Be More Productive By Doing Less

By Robyn Tippins

If you are a small to medium sized business owner, I’m here to tell you today that your time is limited. I know this will come as an enormous surprise, but there are a finite number of your hours to go around.

You can’t do it all, and I’m guessing you probably don’t want to anyway…

time lost cannot be regained

Information Overload

Your company has to be on the cutting edge, so you must read often.

You spend at least 15% of every day (and probably more like 30%+) consuming information — Tweets, Facebook statuses, Pins, Medium posts and longform blog posts.

Your company has to be a thought leader, and that means churning out clever sayings and deep thoughts, and lots of them, including social updates, blog posts, white papers, videos and case studies.

You are well-read, from strategy to productivity, fascinating and much loved, and none of this is getting the work done.

Your company requires work to be done, the financials to be straight, payroll to be paid and sales to be made, so between administration, billable hours, garnering new business and information consumption/creation, you are doing too much.

Something has got to give.

Choose Whom You Will Serve

Choose a few hours, each day, to get work done.

I go radio silent every day from 2-4pm EST. During that time, I don’t check email, I don’t check Facebook and I don’t answer my phone. I don’t read HackerNews, TechMeme, Reddit or Cracked (my guilty secret). I just flat-out work. I get more done in those 2 hours, than I do in the entire rest of the day.

I’ve become so committed to this schedule that I have been able to cut out work, completely, on some Fridays, just by working ahead during those hyper-productive hours the rest of the week.

I have literally found an extra 8 hours per week, just hiding from my distractions.

Have you established any “heads-down” working hours?

Author’s Bio:Robyn Tippins is Co-Founder and CEO of Mariposa Interactive. She has been managing online communities for 17 years, and her book, Community 101, is a primer on online community management. You can follow Robyn on Twitter via @duzins.

Photo Credit: gothick_matt via Compfight cc


  1. says

    Same here, Robyn. I handle all daily tasks and updates in the morning, take a break for lunch, then do my creative work between 1 and 3:30. I start slipping after that point, so I save email and brainless work for the last part of the day.

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