How I improved my productivity by fixing my workflow and retention issues.


Have you ever had times where you were super productive? Then there are times where you’re just staring at the screen trying to make things work?

Grinding and hustling sounds cool, but are you doing the “work” that matters?

As I gained more experience during my journey of entrepreneurship, I realized I wasn’t exactly doing the things that move the needle.

I was wasting too much time on reactive firefighting and mundane busywork.

I found myself spinning wheels caught on stupid things like:

  • Finding, sorting and resetting passwords to one of the many business tools we have
  • Trying to recall information or ideas that didn’t get logged down
  • Poor task tracking, so things just end up falling through the crack
  • Creating vague goals that never got revisited
  • Locating tools, resources, and files that are stored everywhere.

“Work” just kept piling up while business growth remained stagnant.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’d encounter similar problems at some point.

This article details the not so glamourous problems businesses face but don’t quite talk about. 

I’m sharing it in hopes that you could gain a thing or two from it, and move past your sticking point or avoid the mistakes I made.

Cutting down fluff works and aligning your intent, will drastically improve your productivity covered in the 3 essential pillars below

Determining high leverage activities

To determine work that “moves” the needle, you’d need to set goals and ensure that it aligns with your intention.

I can’t stress this enough because having a misaligned intent will get you nowhere. I’d set vague goals and wonder why I didn’t meet them.

Combat this by setting Specific goals. 

For example, set the goal of hitting an extra 20k in revenue in the next 3 months.

Rationalize your reason and motivation for getting to the goal.

Then determine the activities to get you there. 

For example, Drive more traffic to our sales page by doing out X, Y, and Z.

Test your hypothesis, whichever action that moves you closer to your target is a lead measure. Your next course of action is to turn that lead measure into a KPI and double down on that.

If you want to get a better goal clarity and execution process, I highly recommend reading “The 4 disciplines of execution”

Developing focus

Ever notice that if you waited until the last minute to complete a task, it’d only take a minute?

While if we have 10 hours to do a job, things end up falling behind.

That’s because our work contracts to fit in the time we give it. Aka “Parkinson’s Law”.

What gets measures, get an assigned value to it. Being ruthless with your time, you’d start to know how you’re effectively spending your time. 

Pomodoro technique is the practice of instilling a sense of urgency into your work.

Because you’re allocating a block of 25 mins to a task, you’re more likely to complete it. 

I use Forest App to set blocks of 25-45 mins for deep focus work and only expand the time if necessary. 

The cool thing about this app is that you’d earn virtual coins for every completed focus session, and it helps fund the forest conservation effort.

You could use a timer or something else as long you’re keeping track of the amount of time spent.

Developing systems, processes for tracking and retention

My business partner and I had a lot of problems when it comes to information retention. 

We would have great conversations and ideas the day before, only to forget it the next day, or waste hours scouring our chats to retrieve what we need weeks later.

This issue also surfaced on the storage of our tool stacks, courses, and resources that were strewn across multiple locations.

Things were a mess, we’d spend more time and energy looking for them then doing actual work.

We needed a system to make digital information retrieval easy.

We took inspiration from Thiagos Forte’s P.A.R.A method designed for seamless transfer of information across different platforms.

The method guides you on defining projects and developing a standardized organization format that allows you to manifest across different platforms you choose. 

Notion became our go-to tool for information storage as we could create internal pages for our projects. The project is segmented into different levels. 

  1. Goals/Targets to achieve
  2. Work to do
  3. Resources
  4. Brain dump/archive

The goals are a high-level overview. I’d pull information on the project sections and break it down into smaller tasks on my desktop notepad that serves as a to-do list. 

The idea here is to determine the tools that serve your project management needs, developing a standardized format for information storage and then creating a workflow process that you’d know that you can remember and revisit without much effort.

Hope you enjoy what I wrote! If you’re interested in optimizing your workflow, follow this link.

If you’d hear more insights and join me on my journey, you can follow me on twitter.

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