How Productivity is Calculated: Smart Tips to Save You Time
Episode 12811th March 2022 • Women Conquer Business • Jen McFarland
00:00:00 00:56:27

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[00:00:23] You'll learn strategies and tactics, leadership skills, and practical advice from successful women entrepreneurs to help you grow, nurture, and sustain your business.

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[00:01:07] Shelley Carney: I am doing very well. Thank you. Experiencing interesting times in the health department of between your husband and me. So when you start to get in your sixties, it's just things start falling apart. So we're rolling with the punches on that, but Toby and I are finishing up our livecast Life book. We just did our last installment for the book yesterday.

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[00:01:53] We just did the last installment yesterday. And I'm hoping to have the book out on April 1st, April fall. That's what I could, I thought if I go for April 1st and it doesn't happen, then I can say April fools.

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[00:02:12] My business partner says getting old isn't for wimps. No. So yeah, I can totally relate to that. I'm in my forties and I just have stuff and things and yeah, no, it didn't happen when I was in my twenties. So today I started dragon boating. That's a thing that we have here in Portland, Oregon. We have, for those of you who don't know, we have a large river through the middle called the Willamette, and we have a annual festival called the rose festival and part of the rose festival in addition to parades and all kinds of celebrations are dragon boat races.

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[00:03:14] So it was really great. And I, it was a nice break and celebration. I've been working so hard on launching this new product. And it's out now, it's called find the right marketing tools for your small business. And coincidentally, do you remember Shelley? We talked about that topic on an earlier show, and this is a deep dive into that.

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[00:04:05] And this gives you some guidance around how to do that. The course is about an hour long and with tons of worksheets and guidance on how to figure out what your business actually needs so that you can ask the best questions that you can to get the help that you need. Very excited about that. And that's on apifany courses slash marketing dash tools.

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[00:04:51] We've had a lot of really great blog posts. But the site itself was not my favorite thing. It was very busy. It didn't look like an e-commerce site. Now we're getting closer to shape saying, we sell courses here. This is all that we do. And it's very exciting. So I feel like so many things are moving forward right now.

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[00:05:21] Shelley Carney: Yeah. And since you brought up websites and making changes yesterday, Toby and I experienced the windows update, which kind of messed with settings on our equipment, that's connected to the computer.

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[00:05:54] And we thought we have it. And then we went live at one o'clock yesterday. One of our viewers told us your voices are garbled. I can't understand you. So we had to shut down the livestream, continued to work on the equipment, the Rodecaster rebooted again, rebooted the computer again, and finally got it to where we.

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[00:06:36] I felt Toby is really dedicated and resilient and he loves to solve those problems. So he w he didn't mind at all working on it. I was just like, I don't even have a clue what's going on. And I'm just like, so I can understand those people who need that extra help. And then he's if this happens, you call us because we've gone through it.

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[00:07:05] Jen McFarland: to absolutely. And I, I'm more like Toby and at the same time, since I'm so new to this live streaming, I think I would have just been melting down a little bit, but I, what I love about that story is that then you're like, and then we got on in an hour and it was done.

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[00:07:36] Shelley Carney: And the thing is when we have the first live stream that went wrong, we had one viewer and he told us about the thing and we shut it off and we came back, we had five viewers.

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[00:07:52] Jen McFarland: You established scarcity came back. No, it's but that's so great. I'm so glad that he was able to fix it. I've read, I'm entirely Mac. So I just had read about this windows update, not going well for a lot of people. And I'm sorry that happened to you because it really can ruin your day.

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[00:08:30] And it puts things in perspective for me a little bit. Especially since I work in with a lot of tech problems in people's marketing, it's not as big of a freak out. Like I always have, like I said, it puts things in perspective. A little bit.

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[00:08:55] The speakers were in front of me, so I couldn't hear the music. I couldn't keep time with, cause I couldn't hear it. They didn't have a feedback, a back speaker for me to hear myself. So I was just trying to keep up and then the music cut out, completely standing there. And the thing that I saw was everybody in the audience was sending me love and commiserating in empathy, it was just all this coming at me.

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[00:09:42] People are understanding. They're like, oh, I hope that never happens to me. Oh, are you going to recover? Are you okay? That's what people are thinking. Don't think that they're laughing at you or that they think you're a loser because your technology.

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[00:10:08] They want support you. And that's the thing. Like you were ready to just get back up there and do it. Maybe you needed a little help with the computer part, but we all need help about something helpless, something like this show wouldn't be happening. If you hadn't of said, Hey, do you want to do that again?

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[00:10:44] Shelley Carney: it. Yeah. It falls together if you keep working at it.

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[00:10:49] Jen McFarland: Yeah. What'd you what'd. You got some breaking news.

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[00:10:55] Jen McFarland: I love breaking news.

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[00:11:14] Jen McFarland: So this is really interesting. Anytime. And Shelley brought this up. It's a beautiful picture.

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[00:11:37] And I think we've talked about this before with Pinterest TV and other places. If you have a store and somebody's giving you the opportunity to put your product there put your product there. And it doesn't have to be, I think, in, in the article they're showing like food products and then they, I think they do go and show a couple of them.

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[00:12:18] At least that's my take on it. What do you think Shelley? Absolutely.

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[00:12:38] So we can, maybe get some. Some action going with selling products cameras and lights and that sort of thing. So absolutely anytime there's something like this comes up and available to you and you learn about it. See if you can get involved and get your products up there.

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[00:13:09] So I'm definitely going to test it out and see if I can get for my business, but I can get some courses and things in there. We also talked before the show that I like Twitter a lot more than Shelley. So I think she thought of this as something for me and I hate admitting it, but I do Twitter.

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[00:13:39] Shelley Carney: stuff. I just don't sit on there and read other people's stuff. It's I'm more likely to do that on LinkedIn.

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[00:14:09] But I've got it winnowed down to where it's what I like to see if I want to have fun. But then yeah. Then I like LinkedIn and Twitter, although lately I've really gotten into YouTube. I blame you for that, by the way,

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[00:14:29] We at one time were like, oh, we should just make up. We're like, you can never determine what people are gonna and not like, and I don't know whether we could just make a channel about the grass growing and we looked it up and there is a channel about grass growing. There is. As a matter of fact, yes, there are channels for those.

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[00:14:53] Jen McFarland: Welcome to the grass growing

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[00:14:56] Jen McFarland: McFarland. We have to talk really quietly cause the grass grows better. I don't know. I don't know how that would work. It's so funny.

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[00:15:08] Jen McFarland: So are we ready for some to

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[00:15:17] today? We're talking about how productivity is calculated.

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[00:15:41] You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant. So if I put what the reason for that is, obviously you can't produce a baby in one month, but it also means. Some things just take time. So productivity is not about doing things as quickly as possible, necessarily. It's about the efficiency of how you do things.

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[00:16:36] You divide the 2000 hours, into the a hundred thousand dollars and it is 50 hour, $50 per hour of work. Now that's not really accurate because if you are running a business, you have things like overhead. You have the, the things that you have to buy or the place that you have to go to get the work done, or maybe you're buying products and building something, and you have all these different costs involved, but at a really high level, it's like what?

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[00:17:31] Value their services. They don't think a lot about how much time does it make to create this product? How much energy is it going to take? What are my costs? When I go to have a website or buy the equipment that it's going to take to produce the thing, what did it cost for that computer?

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[00:18:12] Costs in all realms. So when you start thinking about how productivity is calculated and the more macro way, we're going to talk a lot about tasks and time audits. When you think about how you calculate pro productivity in the macro way, this is why people charge more for services than like 10 bucks an hour, because it's theirs.

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[00:19:06] And when we think about all of these factors that go into how we do our work, what is it that would make it the most effective? So you can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant. You also can't charge $10 an hour because you have additional costs and sometimes it costs more to deliver a better product quicker.

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[00:19:51] Shelley Carney: yeah I'm looking at your how you introduced it.

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[00:20:16] But it's also costing you, you have to put a lot of time and effort and resources into creating that and delivering that in order to have some, have a product that you know, that people can buy.

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All of the things, all of the tools then, especially like a service-based business.

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[00:21:35] If you are in consulting or a work from home business, things tend to bleed. I find into each other. D do you think that's what I've seen? You're

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[00:22:01] When you work out of the home your utilities, it's part of your utility bills, right? All of it goes together when you work out of your home. So it's hard to pull out those costs.

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[00:22:26] It's bigger than time management. Now, the parts that we're going to talk about, because I don't know about Shelley. I'm not really a finance expert, then I'm not going to talk about all of the money and all of that part, so we're acknowledging in our definition that there is that part and talking more about like how to manage tasks, how to manage a project.

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[00:23:08] So it's not just man hours. All of the rest of it as well. But one of the things that we can control in small businesses and as solopreneurs is I like to think of it as self-leadership, how are we leading ourselves through the day and being more effective in our time.

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[00:23:42] And how do you solve that problem? And you have to ask that about everything. Toby was starting a, another book with it's going to be like a coffee table, picture book with a small set photography. And we've been. Playing it out talking about it, designing it. And I, and he's also got a channel where we were doing these live streams about small sets photography.

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[00:24:21] And they were like, this is the number one thing you have to know. And sometimes you have to continue to ask yourself questions about it. If you come out with a new product, like Jen has her epiphany courses, she had to go through this again for herself and say, who is this for? What is their problem?

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[00:24:44] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. And it gets easier. The more you look at them and think about it, it gets easier. And you mentioned something else that I want to really highlight, which is you also need to have other people helping you and you have to talk to somebody because yeah, it's easy to go in so deep into your expertise and, things are so cool and, but you might lose people.

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[00:25:26] Shelley Carney: That's right. It's really important. Every time people say, oh, you gotta be on Tik TOK. Gotta be T I cannot tell you how many times a day I keep hearing about gotta be on Tik TOK.

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[00:25:44] Jen McFarland: yeah, it's really funny. Oh, I forgot to tell you that. So last, I think it was last week we were talking about how about Tik TOK and NFTs and somebody trolled us on Twitter about NFTs. Really, I thought that was really funny.

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[00:26:19] Business initiatives. I call them projects because of my background, but really business initiatives, things we want to deliver. How do we break down tasks effectively so we can be more productive?

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[00:26:46] And then you have to take those steps and plot them out into your calendar so that that you're working on those important things and you're not getting so sidetracked that you lose sight of that goal.

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[00:27:09] Instead of thinking about the what and the why, but, they're all comes first, right? All the things. Yeah. Why are we doing this? Is this corridor a mission is this core to the people, is this so important to the people that we serve and do they know it's important to them? The, like this course that I just launched.

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[00:27:48] Shelley Carney: I know questions about that because it's always changing and it's always a. It's an investment, you're investing money. You're investing time in learning a product and you're investing, your business into it. Say you're coming up with a new CRM and you're trying it out.

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[00:28:21] Jen McFarland: but people it's not saying.

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[00:28:47] I think it's important. I think people who are cost aware, know how important and time aware no, how important is, but it's not that sexy thing, but it's still in service to others. So one of the problems that I see a lot is people go too big and then it becomes really hard to break down tasks effectively.

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[00:29:32] Shelley Carney: If I have a thing that I need to do frequently, like I need to get a show out every week. I will break that down into three parts. Pre-production, production, and post-production. Within those three parts, I'll consider the tasks. What's involved in pre-production? There are 4 to 6 tasks to do that. I have to do those tasks every single time. So, I'll make a checklist for myself so that every week on a certain day of the week, I check that I did those things. I have it all in front of me and then I get my show done and then I do my post-production tasks. Then I know that whole project is complete. I think any project can be broken down first into the larger sections and then you take each section and break that further down into tasks.

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[00:30:52] It's like a New York times a seller, I think. And I, we will definitely put it in the show notes as resource for you because it's one of the, there were a whole bunch of books I read at the beginning of the year, and this is one of them that it just helps you break down tasks into smaller pieces.

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[00:31:50] So if you need help with that's a resource for you. And,

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[00:32:20] Shelley Carney: I'll even go on canvas and type it in. And some pretty one will

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[00:32:50] And if you are in that space, then it's really important to conduct a time audit the other time when a time audit is important is if you just feel like you're wasting time, but you don't know what it is that you were doing. So if you would like some time awareness around how you're spending your day, then you can conduct a time audit.

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[00:33:37] And then there are a couple of different ways. So what a time audit really is at a, at the large level is tracking. It's just tracking your time a little bit so that you can then go back and look at it and go, oh, like I spent 20 hours on social media this week and I got nothing out of it. For example or maybe you're not aware I think I've talked about it before.

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[00:34:28] So one of the ways to get through that is to conduct a time audit. And so you choose a typical week and then there are a couple of different ways to track your time. And it really just depends on where you're at and what you're most comfortable with when people are like, eh, time audit. Like I'm like just

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[00:34:49] Jen McFarland: right.

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[00:35:12] The one that I recommend for this is. Called top tracker it's offered by a company called top tall. They do. I think that they do a lot of an Upwork or a freelance company, and this is free. And I have actually used it early on in my freelancing. I used it when I was doing a lot of websites, because what it does, it not only tracks your time and you can switch from project to project, it takes screenshots.

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[00:36:02] And I don't know why more people don't talk about it. I think it's just not as well known as some of the other time tracking apps. So that time tracking app, you could basically. Turn it on. And as you switch projects, you can just change the title of what it is that you're tracking. And then it's taking screenshots.

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[00:36:57] It's that weight Watchers app or whatever it is that you're using, because you're going to plan out what it is you're going to work on, and you're going to track your time. And then you're going to see what actually happens and. That's what makes a time audit so effective? It's you know, are you, even if you're just looking at the calorie app yourself, you stop and think before you eat pie, I don't know who you are when you write that down.

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[00:37:45] We really are talking about, self-leadership self-management. And I think that what we find in going through a time audit and I've done several myself, is there is always a place where you have more, where there space for doing things more efficiently. Because I was reading this morning that they think that really only 30% of our day is effective.

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[00:38:40] And then maybe that 30% becomes 10%.

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[00:39:01] And I want to get this done. I want to get this time. And, I grabbed my water in my coffee and I'd go sit down at the computer and I get to work and really can focus in until I get hungry enough that I have to, then go eat breakfast and that sort of thing. But I know I have a couple of really strong hours in there where I can get a lot done.

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[00:39:41] And then just make sure that you set a time aside for that and say, okay, no, I'm not going to do emails until after breakfast. And then, you can focus on those blocks of time where you are most productive and getting your most important things done during that time.

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[00:40:05] Shelley Carney: Yeah. And so complaining, knowing yourself and planning for

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[00:40:15] Shelley Carney: I think the things that are. Prioritize at the top are the things that I've promised other people. Maybe that's not ideal, but it is how I work. And it is how I was brought up that if you've made a promise to somebody, you get that done first, especially if somebody's paying you for that work, that's the first thing you do any work on it until it's done and you make sure it's in on time if not early. And that's how I work. And then anything after that is things that long-term goals, things that I'm working on for those long-term long-term goals that I can put aside.

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[00:40:54] Jen McFarland: I do that too. I don't like email, so I have to force myself to work on email. I know a lot of people will go in. And get lost and I do too, and I don't particularly enjoy it. I will say that one of the things that is helpful when I do it, and this is when I keep a notebook next to my keyboard is when I start to rabbit trail off into things that are interesting to me, then I make a note of it and get back on task.

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[00:42:11] Then it's really important to, to write it down and, get back to it later that I use. Note book, and then I use an app called pocket because I'm an avid reader and I just hit the pocket button because it saves the article for later. I can't get back and read it when I want, whatever it is that will help you make those kinds of choices.

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[00:43:03] Shelley Carney: Nicely put. Yes. I was thinking about something that is cute and funny that my, my daughter and her husband instituted this thing where she was only allowed to complain on Thursdays from like one to three. And that was it. And the rest of the week, he would just tell her, save it for Thursday, save it for, she was complaining a lot.

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[00:43:46] Oh, I haven't got a spare minute. Let me go do Facebook. Instead, if you block out the times that you're going to do that favorite thing, then you know your subconscious knows and your Bryant, your brain knows. And it's okay, I'm not going to work on Facebook until four o'clock this afternoon, it's on my calendar.

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[00:44:24] And no, not Facebook, what is it? And then give yourself that minute to really think about your goals and where you want to go and how you're going to get there. And then something's going to come to you, to fill in that space and say, oh, here is something I really need to work on.

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[00:44:56] Jen McFarland: Oh, a hundred percent. And when I teach marketing around. And I tell people, you only need to check social media.

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[00:45:28] And it's that switching back and forth between tasks that can really destroy productivity because of how our brains work. We can't just switch the way that we think that we can. And those 15 minutes turn in, turn into hours. Sometimes if we don't make them, time-bound when I talk to people about social media, I say, 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the afternoon, And that's all you need, you schedule your posts and then you can practice being engaging and engaging with the posts during the day.

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[00:46:33] How do you get to service delivery faster? And the fastest way to do that, I think is through prioritizing those tasks. Yes. Which sounds so easy, but you have to have ways that you're like that you are able to say, I'm not going to do that right now. And put it aside and honor that whether it's by writing it down or putting your phone in the other room, I've done that before.

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[00:47:04] Shelley Carney: out of mine. Yeah. Take that chocolate cake and hide it in the garage or something.

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[00:47:35] Yeah. So by raising awareness through things like a time audit and the most effective tasks, then we can really target the areas for improvement and move through improving and being more productive quicker.

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[00:47:54] Jen McFarland: the disciplines so much discipline.

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[00:48:05] Shelley Carney: Everybody's like that. That's great.

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[00:48:27] What do you think that what's your call to action? What are the things that can really help people?

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[00:48:47] For me, that's content creation and I have a system for that. And if you're interested in learning that system we have a playlist on YouTube on the messages and methods, YouTube channel, and you can go check that out. It's called a live cast life and it trains you in our method for creating content every week and getting out a live stream video, a podcast and a blog every week.

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[00:49:23] Jen McFarland: And we've been talking about productivity. I feel like we've given a lot of resources for how to do that throughout today. I would say if you think that marketing apps and tools will help you get your work done more quickly, I would highly suggest taking the course, find the right marketing tools for your small business, just because it will save you so much time and money.

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[00:50:15] So what's your. What's your tweak of the week. Oh,

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[00:50:22] Jen McFarland: week,

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[00:50:49] So windows. Yeah, who knows it could

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[00:51:00] Shelley Carney: nerdy. Yeah. But if you have any questions on how to add a 32nd video to your LinkedIn profile, I can walk you through that. But at this point in time, it's a little iffy on if it's going to work on LinkedIn or not.

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[00:51:39] YouTube has also given us the ability to add a trailer so that if you were to go there and say, oh women conquer business Thursday, let me go look at the, and set myself a reminder. And then you look at it and a trailer will play in, it can talk and you can put whatever you want in that trailer. If you're just want to say maybe the opening for your podcast this is about such and and Jen and Shelley are going to be talking about blah, blah, blah.

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[00:52:15] Jen McFarland: So that sounds like so much fun. I'm going to have fun with that. I will do a preview for next week's show. Cool. We'll do that. Test it out. Yeah. I think that'd be fun.

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[00:52:43] You want to put up there might just be me. Yeah.

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[00:53:09] We talked all about how important it is to create content for your business and a lot of different tips and tricks. It was super fun. She is. Great person. And we'll definitely put the link in the chat for that. We launched it with words, she created a launch with words and she created a WordPress app.

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[00:53:59] And it's just such a wonderful tool. It defeats the, I don't have anything to write about that. People tend to say to web developers, people who are consultants like me, we hear it all the time. And so we talk on that show about how important content is and why you need to have it. And what are some of the things that you could be talking about?

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[00:54:43] So we had a really good time and she's a really neat woman. So I would say definitely subscribe to that show. It's 20 minutes once a week, and you will learn so much about content and that's launched with words with Bridget Willard, and she brings a lot of cool people on. All right.

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[00:55:00] Yep. That's with words easy. Okay. I think it's time for our inspiration.

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[00:55:33] So that's a good thing to keep in mind as we're thinking about productivity and what we're spending our time on and what will become of us because of the use of that time. And who are we spending time with and is that uplifting for us? And is it making us a better, stronger person? So just, it's a good thing to ask ourselves every now and then, am I happy with people in my life?

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[00:56:22] Don't do this. So it's a good thing to ask ourselves every now and then when we're getting to productivity, am I spending my time on things that matter? And what's it going to turn me into when I spend like days doing these things? Yeah.

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[00:56:45] We've talked for a full hour. I think it's a new record. I want to thank you for spending your time with us and have a great week, everybody.

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[00:57:11] Then share this podcast with family and friends so they can find the support they need to expand their brand and share their message with the world. Check the show notes for links to valuable resources and come back again next week.