10 Tips To Become A Super-Productive Entrepreneur

by Todd Brown

If you’re at all like most internet marketers, you have a desire to increase your productivity and… plain and simple… just get more done.

As somebody who used to struggle on and off with being consistently productive, here are 10 recommendations (in no particular order) you can use to be a HECK of a lot more productive in 2009.

1. Use self-imposed discipline.

In other words, put yourself in a position where you have to get XYZ done. For example, instead of waiting until you have the Power Point presentation done to schedule the webinar… schedule it today and announce to your list, so you then MUST get the presentation done.

2. Every project, task, milestone you work on should have a deadline.

Periodically throughout your workday, ask yourself… “does what I’m working on have a deadline”. If not, put one on it. If it’s not worthy of a deadline, dump it.

3. Only check your email 2x a day… and never before getting at least one hour of focused work done.

I try never to check my email before noon and then not again until 4PM.

4. Have the least amount of unscheduled time each day.

In other words, try to schedule every hour of your work day. This has been one of the most effective productivity tools for me personally.

5. Have productivity goals, along with your financial and business goals.

In other words, have goals for focused time and completion of tasks.

6. Have rewards at incremental stages of your goal achievement.

Far, far off goals tend NOT to motivate us. Close goals, that we can see, tend be a lot more motivational.

7. Pre-schedule repetitive tasks into your calendar in advance.

If there are certain things you do every week, they should get a permanent place in your calendar and they should be treated just like an important appointment.

8. Monitor the time it takes you to go from idea to implementation; and try to speed up the process.

9. Try to estimate the amount of time every task will take, then put it in your schedule with a start and stop time.

This will force to work faster and more efficiently. Think… the day before vacation.

10. Regularly consider the consequences of not doing something or of procrastination.

57 thoughts on “10 Tips To Become A Super-Productive Entrepreneur”

  1. Todd,

    Great points, all are very valuable although I think we have to keep something in mind… we are not machines.

    4. Have the least amount of unscheduled time each day.

    “In other words, try to schedule every hour of your work day. This has been one of the most effective productivity tools for me personally.”

    I would only go full boar with number # 4 IF you are scheduling rest periods and breaks in the day and seeing them as productive; otherwise, these 10 will turn you into a Performance Addict and even with success, you’ll trade your wellness and health for it. I don’t think that’s the aim or what you’re saying to do, it’s just an implication of what could easily happen if you don’t have the right definition of what’s “productive”.

    SO, we have to understand that self and body… care are productive “essential” elements if we’re going to live a balanced and healthy PerformanceLifestyle and achieve our goals that way.

    John Allen

    Reply
  2. Sorry Todd… but my thoughts were going to the same way as John’s as I read this blog.

    You have a lot of great points but they seem to just focus on the “process” and you can’t just schedule creativity and innovative thinking.

    I think that it would be very hard for someone with an entrepreneurial mind to stick to these suggestions for more than a couple of days but there’s no question that we all need some discipline to boost our base productivity.

    Reply
  3. Thank you Todd,

    Many of the readers skipped over Super Productive in the heading of this post!

    For me # 1 is the most important point, all the rest follow…

    Work hard and use your time wisely, Then you can slow down and enjoy your rewards.

    Reply
  4. Even though you brought up some good points to become organized and stay focused on the work that has to be done, in my opinion if you had titled your article: “10 Tips To Become A Super-Productive Busy VP of Marketing” it would make more sense.

    But to become a Super productive “Entrepreneur” I would be passing most scheduled tasks you mentioned onto, well I guess… you. (just kidding Todd).

    So yes, what topmaker mentioned is true.
    “Super productive” is the key point to your article but I’m not sure about the Entrepreneur part though.

    If the point of what you and Rich have been trying to teach lately was all about more freedom. As in: Entrepreneur / Founder / Having your business run mostly on its own,

    but not letting your business fill your day with numerous scheduled tasks, (your business running you),
    then I’m just trying to understand where all of this fits in.

    Could you clarify?

    Thanks.

    Arnold.

    Reply
  5. Hey guys… great comments and insights.

    Some things to think about and keep in mind:

    1. John – you’re absolutely correct. Breaks throughout your work period… depending on length of work day… are essential. That’s exactly why they should be pre-scheduled into your schedule. Most entrepreneurs don’t schedule breaks into their schedule and typically don’t take any.

    2. Warren – Dan Kennedy, one of the most prolific entrepreneurs alive today, operates with extremely stringent deadlines and time control. Even more than what I outlined above. So, being strict with your time certainly doesn’t negate your ability to function as an entrepreneur. With that being said, everyone certainly has their own sweet-spot between scheduled activities and creative time.

    3. Arnold – it sounds like you’re making two incorrect assumptions: that my recommendations talked about allowing your business to fill your schedule with day-to-day business activities; and that pre-scheduling your work day indicates lots of hours and involvement with day-to-day business tasks. Both of those are inaccurate.

    First, having your work time… whatever amount of time it may be… pre-scheduled with proactively chosen activities is exactly what prevents “busyness” and will make your work-time most efficient, insure you’re working on the most important activities (whatever those may be for you) and experiencing maximum productivity in the shortest time possible.

    Second, the most successful entrepreneurs have maximum control over their time and how and where their attention goes. And, it’s this exact level of control that gives you the freedom. This why some entrepreneurs are able to focus on strategic thinking, planning, and bigger level thinking for their business ventures… and do it all in a handful of hours each week.

    Hope that helps,
    Todd 🙂

    Reply
  6. I’ve pondered the idea of limiting my access to emails to 2, 3 times a day. I can see it creating the possibility of higher focus on my specific tasks on hand. Such a challenge, especially with the crackberry, I mean blackberry, hmmm…food for thought!! Thanks for the 10 tips!! Brian

    Reply
  7. Hi Todd,

    You made some really great points there. What really resonated with me on contact was checking e-mail 2x a day and not before noon. I also really appreciated your idea of having rewards at incremental stages of goal achievement—-for me, I saw it more in the context of watching a great movie after having completed in integral task, treating myself to a Chai Tea Latte at Starbucks or just taking an extra hour to read my favorite book. I’m with ya about setting ourselves up for success by consistently setting doable and realistic goals along the way. Victory is one of the greatest motivators on any scale! Super!

    Totally agree with John Allen about taking care of self. Often times this is the area I struggle with the most in the midst of major projects and deadlines. In the past I didn’t schedule time for rest and relaxation. I didn’t plan ahead for my own personal development and reflection–which contributed to my constant state of overwhelm and self-neglect, in terms of health and well-being.

    “People are always multi-tasking; they’re coming to work early, bringing work home; they’re always busy, always available, always on. There’s no downtime, and that constant back-of-mind stress is biochemically detrimental to our health.” Shawn Talbott, Nutritional Biochemist

    These are some great tips, Todd. I think my BIGGEST one is the idea to implementation thing…Whoa! I better get a move on it!

    Great blog article. Thanks for sharing!

    Warmest,

    Tasch 🙂

    Reply
  8. Great ideas, but what if email is the source of the material, you are working on? Yes, it is a huge time waster, but what if you cannot avoid it with some project?

    Say, communicating with customers and potential JV partners is mostly email activity.

    Anyway, yes, great ideas, thank you for sharing. It’s great to have such reminders time by time…

    Reply
  9. As John mentioned, we’re not machines. Perhaps working smarter and not harder, or better still, do something you really enjoy by combining the two together. Whilst all of Todd’s 10 tips are relevant, ask yourself where you want to be at the age of 65. Stinking rich, unloved and worn-out or content, sharing, fit and healthy? I married into a large family, the 3 high achiever in-laws have deceased just after 65, the factory worker is now 85 and happy, and me at 65, farmer, technician, marketer, I’m having a ball.

    Reply
  10. Todd,
    The list is right on point in many ways.
    I,however, would like to add a comment to #9: Consider guesstimating how much time a particular task will take and have a start/stop time(my wording is a little different).
    My comment:Since some tasks require more time than allotted or anticpated,for example,because of unexpected occurrences,level of difficulty,carry the task over to the next day,and if no other task has top priority for that day,begin with the task carried over,keeping in mind the challenges encountered when it was initially tackled.

    Barbara Henry

    Reply
    • Agree. The goal long-term, however, is for us always to get better and better at estimating how much time something will take so we can schedule it accordingly.

      Thanks for the comment,
      Todd 🙂

      Reply
  11. Well this kind of behavior will turn me into a machine that wakes up ate the alarm clock, starts performing every hour of the day, and kills itself off when exhausted. Its great to achieve goals and be ambitious,but being an automated work horse is not my my thing.

    I’d rather be poor than ill.

    Reply
  12. Hey Todd,

    I began using some of these time management tips you suggest above and I have been able to get a lot more done!

    Although I don’t like to be set on a schedule, if I’m not on one then I tend to waste more time!

    I’m going to implementing more of these productivity tips – including idea to implementation time!

    Thanks,

    Jeff Bode

    Reply
  13. I think this is all very good information; comments included. Thanks, all!

    I like that Todd recommends putting important as well as the more redundant tasks on the list. I find I have a tendency to want to finish what I start, so I tend to focus on something very heavily – to the exclusion of other issues getting my attention, then I can get mired in the details.

    One technique I succeed with is to focus heavily for a prescribed period of time on one issue, then move to another issue, whether or not the first is finished, then move to the next – as if they are finite appointments. When through with the timeline of duties, I go back and finish whatever is left to do.

    My problem is sticking to my guns and moving on when I still feel like I have hours in the day. 🙂 But, this way, my perfectionistic tendencies have to be scaled back so everything gets at least a little swipe from the “broad brush,” rather than a narrow focus.

    Hope this helps!

    Reply
  14. No offense Todd or Rich,
    Eben Pagan’s “Wake Up Productive” is the absolute best program to help you be more productive in life as well as business. All the years spent studying “time management” came down to how I manage myself.

    I ended up getting in the best shape of my life, lost 39 lbs. gained focus and concentration, and set my business on fire, now I am looking towards the best life has to offer.

    Thomas

    Reply
    • Congrats Thomas!! That’s what it’s all about!

      I’m a firm believer in… whatever works… keep doing it. 🙂

      Todd

      Reply
  15. These 10 tips are good if one is focused on efficiency, that is, marketing. But innovation (the other key component of business, according to Peter Drucker) seems to need more freedom and unscheduled time (for exploration, experimentation, etc.).

    Thanks,
    Peter

    Reply
  16. Hi Todd,

    These are some great points. I literally wasted DAYS out of every week due to poor discipline and time management before I started being mentored by both Rich and then Alex Jeffreys.

    While I agree with John and Warren to a point that you can’t schedule in innovation and creativity, I find most of my time is taken up by getting things done so strict deadlines can really ramp up my productivity.

    I am really looking forward to the new report from Rich.

    David

    Reply
  17. Todd:
    As an entrepreneur myself (all small business owners are), it’s great to highlight the psychological components that make entrepreneurship successful. Thanks for sharing this.
    Randy

    Reply
  18. It seems that many of the comments worrying about burn-out or no creative time neglect the fact that to run a business you must take care of the mundane at some point or there will no longer be a business. If the tips can make you more productive during the time you are working, you may be able to condense the tasks into fewer hours, leaving more time for life.

    Also, no where in the 10 points does it say how long the work day is or even how many there are in a week!

    Reply
  19. Hey Todd,

    Good points all, and the comments are interesting. Your points outline a good approach to getting on top of the day, and making better use of the available time.

    Keep on writing, and letting us have the benefits of your thinking. I will be listening, and learning.

    I look forward to the next report. I always gain from whatever Rich is thinking and communicating.

    Ken

    Reply
  20. Hi Todd,

    your tips are good. Some just need more explanation. Scheduling time for breaks and to look after yourself is very important to work efficently. I assume you are doing that in your seminars.

    You can easily integrate that while doing the above. This helps to save time. If you feel like a fiddle you work much better than when you work so hard that you feel exhausted afterwords.

    I work with people who want to improve their efficency in a healthy way.

    Often I see buffled faces, because they find out how easy things can be if they watch after themselves while working. And they get much ore done.
    In the end they have more out of their day, because they still feel fit like a fiddle when they finish their workday.

    To come to that point they have to overcome some habits and prejudices they have.

    They have to really implement the learned in their live.

    The only one looking after yourself is YOU. The best performers watch after themselves as they know only than they can perform excellent.

    Watch after yourself while implementing Todds great tipps.

    Reply
  21. I find that the internet is a big distraction! I find myself checking my e-mail constantly. I really do need to manage my time better. Better said than done I guess. Great post btw

    Reply
  22. Hi there Todd,
    Fair call to order and a eventful list. The time just not seem to be enough all I can do is try and get something extra completed in the day. I am working through setup and articles writing for a new blog as well as affiliate re-directs etc,etc.
    Also closing email addresses and off load two domains. I guess cleaning the backyard so see to speak. I agree with time management principles therefore a planning schedule would be a useful tool. Also I have software I have not even learnt to use.

    Reply
  23. What about hiring a first-rate management team? I have way more things to do in a day than I will ever be able to get done. Even after I eliminate a whole bunch of lower value tasks. This is a good thing and I’m encouraged by it.

    Besides, I will never be good at everything and I don’t want to be. I’m currently shopping for a CEO. My job will be to make sure this person is super-productive and efficient before I hire them. And to keep them challenged, engaged, focused on my key outcomes and properly rewarded.

    If I’m not taking a week off (preferably on a beach somewhere) at least quarterly, I’m not at the optimum point on my efficiency curve.

    Reply
  24. Great post Rich, that’s definitely important to create that successful mindset. I agree with checking email about 2 times a day, it can become addictive because you don’t want to miss anything, but at the same time it’s time consuming, I personally use a messenger that let’s notify everytime a email come in so I can continue working. Surround yourself with successful people and you’ll have no choice but to become successful, you only get in return what you put out 😉

    Reply
  25. I just wanted to say, I just went through the first Founders training and all I can say is….Wow!

    It was over 2 hours of solid content, and I am so glad I signed up for the membership…This is just the type of strategic training I needed to take my business to the next level…

    The nice thing, the info is usable info that can be used, not just the same old info being rehashed out there, and believe me, I know, I’ve signed up for just about every membership program out there to test and see what they delivered…

    This system delivers…

    Thanks Rich and Todd for the great info…

    -Al Perhacs

    Reply
  26. Dear Rich,
    i read your stuff and like it a lot!!!
    recently i have encountered an amazing business software, which autimatically enables to do all what you have written here and much more. per testimonies and results it saves avergae of 4 months out of every year to businesses who use it (from one user to cooperations).
    are you interested to hear more about it?
    if so please email me at:
    [email protected]
    your loyal reader,
    Danny

    Reply
  27. Hey Tom,

    I just had a moment to listen to the transparent launch recording that you posted for us in the Founders Club Members area.

    I just wanted to complement you and thank you for your effort in making it so valuable. Watching the entire process that you went through during the Founders Club Launch and having you explain everything as you went over it was eye opening.

    Your a true professional and I look forward to learning even more from you and Rich in the coming months!

    Take Care!

    Reply
  28. It is interesting all this talk about time management. Some people think that creativity can only spontaneous and therefore Entrepreneurshio is spontaneous and shouldn’tbe schedule.

    Listen!, no Entrepreneur needs to be as creative as artists have to be, and the a big part of the difference between a well paid actor and a starving actor is 2 things.

    1. Entrepreneurship skills
    2. Deliver on cue.

    When they say lights-camera-ACTION! and that camera is looking at me and the whole crew has worked all day, and the producers have paid thousands or millions of dollars I have to deliver on the spot, I have to be creative on the spot, I have a small window of opportunity to deliver the goods other wise I have wasted all the time and money spent.

    That is why actors are worth a lot of money.
    The camera doesn’t wait for YOU to be ready, the same way LIFE doesn’t wait for you to be ready.

    Creativity can be scheduled, and if you develop that discipline you too will be worth a lot of money in your endeavors

    Gotta go my scheduled Blog posting time is up haha =)

    Reply
  29. Ahh yes what I came here for originally.

    Just went through the “Transparent Launch Formula”
    Great content. It is amazing how you can spell out the process they got you with and than respect you for doing it.

    If I didn’t received such high value content I’d be pissed off, but that is not the case, it was a well thought out process and having gone through it and now explained to me step by step gives me a whole different learning experience that you guys probably didn’t think about.

    We went though it and experienced it, now is not theory anymore it’s our truth, and by explaining it step by step you just made me understand how I can repeat the process in my business.

    Well done guys.

    Reply
  30. Hi Todd,

    Awesome webinar! There was so much information and yet, you made it so easy to understand! It was an eye opener to learn how much effort went into the launch preparation and how each step was carefully thought out and crafted with a purpose. More importantly, it was a real value that every bit was explained in a way that allowed me to think about how I can apply them to my business!

    Thanks Todd! Great job!

    Reply
  31. I would add to this:

    find a free time clock program and track everything you do–including checking email, surfing, etc.–and see how much time you spend on unessentials in a week!

    Also–outsource the things you hate doing. You can spend time on tasks that will probably make you more money than you spend on outsourcing.

    Reply
  32. Hi Todd,

    Just watched and studied your Transparent Launch. I appreciate you sharing the behind-the-scenes strategic and tactical thinking. I was just blown away by what I saw. It just raised a new standard in my mind of what is possible and what must be done.

    Your presentation made me think about the “Making of [insert movie name]” that you can find in DVDs. It is always incredible to find out the depth of thinking and creativity the producer goes into when making his movie. We usually do not catch that on a conscious level, althouth it is picked up subconsciously.

    So, thanks again for this “Making of”. I have learned a lot, not only about the process, but also about myself and how and why I react in certain ways during a launch when I am on the customer side.

    Yannick Pauli

    Reply
  33. Todd

    Some great points to consider. Numbers 3 and 4 really resonate with me as I do spend a lot of time on e-mails and getting distracted if I have unscheduled time.
    I have started to focus a lot more on time management and beating procrastination since I started on Alex Jeffreys MWA2.0 course and signed up for the Founders Club – just have so much to learn and implement alongside a full time job.
    Thanks for the tips and speak soon.

    Tom

    Reply
  34. Hi Todd,
    I love your videos. I watched both the Fast Product Creation and the Transparent Launch just now.
    I am in a rather soft niche so in a way these concepts are even more necessary because it may be harder to sell.I am in the “irrational passion” genre rather than a survival mode one.
    I was encouraged to hear for another marketer that when times get better again, those of us in arty or spiritual niches may find ourselves in a great position as people won’t be so worried about money as they are now.

    I am on the edge of being homeless if I don’t get some money in, and I want to stay in the Founders Club. If I don’t it is because I literally don’t have the money — just an unemployment check that covers the rent.
    I hope I can come back and re-join when the money comes in again — or that things will get moving during this month.
    Thanks so much. Its amazing,
    Arlene

    Reply
  35. Just got through the Transparent Launch Formula materials in the founder club and liked the simplicity of the presentation. Nice work, and looking forward to the next training!

    Reply
  36. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Margaret

    Reply
  37. Hi Todd,

    Very helpful post and all points are valid. For some reason when I was reading them I felt both motivated and worried.

    Motivated because if I were able to do everything you suggest there is no doubt that it would bring great results.

    Worried because when I imagined doing all you suggest I felt like being very constricted.

    What I may have to do is start implementing the points one by one, one at a time starting with e-mail.

    E-mail is one of the biggest time wasters for me. So I’ll eliminate that first and once I can stop wasting time with email I’ll work on the next point.

    Thank you for all the helpful info.

    Vance.

    Reply
  38. Two of the best productivity tips I have received in recent memory are closely related to one another.

    The first tip is: Go on a “Low Information Diet.” I got this from Tim Ferriss.

    And the second tip is: “Unsubscribe to all those email lists.” Select the few marketers who consistently deliver quality content, and stay on their respective lists. And then unsubscribe to everything else. I got this tip from James Schramko.

    My productivity has increased dramatically since I started implementing these two simple, yet very effective time management strategies.

    Reply
  39. Hi Todd Brown,
    I really liked what points you have as they are capable of adding value to life of your readers. However, I would believe that self imposed discipline & avoiding procrastination sounds simpler than it is. Another thing I would love to suggest is that it would have been more significant to your TA if you had given more examples personalized for online money makers.

    Reply

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