5 Productivity Tips For The Time-Poor Entrepreneur

By Aziz Ali
28 Comments

Interestingly Gates, Buffet, Jackson, Jordan and You have the same amount of hours in a day, but some are able to accomplish far more than the rest. There is literally an art and science to managing yourself to produce more in the same time allotted to every one of us.

I once heard Eben Pagan say something along the lines of this:

“The term time-management is a misnomer, we need to manage ourselves, not time”.

And I cannot agree more.

Below I will show you five practical concepts that I personally use to become more productive as an entrepreneur.

1. 50 Minute Mind Bathroom

I wish I could recall, who first introduced me to this idea, but unfortunately I cannot. Actually, I think it was Dean Jackson. Well, the 50 Minute Mind Bathroom is a simple yet very powerful exercise to get instant clarity and focus in the midst of feverish day-to-day activity. Hence the name “Mind Bathroom”.

How to:

  1. Take a blank sheet of paper
  2. Start writing down in bullets, everything you have on your mind. By everything I mean every task that you have on your mind that needs to be done
  3. Keep writing for a minimum of 20 minutes. (This is key, without this, the exercise is a waste)

When you are done, you will have a list of things that you have to get done. Next, you can prioritize tasks and set deadlines on the important ones.

2. Eat That Frog

Brian Tracy first introduced me to this concept. Eat That Frog in a nutshell means to do those tasks first that you do not want to do the most.

The definition of laziness in the entrepreneurial world is: “Not doing the things that create the most impact”.

As humans, we naturally tend to stay within our comfort zones. But it is worth noticing that the best things that ever happen to us happen when we are out of them. Similarly we tend to put off important tasks and place them on the back-burner just because we are afraid to operate out of our comfort-zones.

Eat That Frog is an amazing thing to always remember. Do those tasks first thing when you start work (before you open your email), that create the most results and you have been putting off for a long time. Refer to your 50 Minute Mind Bathroom list to identify those Frogs. Usually you will know your Frogs intuitively.

3. Night Before

I am guilty of not consistently practicing this one. But it works like a charm.

Night Before simply means to create a list of things you want to accomplish right before you go to sleep. Identity your Frog in that list and make an active effort to eat it first the next day.

Why create the list the Night Before? Well, experts say that the unconscious and the subconscious mind are the most profound portions of our brain. We do more than 85% of every task subconsciously in a specific unique fashion and effortlessly – this is simply because of our subconscious mind. When we plan our day the night before, our subconscious mind is still at work in our sleep. This helps prepare us for the next day and our day becomes more productive as a result.

4. Week On Paper

This one works like a charm. I use the 50 Minute Mind Bathroom and right after that, I do the Week On Paper. This makes my whole week rocking and super productive. Here is how this is done:

  1. Take a blank piece of paper A4 or 8.5” X 11”.
  2. Fold it into half and then fold the half into half again.
  3. Unfold the entire paper fully, now you have two creases across the paper (one horizontal and one vertical) creating four natural boxes on the paper. Four in the front and four in the back.
  4. Title each box with a day of the week and put in all tasks that you wish to accomplish under each day.

This plans your entire week and you can visually and realistically see what you will possibly accomplish each week. I do this exercise each week. I tend to almost always do the 50 Minute Mind Bathroom first, and then transfer over the tasks from that list to my Week On Paper boxes.

5. 2-Hour Time Blocks

Every body that inhales, has to exhale. After day there has to be night, and after work there has to be rest for optimal performance.

We know after a few seconds on inhaling air, that we have to exhale,

We know God has set precise times for the Sun to set after its rise.

Now here is the trick question: How do we know when to rest, and how much to rest to produce the maximum quality work?

If you review your daily production and match it with the amount of time you spent working, most of you will be surprisingly disappointed. In today’s busy lifestyle, we have a lack of focus in our work days. We can literally accomplish more in two hours of uninterrupted focused time than an entire eight hour work day.

For entrepreneurs with longer projects, I highly recommend to work in two hour uninterrupted time blocks. Eliminate all distractions and use a timer. Set it for 60 minutes twice. Unplug entirely, walk away from your desk when done for a minimum of 15 minutes, and resume after if necessary.

Usually when I am almost done and need an extra ten minutes to finish a task after my two hours are up, I will give myself those extra ten minutes, since I am in the zone.

You will be amazed at the quality of the finished product when you apply 2-Hour Time Blocks. For some people, this might mean actually accomplishing things as apposed to being all over the place.

Conclusion

I will say it. It does take conscious effort to become more productive, and we are not always in a mood to consciously control our behaviors. But the great part about the above concepts are that they are so amazing at making me productive that I actually enjoy doing them. I enjoy the exercises and I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when I review my weekly production.

I hope they work for you as well.

Aziz Ali Signing out.

About Aziz Ali

Aziz is an internationally acclaimed marketing whizkid and most commonly called a genius by his fan-base. Always working in the trenches, Aziz knows how to optimize marketing systems to produce exponential results as he did for several billion dollar companies and popular Internet Marketing Gurus.

Aziz is currently giving away two [2] tools & nine [9] strategies that has helped all of his clients find customers online EASILY!
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28 Comments

  • Aziz,

    I completely understand what you say about time. I have been always convinced that time is the most important asset.

    I confess that I have had troubles to manage my time. I have real world business as a SKF bearings dealer, I have two websites, a pregnant wife and a dog. So you can imagine how I wish I have more time.

    But let me thank you for this awesome article! You gave me great tips to improve my time managing. In fact, as soon as I get to the office in the morning I will print it and start to implement it.

    I’m looking forward to read more from you. Impressive!

    Saludos Aziz

    Marcos

  • Your reference to the subconscious mind being powerful is right on target. Creating a to-do list the night before so that we have time during our sleep to “work on it” makes good sense — and this work is a lot more effortless anyway!

    I really enjoyed your blog post — keep on writing and sharing!

    Always Going On Beyond,

    Pam Britton

  • Hi Aziz,

    Until now I had not come across productivity tips that include “mind bathroom” or “eat that frog”. Nonetheless I found them helpful and I am already using them. Thank you for a great post.

  • Great post. My days have become so busy and I find I never have the time, I also have a habit of forgetting a ton of stuff that is vital to keeping my business up and running. I have heard of methods such as the ones you have described here but never really thought about implementing them. I think it is time for me to re prioritize and change my daily process. Thanks for the tips, I hope I can make it work.

  • Aziz,
    It makes sense to implement these times saving factors into our lives. I am a big believer in anything worth remembering is worth writing down.

  • Hey Aziz
    Thanks for the tips. I’ve heard of a few of them and a couple were new to me. Do you know how to find the “execution” fairy so I can get help actually doing this stuff:)?
    Mark

  • Time management is definitely an art. Like you have said, there are definitely some people in this world who do it really well and some of us who keep running out of time every day.

    I really agree with your second point. This is for me the number one point. I always want to put off anything I don’t want to do till later and this is a habit I have tried to fight the most, but always lose motivation after a few tries. I do feel I am getting better at it but still a long way to go.

    Another problem is I can never sum up everything I have to do. So I carry a notepad with me and when I’m reminded of something I need to do, I jot it down in the pad to go through as soon as I’m done with what I’m doing.

  • Minblowing tips…As I am very weak in first 3 one so I need to pay more attention towards its as due to this neglegencies I have suffer manytime but now I am slowly improving myself concern to this.

    Thanks a lot for this important tips which is MUST and not to be NEGLECTED.

  • Love the 50 minute mind bathroom and the week on paper concepts. I’m a fulltime crime writer stuck between the two stools of having an enthusiastic agent who is having problems selling the first book in the series to a team of editors in any publishing house and the Indie self-publishing market which might net me some revenue. The result of this situation is that I current earn absolutely nothing! Thankfully my husband is very supportive and doesn’t mind. I am reasonably good at managing my time, but mostly because I get up early every day and am alone in the house for the next 10 hours. However, like anyone else I’m always open to new ideas on increasing my productivity, so I will be trying all of these concepts – especially eating the frog!

  • Time management is must to get the results

  • Speaking of the 50 Minute Mind Bathroom, it reminded me just how many thoughts I personally have whenever I am taking a shower, or am just generally in the bathroom. It reminds me just how I might need to get something that can allow me to write all my ideas down while in the shower. Not sure if something out there exists but that would be a tremendous thing as I often tend to forget my great thoughts that I have while in the shower.

    By the way, I like your eating the frog suggestion.

    -Jean

  • As they say time is money so it is very important to organize your time in the best possible way, making a list of tasks you have to do during a day or even during a week for bigger tasks is very important.

    Regards Kostas

  • Good ones, i like the ‘Eat That Frog’ and ’50 Minute Bathroom’. these just stick to your mind. Thanks for some good tips!

  • Hi Aziz, I agree with all of the points except for the Eat the frog thing. Don’t you think it will take more time because one is prioritizing the hard ones? Nonetheless,this is a helpful post for me. Thanks!

    • Eating the frog task, doesnt mean you are working on the task that takes the longest but rather just one you would rather avoid. For example… you just might not like to do that task, or find the task very mundane, which can is more than likely the case.

      -Jean

  • [...] 5 Productivity Tips for the Time-Poor Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurs-Journey [...]

  • Great tips!!! Time is money and if you can’t manage your time how are you able to get what you need done. I plan on using the 50 min. mind bathroom, thanks!!!

  • Awesome post Aziz, I find myself too swamped with work sometimes and I don’t know which task to start on first! The 50 minute mind bathroom sounds really interesting and I think I might give that a test to see if it really works. Nonetheless good content. Thank you!

  • Thank you for this article! Love “Eat That Frog” concept, now I will think of this term when beginning my day with those nasty unwanted tasks. Thanks.

  • I really appreciate the sentiments behind this blog. I think we are all guilty of not wanting to eat that frog. Funny thing is that once you’ve done it – it feel sooooo good!

    I also think the folded -paper is a neat trick – I will adopt – next week!

    Regards

    Matt

  • Hello Aziz,

    I didn’t know that it was called: ‘Mind Bathroom’ but some time ago I have used a somewhat similar technique on a big complicated project. Only I didn’t make a list I made a ‘Mind Map’ and even had some relevant deadlines
    put into it. Just as a way to keep an overview.

    Only I don’t know about this Eating a Frog thing, I do think that indeed to be able to set new steps and grow it might sometimes be usefull to once in a while also operate outside of your comfort zone, only I do think that there also can be a good reason for something to be outside the comfort zone, as an indication that you better not (yet) go there. For example I don’t think that I would be completely comfortably doing dangerous circus acts, maybe there is a reason for it? I do think that - especially when you hardly had any relevant training for it – it probably simply isn’t smart to do that.

    For what Laziness is concerned you might like to have a look at a post with a video with some remarkable things some historical figures have said about Laziness,
    you can find it at: http://hpshappytravel.blogspot.com/2011/07/how-you-can-make-travelpreneurship.html

  • Great inspirational post Aziz !

    Regarding the creation of a list of things to do, it’s a golden mine tips and it’s taught on every business management course

    Going on a personal level, I have to train myself to eat a lot of frogs .. it is my sore spot!

  • I have plenty of spare time but it’s always better to get more done with the time that i have.

  • Good article to help get the most out of your time and money.

  • I completely agree with the two hour uninterrupted time blocks point, I’ve been doing that for quite some time now and it made be quite productive.

  • Great post Aziz!

    Very clever tips!

  • Wonderful ideas! Thanks so much !!! I especially like the eat the frog one :)

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