Table of contents
Productivity in Business Summary
Whether you’re a solopreneur or leading a small team, productivity is crucial to your business growth.
We also discuss what productivity is and why it’s important to your business. We also chat about how productivity, time management, and non-negotiables can work together to keep you on track, and off the 'time waster' path.
There is more than one way to get things done. It's important to find what works for you. Here are some tips and tricks to help you boost your productivity, and more importantly, your earnings.
Words of Wisdom
If you are a solopreneur working from home, or a small business owner, productivity is even more important. So many of us are trying to master how to do tasks faster. How do we make it better, faster, more efficient? There's efficiency in time management. There are all these different buckets of influence that you can focus on including service, delivery, and productivity. — Jen
You’ve got to keep that pipeline full, so you have to do all the things that are necessary to get to that sales call. That has to be a system that you set up so that you can be productive every day. Then you're always working on something that adds fuel to that system. — Shelley
Can't Miss Productivity Resources
- Increase your content creation productivity by watching Shelley's Livecast Live series on YouTube.
- Find the Right Marketing Tools for Your Small Business. This $75 course created by Jen will save you hundreds if not thousands in finding marketing software for your business.
Watch the Show
Listen to the Show
Transcript: Why is Productivity Important in Business?
[00:00:00] Jen McFarland: The Women Conquer Business show is an educational, how to, women in business podcast that features stories, marketing news and real life experiences from fun and friendly hosts, Jen McFarland and Shelley Carney. Join us as we dive into the details so you can slay marketing overwhelm, streamline processes and amplify your impact.
You'll learn strategies and tactics, leadership skills, and practical advice from successful women entrepreneurs to help you grow, nurture, and sustain your business.
[00:00:33] Shelley Carney: Hey. Hey.
[00:00:34] Jen McFarland: Hello. Welcome to Women Conquer Business. I'm Jen McFarland joined by Shelley Carney and I am so excited for this month. We are talking all month about productivity, time management, it's in that streamlined processes lane of what we have in our intro. So without further ado, Shelley. Yeah. What's up this week.
[00:00:56] Shelley Carney: So yesterday my husband has celebrated his 60th birthday and we were talking about, remember when we thought 60 was so old and now we are there. I'll be 60 in a couple of years. And it's wow, crazy. So I dunno how you feel about being 60, but
[00:01:18] Jen McFarland: I'm not 60. I don't be there someday. You'll be, they'll say yeah.
[00:01:26] Shelley Carney: When my grandparents were in their sixties, they were so old.
[00:01:29] Jen McFarland: Oh yeah. Yeah. I know. And I, yeah, I'm staring down at 50 and I'm thinking, oh God, that used to be like ancient and now I don't feel quite the same.
[00:01:40] Shelley Carney: That's all right.
[00:01:40] Jen McFarland: What else is up?
[00:01:41] Shelley Carney: So along with old age comes health issues. So I'm having an MRI for the first time today. I just, I don't know what's going to happen, but a lot of people keep saying, oh, you're gonna go in this tube. And it's really a. Loud noises bang. And so what is your experience with them? Yeah,
[00:02:00] Jen McFarland: I've had, as we talked before, I've had a couple, I've had the open ones where the it's not quite as closed down and I've had the ones where you go all the way in.
I mostly just ignored the noises and closed my eyes and tried not to think about it. I don't really like closed spaces. It's not really my thing. Living abroad for a while and being in like cramped spaces, I didn't enjoy it. And I was fine. I went to my little happy place, I'm talking a lot about meditation and stuff.
And I think I was able to just do that, it's easy,
[00:02:30] Shelley Carney: lean on that. Sure. So yeah, I have some kind of weird growth going on that doesn't belong there. So we're going to check that out, see what it is. Hopefully we get enough information to do something about it.
[00:02:41] Jen McFarland: All I'm saying is if Sigourney Weaver walks in, you've got some concerns.
[00:02:46] Shelley Carney: I'll be at the hospital. They can handle it. Going to get some lasers going on or something. what else is going on? Oh, we, I have a interview tomorrow with vince Warnock of Chasing the Insights podcast. So I'm excited about that. He's had some really interesting, somewhat popular guests. And he said he's even got a Brene Brown coming up on his show.
So I'm hopeful. That's cool. Wow. Am I in the same company with Brene Brown? That is awesome.
[00:03:18] Jen McFarland: Of course you are. That's great. That's awesome.
[00:03:22] Shelley Carney: I was excited.
[00:03:23] Jen McFarland: And it sounds like you're looking for some more people to interview for your series on digital marketing.
[00:03:27] Shelley Carney: That's right. We're going to interview Vince. We've interviewed you already. Yep. But we are looking for more digital marketer experts, digital marketing experts, especially in email marketing, relationship marketing, things that we haven't really covered yet. Even the different social media platforms, we've done LinkedIn, but if somebody is an expert at Instagram or Pinterest or one of those we're looking forward to speaking with you as well.
[00:03:51] Jen McFarland: In my world, the only, like it's just nuts over here always, but what I am most excited about is my business partner, Gail said, you're having a lot of neck problems. Maybe you should try this pillow some little I'm a little saucier today. Cause I actually feel like I got some really good quality sleep, but my neck isn't killing me. So that's my main thing. It's called the dreamy pillow and it's a. Yeah, it's really cool. So
[00:04:19] Shelley Carney: Dreamy pillow, get yourself a dreamy pillow. This is from gross pork. Not sure says I've had a few as well. Speaking about the MRIs because of pituitary adenoma had a near panic attack the first time. So I think that's why it's a really good idea to talk about these things and get your fears expressed before you get there.
[00:04:41] Jen McFarland: Yeah. And thank you for being so honest about it and sharing that. And I, yeah, I agree. I don't know if your name is Grosse. I don't know how to pronounce your name. But that is, yeah. I have heard about people having panic attacks inside and it's it is what happens. That's closed in spaces.
A lot of people don't like those. And that's the thing about the MRIs, for sure. Yeah.
[00:05:03] Shelley Carney: I used to go to a little spa thing place. The machines there were like you would lay down on them and pull the cover over the top of you. Like a red light therapy or there were different therapies and you were inside, but you had control over lifting the lid or not.
So that got me past that feeling confined and claustrophobic is I could always just push the lid up myself. So pop that. Yeah, that control helps a lot. Totally.
[00:05:31] Jen McFarland: Totally. So what do we have for breaking news Shelley?
[00:05:34] Shelley Carney: Breaking news. Guess what? This is International Women's History month and International Women's Day is coming up on next Tuesday, the eighth.
Yep. And I'm just going to share my screen with the world here. If you're interested in learning more about International Women's Day and getting some resources you can go to this it's international women's day.com/resources, and they've got all kinds of great things in there. And they talk about the theme for this year, which is.
Hashtag break the bias.
[00:06:14] Jen McFarland: This is so cool because when I was in Peace Corps, International Women's Day was a tremendously big deal in Kazakhstan. And I was reading this morning about how the things going on in Russia and Ukraine are really affecting people. And one of the women said.
My husband bought me a vacation for International Women's Day, and we're not going to be able to go because of what's going on during the war. And I was, over there or, and so it was interesting to me because, here we don't, we have Mother's Day. We have, all of these other.
But when I was at Kazakhstan, it was like the school basically. I wouldn't say it shut down, but it was a huge celebration day. People were bringing in flowers to their teachers and it was like showering people and women and, in your life with all kinds of affection. So I am really heartened to see that it's starting to get more attention here because in 2004, I'd never even heard So yeah, I love that there's resources break the bias is a really big issue that needs to be talked about, I think.
[00:07:14] Shelley Carney: Yeah. Yeah. And I think in conjunction with the Supreme court nominee, Ketanji Jackson. Yeah, I think that's going to help us with the breaking of the bias, in the breaking of the glass ceiling and just saying, Hey, why not?
Everybody on the Supreme court be a woman what's, if it's going to be, everyone could be a man, why not? Everyone can be a woman?
[00:07:42] Jen McFarland: And I can hear like the gnashing of teeth from here. I think
[00:07:45] Shelley Carney: I just need to think of those things and break those biases.
[00:07:48] Jen McFarland: Right? Absolutely. Absolutely. And and recently, we've had a lot of things happening for women recently, the women's soccer team fought and it took, I think seven or eight years and five for equal pay and got it, so it was, it's a really big deal.
[00:08:03] Shelley Carney: They were winning cups,
[00:08:06] Jen McFarland: a lot of people and oh yeah. And financially they had been bringing in a lot of money as well. The argument has always been like the men bring in more money and I'm like not in soccer, so it's interesting. If you want to learn about an important, a woman of color, who is a business woman, who I think it's likely many of you have never heard of, but I think she's one of the most influential business women in American history.
Her name is Effa Manley, and it is an episode of a profile that I did on the Women Conquer Business show a little over a year. Two years ago, the pandemic time, like two years becomes like one. And it is, we'll put it in the show notes. And it's a profile that I did on Effa Manley. She is the only woman who is in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
She was an owner of a Negro League team and ran it and then was very influential in ending segregated baseball for a long time. African-Americans weren't allowed to play major league baseball. And then after the Negro League went away after segregation was over in baseball, the league closed, and then she became really influential in civil rights. And so I did a whole profile on her because I felt like more people needed to know about her. Something that I think Shelley and I are exploring is if, we could do profiles like that, about business women in the future. So if that's interesting to you, please let us know and we would love to hear from you about that.
[00:09:31] Shelley Carney: Absolutely. And again, that's Effa Manley's episode that Jen did on the Women Conquer Business podcast. Is that correct? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it's called successful business women history.
[00:09:45] Jen McFarland: That's right. And I think it's called the Tenacious Effa Manley is actually the episode title. That's the URL is successful women.
Cause it was like a successful business women in history. So
[00:09:57] Shelley Carney: yeah, check that out and we will have that link in the description.
[00:10:01] Jen McFarland: Okay. All right. So happy women's history month.
[00:10:05] Shelley Carney: There we go. I'm happy. Let's be happy.
[00:10:11] Jen McFarland: Let's be happy. So the other breaking news to share is that Instagram is discontinuing IGTV that was their long form video. It was always a little difficult I thought to work with. I, what I'm hearing and I'm sure you're hearing it as well, Shelley, is that just look for them to make changes to, their Reels product is what I think is going to happen. But who knows? So if your business is reliant on Instagram IGTV you'll probably need, you've probably hopefully heard about it. You'll have to do something different instead. That's one of the reasons why it's good to have a platform of your own, like a website. So you're not completely reliant on social media tools.
[00:10:54] Shelley Carney: All right. We've got a request here for, it would be great if you could do a show based on the women in Hidden Figures.
[00:11:03] Jen McFarland: Oh, that would be great. That's a really great idea. Thank you so much. Yeah let's do that because when we plan the shows for this month, we didn't, we thought that there were four weeks and there's actually five. That's what we're trying to, we're trying to find, we were trying to think of somebody that we could talk about as a profile for the last week.
So I'm going to make a note of that right now. Yeah, we can do that. That's a great idea. And if there's somebody in particular, From hidden figures. You want us to talk about, go ahead and let us know,
[00:11:34] Shelley Carney: and then we can
[00:11:34] Jen McFarland: yeah. Oh man. And it's yeah, no, it's a great, it's a great story. Great movie. The way that they fictionalized it. And then the real life stories are even more phenomenal. I think From, yeah. Cause I did some read, I saw the movie and then I was like, oh, and I started reading about many of the women in that film and everything they had to go through. So that's a really great idea.
So we'll look at that. So look for that episode then at the end of the month.
[00:11:59] Shelley Carney: Yes.
[00:12:00] Jen McFarland: Yes. Awesome. This month, we're dedicating, we're talking about productivity for the first four weeks, but then we'll have a profile the last week.
[00:12:08] Shelley Carney: How did they thrive in that environment?
[00:12:10] Jen McFarland: I have no ideas, incredibly
[00:12:12] Shelley Carney: They have drive beyond all understanding.
[00:12:18] Jen McFarland: Drive and resilience. I think it's, I think it's both. It's a lot of resilience, I think, to be in an environment that's so hostile, openly hostile sadly. And but yeah, that's a. Yeah, that's a great idea. Thank you. Thank you so much. Yeah, absolutely. So are we ready to break into the training topic?
[00:12:41] Shelley Carney: Let's do it. Let's talk about productivity. So Jen, what is productivity?
[00:12:47] Jen McFarland: So this was interesting. We were talking about it before the show. And I, we're talking about productivity this month. I was like, I wonder what, like Merriam-Webster has to say about productivity because I always like to check myself and my own assumptions about it.
So in the super nerd dictionary definition, I thought this was really interesting. It's about how it's about the amount of input it takes to get to an output. So if you think about it in terms of the business context and why productivity is important in business. Then in the business context, you could look at it as how much time or energy or input does it take before I can get a product to market before I can deliver a service, whatever the thing is.
And then I think too, since we do talk about marketing, I do think too, then it's also then including like the marketing piece of that. I think, especially if you are a solopreneur worked from home, small business owner, I think productivity is incredibly important in business. It might be the most important thing if you really are looking at, how long does it take for me to deliver services?
That's really what so many of us are trying to master, is like, how do we do that faster? How do we make it? Better faster, more efficient. So there's efficiency, time management. I think there's all these different, like buckets of, I don't know, influence that you can be focused on to make service delivery productivity.
[00:14:15] Shelley Carney: That reminds me of something that I was I've been working on recently is I need a checklist for myself to do certain things like for this show. There's a certain set of things that I need to do before pre production during production and post-production. And so I went to the trouble of writing them all down and making a checklist so that.
As I make the checklist, it reinforces this, then this, and that makes this project complete when I finish all of these tasks and I've put that into Program called Chaos Control, which I'm trying out to see how that works. It forced me to try some, to write it all down and focus.
And I think it's super helpful, especially if you're starting any kind of a new thing to have that checklist, write it down for yourself and then to check it off and work with them. As you're learning the learning that process until you get it ingrained in your brain. And then, you do it every time, the same way.
And it becomes one thing instead of, like it's like when you're learning to type, when you type a word, you think of each letter, but after you're good at typing, you see the word, you type the word. Have that thought process anymore, to get to that it takes some practice, takes some memorization and knowing exactly step-by-step what it takes to get there.
[00:15:40] Jen McFarland: And as you were talking we will circle back to Chaos Control is something. Cause that just I was like, oh, it's a program. You know how I am, I'm like software, but it reminded me so like checklists and casts control reminded me of some, something that I. Became aware of fairly recently that I have joined and probably going to not be a member all the time, but it's mostly to get the materials and then adjust them for myself is there's a place called click minded and it's for they do a lot of like digital marketing stuff and they have click minded, SOP.
Like standard operating procedures and they're all just like exactly how to do it. So you could have a checklist of I need to do all of these things and then you could have your standard operating procedure for and here's what the windows look like. Like this is if I'm putting in.
A podcast show or from putting together a blog, here's, step-by-step like what I need to check and what I need to do and click my has a really good set of that for for, I think solopreneurs and S and small businesses who are taking on some of the digital marketing themselves.
And then for professionals like me, it's like a good starting point. If you're going to hand off how to do things to somebody.
[00:16:48] Shelley Carney: Yes, absolutely. A
[00:16:50] Jen McFarland: We'll put a link to that in the show notes as well.
[00:16:52] Shelley Carney: Yeah. Very helpful. We talked about overwhelm and eliminating overwhelm last week. And I think that right there that type of a checklist or a process that you can follow step-by-step is a great way to fight that overwhelm and say, I've got this, I have it all mapped out.
I know exactly. Step-by-step what I'm doing.
[00:17:14] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. And then so the other thing too, is you can hand things off then to somebody else. If it's written down, if you've recorded it, like I had this moment and I emailed you, I saw on your newsletter that you had an MRI today. And I was like, oh, what time is that at?
Am I doing this show by myself? Which is ridiculous because I did this show by myself for years, but it's we've now got this new system for how we're doing it. And then I'm like, Am I going to be able to like, do all of the things like we're on stream yard. I'm not used to it. I've let Shelley take the lead on both not like completely let Shelley take the lead on that and all of these other things.
So I was like, cause we're partners, right? Yeah. But I was like, are you going to be there? And then she's yeah. I was like,
[00:17:56] Shelley Carney: I will warn you when I have to stop being here, but I don't think it's going to happen because Toby is here as a backup. If Kevin should need to go to the doctor or something.
And it's when I'm supposed to do a live show Toby's volume. To takeover on things like that. So I don't think I'm going to have to miss any shows, but if I do, I'm going to tell you several weeks in advance and we're going to go, step-by-step how to do everything. All I'm
[00:18:24] Jen McFarland: saying is it's good to write this stuff down, so then we can do it.
And like you don't freak out. Another thing I do after the. That's what I really take up my part and and so anyway, so it's all kind of fascinating stuff. So write it down because then it keeps that like, when I just said I was kinda like, oh my gosh it keeps that from happening.
If oh, it's all written down. That's cool. Keep a checklist. I kinda got like some things and that's why productivity is important in business, because then you're just you're making it quicker to deliver goods to the end, meaning like we deliver the podcast done. Like we know exactly what we need to do.
Checklist. And that's
[00:18:58] Shelley Carney: an interesting definition because I had always imagined that productivity was not about how much time something takes, but more about how many things can I get done in that length of time. So what do you think of that?
[00:19:11] Jen McFarland: That's how I've always looked at it too. Yeah.
But if you look at productivity from that definition then you could look at it as I'm doing all of these things. Do I have to do all of those things? Like it do you know what I mean? It's a different spin on it a little bit. I think both definitions are completely valid.
Like I don't see any problem with, like we're just exploring here, all this. Things that you could be looking at. So I think both the definitions are valid. I was just, I always like to look at what the dictionary says, because sometimes it's just mind blowing, like how off base, the common vernacular is for what the historical definition is.
It's the English major. It's, I'm broken. Don't worry about it. It's fine. It's
[00:19:49] Shelley Carney: very important to. To start that way so that we all know we're on the same page. We all have the same. We're all working from the same definition that way. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:19:59] Jen McFarland: So one of the things, when we were talking through like productivity is a potential topic for us that I thought was really fascinate.
In terms of what you do. And I was hoping you could speak to it because I think it's critical also for why productivity is important in business are the non-negotiables. And so can you run us through what that means and then what, how that plays out within your workflow on a weekly basis?
[00:20:28] Shelley Carney: I think one of the most important things we can do is to have an awareness and analyze the things we're already doing.
What's the ROI on that? Is it important? Why am I doing it? Does it fulfill a personal need or is it bringing in money? The Pareto principle says, 20% of your activities bring in 80% of your income. What are those 20% activities that we should really be focusing on?
Toby and I talked about email marketing yesterday and because of the ROI on email marketing, that is one of those things that fits into that 20%. I make sure that I send out. Email newsletter every Tuesday. That's a non-negotiable for me every Tuesday must get out my weekly email and then I've added other things that are related to putting on a live show.
So every Wednesday I do a live show with messages and methods. Every Thursday, I do the show with you, and then on Thursdays. If I'm available and not at the hospital doing an MRI, then I do a show with Toby on video tomorrow. So those things are my non-negotiables and they have to happen on a certain day and some of them at a certain time.
And then there's other things that I just want to get done sometime this week. So it's not as time sensitive, but it is something that, is a step on my way to a particular goal. So we have, these are my non-negotiable.
[00:21:57] Jen McFarland: And those can also be an cause when we were talking about this, then I chimed in and I'll do it again with these can also be non-negotiables in your.
Life, like I was listening to this really fascinating. I don't have children. I was listening to this fascinating article on, I have apple news from his thing is from like Elle magazine of all places. They're talking about how the blurring, particularly for women who don't have children has happened in career since the.
And I was thinking about it in terms of this show, which is, which is to say that women who don't have children are working at a phenomenal pace because a lot of people are like you're not a parent. Can you take this on? And it adds up a lot. And one of the stories they had was somebody who was in a production meeting and I think it was in marketing and she was in the 11th hour of a call and she like passed out.
In the middle of the zoom call passed out cold. And as she was passing out, she like shut her computer and then woke up like in a pool of her sweat, and everyone's this is like the thing that horrors are made out of, horror shows and stuff. Oh, when I was thinking about that part of the non-negotiables also have to be your life and how much, if you're, if you have a partner, how much time were you spending with that partner?
If you have children, how much time, or what are you spending with your children? If whatever, what hobbies do you have? What things are you doing? And I think that those can all be. Non-negotiables as well. For someone like me, I think it's important to, to have life and business non-negotiables because otherwise the business as someone who has two businesses, like the business is always there and.
Encroaching. So I think it is important to say, I'm going to have a date with my partner every couple of weeks, or I'm going to do this, or I'm going to do that. But I love the idea of having non-negotiables. It sounds and I bet your chaos control a lot of different apps. Do this generate, like here's your to-do list for this week?
Do you have something like that so that you
[00:23:56] Shelley Carney: can do it every day and then if you didn't get it done yesterday, Carry over. And then it'll also say also available, which is things that are coming up later in the week. And if you get everything done and you have more time and you can work on those then go ahead.
So it, it keeps you like, oh, I don't have anything else to do today. Let me go, Netflix. Oh, look, I could be working on these things and get ahead. Then when I. A busy day Thursday or whatever, then I'll be ahead. So it keeps you aware of, okay. Here's where I'm at.
[00:24:32] Jen McFarland: fun. Wouldn't that be nice
[00:24:36] Shelley Carney: to decide, because especially for somebody like you with two businesses which thing is the most important? What do I absolutely have to get done? That's why we're talking about non-negotiables right?
[00:24:46] Jen McFarland: Yeah. Can I make, I'd like to make a confession right now?
I really don't like email. I'm not talking about email marketing. I personally do not like answering emails all day. And so I've found to be. Perfectly Frank that now that I have even more demands on my time, because I don't enjoy email, it's become less and it's dumb. Like it should be right up there in the priorities.
So sometimes non-negotiables, aren't necessarily things that are fun. Like we've been talking about things that are fun. They can also be. Reminders to do things that maybe you don't enjoy, that you put off.
[00:25:22] Shelley Carney: If it's something that you deem must be done, then you have three choices, right? You can either do it yourself and try to find the fun in it.
Or you can delegate it. Have somebody else take care of it for you, or you can say It's maybe not that important. I don't know. I looked
[00:25:42] Jen McFarland: at it really a non-negotiable if I never make time for it, is it really a non-negotiable? Yeah,
[00:25:48] Shelley Carney: but if you feel like it's absolutely has to be done, then you find a way to do it and make it fun or you delegate it.
Yeah. Oh, and I wanted to talk about something that I learned as a way of doing things. Now I may not stick to it all the time myself, but it's these people were teaching. You get rid of your to-do list, right? So what you do is you write down everything you need to do, and then you plug it into your calendar and say, okay, I get it.
I have to go for a walk every day. That's going to take me an hour. So I'm going to plug it into my calendar. Every day at the same time, or I need to write an email every Tuesday, I'm going to plug that onto my calendar. And during that block of time, that's what I'm working on. So if you open up your calendar, it should be pretty well full of all the things that you plan to do that week.
And that's going to keep you in control of your schedule. People come to you and say, oh, can you work on this for me? Open up your calendar and say, let me see if I have any free time. And you may, or you may not because is, as you keep your calendar. Scheduled with what you need to get done, then you have just, you can just look at it and you say, yes, I have time or no adult.
[00:27:06] Jen McFarland: and you have to stick to it. And that's kinda, that's where it breaks down for me sometimes because I, sometimes I am too nice and I'm like okay. And then. Invariably it takes longer than I thought, or, things like that.
[00:27:18] Shelley Carney: Let's talk about that. Let's talk about that then we thought they should take.
And the problem can be that when we don't really say, I'm only give them a, give myself an hour for this email. And that's it. And then we go over it too often, then we have to go, okay, this does take two hours. Am I willing to spend two hours on this project? Yes. No. And because w but if you just leave it at all, sometime on Tuesday, I've got to get it done.
You have this big empty space. And guess what that task is going to take that whole day, because you gave it that whole day to get it done and it's going to take as long as you give it.
[00:27:59] Jen McFarland: And I think that part of that, it goes bleeds into like the, one of the other things we wanted to talk about is, what are you currently spending your time on?
So you might say block out and that's the thing about the time blocking or like putting those things in your calendar is like, you might say, I'm going for a walk every day. Doing and is it really taking an hour and, so it seems to me that part of it is an awareness of how long things are actually taking.
Cause for some people they're not even aware, they're like, I'm just always behind. There's not a lot of awareness around what those break points are like in your schedule or your day or what it is that's actually taking longer. And I think part of it is just raising that awareness around okay, so what am I actually.
Doing. And that was part of, that was actually one of the things that, if you've listened to this show for a while, that brought me back into doing meditation and reading. Like you're reading about stoicism, I've been reading a little bit about it too, is just the idea of raising the awareness around like the actuality of the present time versus like this ideal landscape that maybe I've crafted or thought about.
The, that I've created for myself. So it's it is important. I think, to say, what are, what am I actually doing? If it's not, and you don't even have to do that, even if things aren't going well in some ways it's better to do it when things are going well, because then you're like, oh, okay.
I can just repeat this. And that's actually where the gold is, because then it's like, when things are going well, you can just keep doing that and write it down. And all of that when things are not going well, sometimes we tend to get stuck in the mud.
[00:29:40] Shelley Carney: Yes. Yes. And I know a lot of people say, oh, I don't have time to meditate.
And then the meditation teacher says, then you need to meditate longer.
And it sounds counterintuitive. But when you can clear your mind of all that extra busy craziness and you can be calm and focused, then you can get so much more done.
[00:30:04] Jen McFarland: And whatever it takes for some people it's meditation. For some people it's yoga for some people it's going to church. Whatever it is for you that can help you let some things go increase your awareness around what you're spending your time on, what things are actually like in your present time.
I think the more effective you can be when you're working on those non-negotiables.
I don't know. Do you agree? Or is that yeah. Okay. Yeah,
[00:30:33] Shelley Carney: definitely. There are, of course I was listening to infer since we're talking about international women's day and we are women and we work with women. One of the things we need to be aware of is our hormones and. There are certain times of the month when we can be more focused when we are more social, there are when we can learn our cycles and what works for us the best, then we can take advantage of that as well.
And we can schedule out our month in a way that says, okay, here's a good time for me to do network and here's a good time for me to really focus on getting my book written or whatever it is that you need to, create your course or whatever it is that you need to work on with full focus.
So as women, we need to be aware of those cycles and hormones and how to stay in balance and how to use those to our advantage.
[00:31:26] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. One of the comments that we've got is Tomic habits. By James clear, I am still currently working through this one and I love it because it's so manageable.
It's one of the things that is fantastic because it really is breaking things into manageable pieces, understanding that like, if we focus on really big things all the time, then we may never achieve them. And it's very discouraging. And I, this is, have you read this.
[00:31:55] Shelley Carney: Shelley. I listened to the audio book a few years
[00:31:59] Jen McFarland: ago.
Yeah. Okay. Reading. Yeah. I'm listening to it. Like I consider that reading. Yeah. So this is a, this is another really great resource. Thanks. For bringing it up and. Yeah. So it's there, whatever works for you is really the key. And sometimes those atomic habits, those can be like encouraging and things that you can be doing to really, tackle those to-do lists and be more productive in throughout your day.
Did you want to talk about the 20% you mentioned. Mentioned the 20% quickly.
[00:32:33] Shelley Carney: I think it's dependent upon your business model. What are the top priority activities that you need to get done in order to bring in income? For small business owners and entrepreneurs, that's having those sales conversations and booking those sales conversations. But then you have to know how to get those bookings. You have to analyze what's bringing in your money and what steps are involved in getting to that most important thing. So again, it varies for most people, but the sales calls for entrepreneurs are usually the main thing we need to get to.
So that top 20% of activities is getting you to that sales call and having that sales call. Everything else is just keeping your business going.
[00:33:20] Jen McFarland: Which is really at the, yeah. I think that's really at the heart of the definition of productivity really is if you need people in your pipeline to make money and to deliver services, then you know, how many inputs are you doing to drive that activity to happen?
What are the 20% things? The more you can shine a light on that, the better it is for you in terms of being effective in your work.
[00:33:50] Shelley Carney: Yeah. Yeah. You have to look at how many client calls I had this month, and how did I get those client calls? What was my most effective method for bringing those in and making those happen and then converting to clients? That is the core of your business. It's making those sales. You’ve got to keep that pipeline full, so you have to do all the things that are necessary to get to that sales call. That has to be a system that you set up so that you can be productive every day. Then you're always working on something that adds fuel to that system.
[00:34:29] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. And I think in the beginning, You may not know what those things are. And that's actually one of the key reasons why keeping track of what it is you're actually spending your time on is important.
If you don't know what did it, if you don't know what it is, then how do you know to do more of it? It was magic and yeah. So it is about like how, how do we make that happen? How do we. Focus on those most important tasks. And it is about being aware of what's working. What's not working.
What do I like to do? What do I not like to do? Can I delegate the things I don't like to do? Like just to bring it all kind of full circle? The 20% is really the critical piece. It's where the rubber meets the road. So you said that you don't schedule. Activities. You mentioned the time-blocking you said you're not doing that.
What are some of the other ways that, people. Are more productive. Where do you have any other tactics? I think this chaos control is great. I've been playing around with things three. That's another way to manage your checklists and your productivity and set those reminders and all of that kind of thing.
That's an apple product. There are certainly apps that help with that, but, and using your calendar app to do that is also helpful as well. What are some other ways that we can be more productive, do you think? And if you're watching, go ahead and let us know too.
[00:35:58] Shelley Carney: I think one of the things is having a routine.
There are certain things that I do every morning. This, then this I, one of them is writing in my journal and I forced myself to do that because. If it makes me feel like I'm more organized if I get my journal done and it's only a couple of paragraphs, so it's not something that's difficult, but it pulls up that.
Junk out of my head. So then I can focus on the rest of the day. I know a Toby, he's got a morning routine where he gets up and he makes his bed and he does his his rubber band stretches, which keeps his back and shoulders healthy so that he doesn't experience pain. I know a lot of people need to do things like that to keep, to maintain their health and maintain their physical fitness so that they don't get into.
Feeling unfit and feeling pain. So those are important things to make sure you incorporate daily. And then once you have gotten through your morning routine, then you start your work day and maybe then you have, certain tasks that you have to work on. Like Mondays is LinkedIn newsletter.
Tuesdays is email newsletter, And I fit it into the rest of my life. I might need to go grocery shopping on Monday. So I'll fit that into my schedule too. Some things have to be at a certain time and some things just have to be in a certain day. So I just move it around as I need to.
What do you do?
[00:37:22] Jen McFarland: It's funny, I was, as you were talking about. I was reflecting on the fact that if you are, so we have somebody who's listening or watching today from work and says that's productive. That's why I
[00:37:35] Shelley Carney: tasking.
[00:37:38] Jen McFarland: And my name is. It says, hi Shelley. Hi guest.
[00:37:44] Shelley Carney: actually Jen is the founder of women
[00:37:46] Jen McFarland: conquer business. Listening today from work and that's productive kind of. So I was giggling at that, but I was also thinking about for people like like many of us who worked for a long career and in an office setting and then.
Started working from home. What you're talking about with the routines, I think is really important. I think it's really key is like you have to formulate whatever it means to you, whatever that looks like. And it's different for everybody. You have to have at least some kind of stress. In your day, like it's really good to have my day begins at this time.
My day ends at this time, here are the reasons why I could potentially work late, clearly define that. Then have also what, what are those routines that you need to do? What are the things that I have to do to feel good? What are the things have to do that I, that will make me more productive in my day, like what works well.
And I think that all of that is really. How put yourself in the best position to win whatever winning looks like. I think it's really important. And those are the scheduling or the activities that we do repeat over and over.
[00:38:50] Shelley Carney: You and I both know Brendon Burchard and he wrote a book about habits as well and high performance habits.
And he did worked with a team to interview. Very high performing people and find out the things that they did in their lives to make them a high performer, somebody who achieves great things. And one of the things was having that routine, having that morning routine. And then with, he works in time blocks, but he takes.
A five minute break every hour, he takes a five minute break. I'm not good at that myself because I'm not, I'll have to get up and go to the bathroom. Okay. And I just have to go right now. But I don't plan those like 55 on the hour 55, I'm going to take a break. I'm going to go run up and down the stairs.
So whatever great idea. And he feels like that gives him way more energy. The day and that even at the end of the Workday, he's still got more energy than most people who've worked really hard focusing and not taking those breaks.
[00:39:54] Jen McFarland: Oh, I'm giggling too. Cause I just, and I turned my head cause I was like, I think I have that book.
I haven't read it yet, but maybe I should.
[00:40:01] Shelley Carney: That's on audio as well. So
[00:40:04] Jen McFarland: on my bookshelf. But yeah, that's a. That's a really that's I like that, and I, when I first started my business, I think I was just screaming for that structure that he used to have. And and I became fascinated with like morning routines and things like that.
I love reading that so that I can see. Oh, what is the Pomodoro technique? Oh, I can talk about that. Good. And there's actually a video on the women conquer business, a YouTube channel that kind of goes through it. I mean that like years ago, so the Pomodoro method. I really like it, it's a form of deep work that is very compressed time and I still do it sometimes.
So you can go to tomato-timer.com and there's other places like that. So they are like 20 or 25 minute blocks of time. So it would be the time where you would take your phone out of the room and you would clear all of the distractions. And you would say, I'm going to work on this one thing for the next.
25 minutes and then I'm not going to be interrupted at all. And then when the timer goes off, if you spend you spend five minutes away, so getting back to what you were just talking about, like you spent five minutes on a break and then you can come back and do it. Now, what they have found is that.
But the, you can only, if you're not used to doing that kind of high intensity, like compressed time work, that it can be really hard on your system. Some people go into it and think, oh, I'm going to do 10 of these a day. And it's that's not really possible, but the technique is really good.
If you have a short period of time and you really need to do something, or if you're like me and there are things that you really don't like to do. Like email, like spending 25 minutes and just being like, this is the only thing that I'm going to do. I'm not going to browse anything. I'm not going to do anything else.
And you'd be amazed at how much you can really get done in that amount of time. If you have this like dedicated time to deep work, so that's the Pomodoro technique at a high level. And then we can give you the link to the other YouTube video in the show notes to talk about that. Cause I think I described it in a little, not, it's not very long, but like in a little more length there.
But it is highly effective for some people. And it really was.
[00:42:17] Shelley Carney: And we need to keep an eye on multitasking. Now in the case of I go on a walk and I listened to a podcast at the same time, that's multitasking, but that's something that's manageable and easy to do and enjoyable as well.
But if you're trying to multitask or, you're like, okay And this is what happened to me on Tuesday. First I have to get this show scheduled. That means I have to do this Canva piece. And then I have to schedule the show and then I need a title. I need a description. I need all these things.
And then I can do the newsletter doing all of those things. Wastes some bandwidth and switching back and forth between tasks has been shown to reduce your productivity greatly. So if you can do your work in these block times, first, I need to do this, then I'll do this. And then the next piece, and then you can focus deeply on each piece rather than.
Being a little too scattered, you're going to save some time. You're going to get more done and you're not going to feel so stressed.
[00:43:21] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. And. As a grass
[00:43:26] Shelley Carney: grows port, he said, call him bacon. Cause everybody likes bacon. Oh, really? Let's see the avatars bacon.
[00:43:33] Jen McFarland: I see that. Anyway it says, unfortunately I can't work.
And think at the same time and listen to a podcast, that's me. I I tend to listen to something. I listened to brain.fm. That's something that I listened to. It hell, it's just by Arnold beets and it helps with that because I can't listen to words. So everybody's what are your favorite podcasts?
And I'm like, I don't listen to a ton of podcasts because most, if I'm not working, know, if I'm working on. Listen to shows at the same time. So I'll listen to a couple shows while I'm cooking dinner or going for a walk, but I'm not, I can't do it during the day. But some people can, or they say that they can.
But it's to your point, they say that like when we multitask and stuff, our brains are actually like a light switch and. It goes through like all of this, like processing, when we switched to something and then that's why sometimes it's like, why can't I get back into this? And it's literally your brain is just what did you just do to me?
[00:44:26] Shelley Carney: you're bright, it's like a switch. And you're like, okay, now I'm doing this. And then to get to a new activity, there has to be this buffer okay, now I'm not doing that anymore. Now I'm doing this and your brain works that way. It's just, unless you're neurodivergent and you can handle that.
Most of us can't,
[00:44:48] Jen McFarland: they sound like 95% of us. Yeah and it's amazing to me, how many people think they're in the 5%? That's a lot of people I used to think I was, and I'm like, yeah, I know that's not true. I'm so glad that Lorraine is enjoying this topic and I love that. We've been getting a lot of comments.
This has been really great. We are live every Thursday at 10:00 AM. Pacific 11:00 AM. Now to a mountain and then wherever else you are in the world. Thank you for being here. And I think that this probably wraps up the, our training component today. Do you think, I feel like we've we still got to talk about this for another three weeks
[00:45:27] Shelley Carney: now, if you would like to know my system for live streaming weekly, putting out a live stream, a podcast in a blog, you can go to.
The messages and methods, YouTube channel. We have a playlist on there called cast life and we go through each part of our system and why it works and how it works as a system. So check that out if you're interested in that.
[00:45:51] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. And we'll put a link to that in the show notes which are, will be available on the podcast platforms and then firstname.lastname@example.org.
But yeah, you'll want to go there because there's just so many. Great tidbits and pieces of information there. So definitely go there and check it out. And. Before we wrap up. So what do we have for tea? We have tweaks. We have
Two weeks of the week. So what is when you want to start off with the Jen and
[00:46:18] Shelley Carney: had a conversation on LinkedIn and the comments about had you, how you add an embedded.
Podcast episode to your LinkedIn article. I did an article. I do one every Monday. It's a newsletter, basically that LinkedIn allows me to write a newsletter and send it out to all my contacts who are subscribed to it. And luckily, each week more people. Are added to my subscriber base. So I'm very excited about that.
But what you can do is take your Spotify link for your podcast and put that into your LinkedIn article. And it becomes an embedded player for that.
[00:46:54] Jen McFarland: Yeah. And the great thing is so we're podcasters. So we look at it from the podcasting lens, but if you had music or if you appeared on somebody else's show or you can add a SoundCloud player or a Spotify player in podcasting world, Spotify is way more.
Common any more, I think. But there are a lot of musicians who use SoundCloud or if there's clips. I think that, I think it's great. I, and I didn't know that it happens. Somebody posted it. And I like was like, what? Tell me more. And reshared it. And then I had commented like, Shelley, did you know this?
And so you tested it right? You did it this week.
[00:47:29] Shelley Carney: Yeah, it looks cool. I like it. And the cool thing is it's the episode for messages and methods that you are on. So it gets, got your face, right? I guess I'll
[00:47:40] Jen McFarland: have to go share it.
[00:47:42] Shelley Carney: There you go.
[00:47:42] Jen McFarland: The other the other tweak of the week that I have is there was a it's on AppSumo now it's a lifetime deal for $89 and.
I missed it the first time it's called studio cart. It basically adds a cart to your WordPress website, so people can buy like courses and different things like that. It's an alternative to thrive cart. It's only for WordPress, I've been testing it and it's been really great. And it integrates with all different kinds of membership platforms.
Other plugins on WordPress. We're using it at a Tiffany courses to integrate with teachable so that we don't have to have a billion zaps anymore. It's going to be great because we can actually delete all of those zaps. And so anyway, if you are trying to figure out if you've, I had a client who was adding.
Products using Stripe and then selling them through their WordPress website. Those things can take a lot of time and a lot of hassle. And what I love about studio cart as opposed to thrive cart, which I also have thrive cart is do your cart is beautiful. Like they make these beautiful sales pages and opt in forms and things that are.
Really beautiful and wonderful. And I've asked a couple of questions and they've been getting back to me. So that's called studio cart. Again, it's not very expensive in. It's $150 a year for people. Or you can get it forever with a one-time payment of $89. Now, I don't know how long it's going to be on AppSumo.
I'll put the link in the show notes, but if that's interesting to you then you'll definitely want to look at that while it's.
[00:49:19] Shelley Carney: And that's, those are the tweaks.
[00:49:21] Jen McFarland: Yeah. Two for one today. Woo. And then inspirational
[00:49:24] Shelley Carney: nugget inspiration. It goes along with our our time management take a look at your calendar for the week or the month and look at it and say how many things on my calendar, bring me joy.
Am I doing things that I love that make my life. Better. And if you're not seeing very many things start adding them into your calendar and then become accountable for them. Okay. So I want to go to the park, let's say, but I'll put it off if I'm not accountable. So maybe I will. Meet somebody at the park, maybe a friend and I will walk around the park every other week or something.
So that I'm now accountable to show up at the park to meet my friend. What is on your calendar or what is missing from your calendar that can bring you that joy? Because it can come to a point, especially for entrepreneurs where all you're doing is working and you're not finding any joy and it's no fun anymore.
Life is just not fun. So I don't have to do this for yourself. Find some joyful activities, plug them into your calendar, then make yourself accountable for them in some way, maybe I love to live stream. So I schedule three live streams a week, and I'm there and I'm having a good time. And I.
This particular live stream up with Jan women conquer business so that I could see Jen every week and we could talk and build our relationship. And it's wonderful. And I personally, I don't care if anything else happens because I'm having so much fun anyway. So look for those things in your life that you can plug into your calendar and then make yourself accountable for them.
[00:51:16] Jen McFarland: I feel really good. I love that. No, I just love, I mean the tagline for my business is, bring joy into, marketing your business and it's yeah, you want to You want to do that in your life? You don't want to work all the time and that's certainly something that I've been aiming to do a lot more of.
For sure. So with that, I think that we're going to close for today. So thank you. So much for being here. Everyone, we love the comments. We hope that you've really enjoyed. Today's show. If you're listening, please consider tuning in at 10:00 AM or emailing us your questions at I have my contact form email@example.com.
There's a million different ways. We're both all over social media, so you can find us. Please send us your questions. We'll be talking about productivity all week and. Oh all month. Yes. Every week. All that. Yeah, just have a great week, everyone. See you next week. Yes.
[00:52:13] Shelley Carney: Thank you for joining the women conquer business podcast posted by Shelley Carney and Jen McFarland. Please subscribe and leave a comment or question regarding your most challenging content creation or business problem. Then share this podcast with family and friends so they can find the support. They need to expand their brand and share their message with the world. Check the show notes for links to valuable resources
00:00 What's new with us
5:34 International Women's Day
- International Women's Day 2022 campaign theme: #BreakTheBias. Imagine a gender-equal world. "A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias." International Women's Day Resources
- Related podcast episode: Meet the Tenacious Effa Manley
10:11 IGTV Is Going Away (sort of)
12:47 What is Productivity? Why is Productivity Important in Business?
20:28 Awareness and Analyzing Activities
21:57 What are Your Non-Negotiables?
40:04 Pomodoro Method
- Pomodoro Technique described in 2 minutes or less (Jen has since burned this shirt)
46:18 Embed Your Podcast on LinkedIn
- Use the Spotify link to embed your player. You can add a video Cover Story up to 30 seconds on your LinkedIn profile using your phone. Click the plus sign on your avatar. Read this for more information.
47:42 Why Jen Likes Studiocart
49:24 Become Accountable for Daily Joy
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