Well, not too. That’s, you know, that’s a customer that’s on the other end of that. That’s upset. The more you put that thing off, the harder it is to soothe them and make things. 

[00:11:54] Torie: Well, and for us, we don’t have a customer service department, so we are the customer service department. But I think if you have a lot of customer service type things coming in, that’s probably one of the first ways that you need to outsource or get some help somehow, because that does need to always take priority would be anything that’s related to customers.

You had one, not happy the other day. I think that this is important because you don’t get very many people, not happy with you. But we talked about before that the museum’s power was out and you had somebody that actually didn’t catch that you weren’t open and drove all the way out there. So what did you do?

[00:12:31] Sean: Yeah. Like I said, like, you can do everything under the sun and you’re not going to get everybody. And I had somebody missed it and they wound up driving an hour and a half, one way to go to the museum just to find out that they couldn’t actually go into the museum. I got, I got, I got lucky on this though, because I think in most cases that individual would just go straight to whatever review site, they want to review and, and just unload and just say a bunch of garbage. And it makes me look bad. In this case, the guy actually emailed the museum. So they emailed me and let me know that he was disappointed. And which I thought was fantastic. He has every right to have been disappointed and there, I can’t take his time back, you know, I, I can’t say, sorry, you know, here, here’s your three hour round trip back. Like I can’t do that, but what I can do is invite him back when the museum’s open and not make him pay. No, it’s no sweat off my back at this point, you know, cause really he already didn’t pay. And if he’s upset, he’s still not going to pay.

Whereas if I let him back in and not charge him, now he’s happy. At least giving me another opportunity. And then you have that potential snowball effect where then he, you know, who knows who he tells and brings in and everyone’s happy. 

[00:14:03] Torie: So in talking with productivity though, and you taking in those emails, how do you work in like putting out fires like that in the terms of your day, where you need to be productive, getting things done, but at the same time, you need to make sure that you’re attentive to customers that require quick attention.

[00:14:19] Sean: I keep my day pretty, pretty tight now. I don’t have the mass amount of work that you do. So like, I can see those, I can see those kinds of things pretty easily. And so, and those two, like I want to respond to that. Like, I don’t, I don’t want to let that go. And so like, I can see that and email him immediately.

Like I could not wait to be able to respond to this guy, because again, I didn’t want to get him even more time that he sends me an email and give me a chance, but I don’t respond to them for two or three days. That’s two or three days I get him an opportunity to then go to Google reviews. You can review on Facebook and maybe you can do all kinds of stuff that, that could be detrimental, but instead he gave you, I feel like he gave me an opportunity to make it right. And so. There’s no sweat really. 

[00:15:17] Torie: So, if you’re looking for more tools for your productivity, we have some really great resources over on Toriemathis.com that you can check out. Kind of see some of the tools that we use and what we suggest that you could use for your business to be more productive and to kind of help your customer service and wherever you’re watching this or listening to this place, subscribe and leave a review.

We’d really appreciate it.

About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis

Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity.  She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.

Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.

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You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.

What you need is to be SMART.

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Torie Mathis HeadshotI help entrepreneurs (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + to make more money. And I make it easy! 

You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.

What you need is to be SMART.


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