Unlock this Playbook
You will gain full access to this playbook - as well as weekly insights to help you learn the material!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Chapter
2

Maximizing your effort for improved productivity

While processes can be managed in a step-by-step fashion, you also need to account for effort. Not all tasks are created equal, after all. Writing a pitch email to a lead is going to take more effort than sending a final draft to a retainer client you’ve been working with for 2 years. So even after you build processes that help you move forward in your work life (and, in many ways, your personal life as well) you need to take a good look at how effort factors into the mix.

Maximizing effort is a key strategy for improving productivity because it allows for better control over the completion of tasks and leads to better results. Effort is one of the key things that can be managed to optimize productivity, alongside other important factors that we'll cover in later steps.

Exercise: Managing effort through energy management

Managing your energy levels can optimize your productivity and effort. By working on high-energy tasks during peak energy hours and low-energy tasks during low energy hours, you’ll be able to work more efficiently and achieve better results

  1. Make a list of your tasks the next 3 days and categorize them as 

  • ⬆️ High-energy tasks (tasks that require focus, creativity, and energy).

  • ⬇️ Low-energy tasks (tasks that are repetitive, administrative, or don't require much focus). 

Example:

  • Apply for small business loan ⬆️

  • Draft next week’s Tweet series ⬆️

  • Follow up with Dropbox on incorrect charge ⬇️ 

  • Send out invoices ⬇️

  • Reach out to Myla to connect me with her old client ⬆️

  1. Keep a log of your energy levels throughout the work day, using a scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest). Keep this log over a 4 week period so you can see patterns in your energy levels over an extended period of time.

Time

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

8-9am

6

5

6

7

7

9-10am

8

7

8

9

10

10-11am

9

8

9

10

9

11am-12pm

6

8

9

6

8

12-1pm

7

6

7

7

6

1-2pm

4

3

5

6

4

2-3pm

8

9

9

8

4

3-4pm

8

8

10

8

8

4-5pm

5

4

6

6

9

5-6pm

4

3

5

4

3

6-7pm

4

7

5

3

2

  1. Identify your peak energy hours (when your energy levels are at 8 or higher) and low energy hours (when your energy levels are 6 or lower).

  2. During your peak energy hours, work on ⬆️ high-energy tasks, and during low energy hours, work on ⬇️ low-energy tasks.

  3. Reflect on the day and evaluate how your energy levels affected your productivity and effort.

  4. Adjust your schedule and prioritize tasks accordingly for the next day.

Note: This is a prolonged exercise taking place over a period of 4 weeks or more. It would be wise to review this log you’re keeping regularly so that you see patterns that emerge. You can also journal using an app like Day One, Reflection,app, The Five Minute Journal, or even a tool like Roam Research or Notion.

The sales team at a technology company I consulted with was struggling to meet their quotas. They were working long hours, but still falling short. The team leader decided to focus on maximizing effort, and managing energy. He asked each team member to assess their sales process and identify areas for improvement.

The sales team members used a combination of sales analytics tools and customer feedback surveys to assess their sales process. They found that they were spending too much time on administrative tasks and not enough time on prospecting and closing deals. 

By streamlining their processes (the exercise from step 1) and focusing on the most important tasks during their peak energy hours, the team was able to improve their productivity and exceed their quotas.

Private network of peers to learn and build with
Education and resources made for independents
The best guidance to move forward
Exclusive data, insights, and deals
Quality programming and events
Seasoned experts to support you
A community of peers building alongisde you
A community of peers building alongisde you
A community of peers building alongisde you
A community of peers building alongisde you
A community of peers building alongisde you
A community of peers building alongisde you
The premier
entrepreneurial
ecosystem
for
independents