Q & A: How to get things done and increase productivity at work Part 1

Q & A: How to get things done and increase productivity at work Part 1

My top productivity tips for business owners and entrepreneurs.

Can’t see the video. Watch it on youtube.


Let’s get straight to this weeks question from Angela, who works from home like many of us do.

Hi Karen, I work from home and I’m trying to get myself more organised and get into a routine. I need to get more focused as I know I can waste a lot of time. How can I get organised, get focused on my work and get things done more efficiently?

Today I’m going to share with you some of the things I do to that help improve my productivity at work and help me control that overwhelmed I’ve-got-too-much-to-do feeling. It’s your business, so you take control of it and take control of your time too.

I’m breaking this answer into two parts as I have too much to say about this! Refining the way I work is one of my favourite things to do so I’m sharing 3 tips today and some more tips next week too, otherwise this blog post will be wayyyy to long!

Tip no 1.

Use a diary!

I use google calendar. I like it because you have complete control over the exact timings of things and you can colour code it too.  If you are a visual person, this really helps give you an overview of what you are doing and where you are spending your time. For example, if I have a block of pink in my diary, that’s my time off. Purple is for meetings. Blue is for blogging, etc.

I recommend you always allow twice as long for something as you think you will need because that’s more realistic. You are giving yourself plenty of time and you won’t be working under pressure.

What to schedule in your calendar?

As well as the usual meetings, events, and social engagements, what else could you schedule into your diary?

I schedule everything from blog writing time to video making time, networking time, social updating time, travel time, newsletter time, blog reading time, research time, client time, me time, days off…

By far the best thing I’ve implemented into my diary is LEEWAY time! I used to pack my diary up to the hilt with no room to manoeuvre. With leeway time I allocate half a day a week, or a day a fortnight and leave it blank. Inevitability an opportunity will come up that I will want to take advantage of, or a last minute event or social engagement, or I need some extra time to work one something, or I might just want a change of pace and chill out. I can’t recommend leeway days highly enough! 

Once you have schedule a task into your diary it’s going to stop you from worrying that that you will run out of time to complete it. It WILL get done because you have allocated the space and time for it and you won’t get overwhelmed by the task ahead.

Tip no 2.


I’ve never gotten to the bottom of my to-do list. I’ve accepted that now. Why haven’t I? Because there is always room to grow and new things to learn, change and implement and if you want to stay on top of your business you’ll always want to discover new ways to improve!

I plan my goals and ideas to implement and people to contact months in advance. I don’t start a week without knowing what I’m going to be doing and I always, always make sure the last job I do every day is plan out my tasks for the next day. You don’t want spend the best part of your new day faffing about and organising yourself. Whatever else is on your to-do list make sure your clients needs are at the top.

Q & A: How to get things done and increase productivity at work Part 1

I break my list down into what needs to be done today, this week, next week, next month etc, and then move things up the list as I go along.

Frequently review your to-do list. What seemed like a great idea to try might not be relevant now or you know it won’t work for you so ditch that to-do and clear out the clutter.

Tip no. 3

Email control.

One of the best tips I’ve picked up is to not check your emails before you do any other work. Get cracking with your work and do at least one important thing before checking your email.

Remember, email isn’t like instant messaging. It’s ok to check in 2 or 3 times a day. That way you can still reply to someone within a few hours, which is really timely, but you aren’t jumping every time something drops in your inbox. Don’t leave your email window open. Close it! I can tell you, it really clears the mind!

I hope these 3 tips help you get going and get even more productive!

Next week I’m going to tell you about a tool I use that shows me ways of saving time and also increases productivity! How good is that?!

So, how do you get organized? What are your time management and productivity tips?! Let us know.

GREAT NEWS! I’ve got EVEN MORE tips for you in Part 2! 

If you have a question for me, please let me know here, or if you would like a more in-depth answer, check out my consultation services! 🙂

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This article has 5 comments

  1. Hi Karen

    Great vid. I thought at first: “Oh, this is too simple” but then I realised that while I *think* I do these things, I don’t actually do them properly.

    Always a pleasure to watch you.

    Maria x

    • Hi Maria!

      I know what you mean! Before I hit publish I thought ‘Oh, this is really obvious stuff’, but like you say there’s a difference between knowing things and doing them.

      Take email for example; I spent 4.5 on emails last week. That’s half a days work! And I hardly ever initiate them either. It’s surprising (& scary!) how quickly our time can get eaten up!

      Karen 🙂

  2. […] This is part-2 to a question I had in from a small business owner who was looking to take a more focused approach to her routine and asked me how she could work more efficiently. Check out Part 1 here for tips 1-3! […]

  3. Just watched both video’s and read the tips along the way.
    Great tips Karen

    Thank you

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