How to Be Productive With Your New Business

Wheelhouse Factory Blog - How to Be Productive - Practical steps you can take while starting your new business

Woohoo! You’ve started a business. What an exciting time! The rush of optimism is fresh in the air and you’re ready to conquer the world. Your game face is on and there’s nothing that can stop you. The only thing holding you back is that pesky limit of 24 hours a day. Now the challenge becomes how to be as productive as possible each day.

A new business demands attention across a vast array of areas. From product development to website design to marketing logistics, you are going to be busy! In this article we give you four pragmatic and practical ideas for how to be productive while building a new business.

1. Assess the opportunity cost

Estimated productivity boost

60+ minutes a year. By stopping to evaluate the time required for new opportunities, you can be more intentional about choosing the activities that maximize your time. Thus, saving you from overloading your calendar with additional hours of obligations.

What’s in it for you

The definition of opportunity cost is: “the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.” It’s a concept that is typically applied to financial investments, but let’s explore its relevance with another scarce resource – our time.

You may have numerous opportunities in front of you including new business partnerships, startup ideas, product enhancements, a committee or board role, fun classes or hobbies. We should be mindful of how much time each opportunity requires. While opportunities are exciting and should absolutely be seized, we should also think about the resulting impact on our schedules.

Make sure to allocate your time wisely and be conscious of the time you’re committing in the future. Feel satisfied knowing you’ve made a sound decision.

How to be productive step-by-step
  1. Before jumping into a new activity, calculate the approximate time you’ll be dedicating to it.
  2. Evaluate all the other activities you’re giving up by committing your time to that new activity.
  3. Decide if this new activity maximizes your time the most.

2. Be direct

Estimated productivity boost

15 minutes per day. Save a few extra minutes by clarifying and cutting to the chase up front. Eliminate the need for multiple follow-up discussions.

What’s in it for you

Be brave and take responsibility for making every interaction as clear as possible. Use simple language and examples that will be easy to understand. Ask to make sure the other person is following the conversation. Explicitly call out the actions or takeaways that you need them to own. And, within reason, try not to tip toe around your honest thoughts and opinions on matters.

As a result, you will experience more efficient communication, reduce misunderstandings and earn respect from others.

How to be productive step-by-step
  1. During conversations, be present and listen to the other person.
  2. Respond with clarity and truthfulness.
  3. Ask questions to confirm both parties are truly aligned.

3. Set a time limit for calls

Estimated productivity boost

30 minutes a week. Cut down a few of your calls by 10-15 minutes. Watch the time savings add up.

What’s in it for you

Have you ever been on a phone call with a friend, family member or colleague, when you suddenly look down at the call time and realize you’ve been talking for over an hour? Staying in close contact with others is definitely important, but you also need to maintain balance with other activities in your day.

In order to avoid the guilt of cutting off a call, proactively set time limits of 10, 20 or 30 minutes. That gives you the power to end the call and return to other commitments. Also, it can improve the quality of your conversations. You’ll be more likely to give that person your full attention and focus on important topics if you know it’s a shorter window.

How to be productive step-by-step
  1. Pre-schedule the meeting for a specific timeframe or announce up front that you’ll need to wrap up the call by a certain time.
  2. Schedule another activity after your call for extra motivation to end on time (e.g. meal, work meeting, another call).
  3. Stick to your time limit!

4. Use templates

Estimated productivity boost

30 minutes a week. Save time by using pre-formatted or pre-worded templates for the recurring tasks in your day.

What’s in it for you

Stop reinventing the wheel each day! A small investment of your time to develop templates will pay you back tenfold every week. Scale your ability to get more work done in a shorter amount of time. Be able to deliver with a consistent format and level of quality. Minimize potential mistakes.

Check out Jenna Kutcher’s shop for some awesome examples of templates.

How to be productive step-by-step
  1. Identify your recurring emails, reports, meeting agendas and deliverables.
  2. Create outlines, boilerplate language and formatted templates for each one.
  3. Use the templates to kick start your day.

One last tactic for being more productive is to reflect on what gives you focus, motivation and energy. To increase your output, you must also understand and control these environmental and psychological elements. In our Wheelhouse Factory Productivity Workbook we have built a tool just for this purpose with the Maximize Outcomes exercise.

If you want to read more of our blogs, check them out here! And as always, we would love to hear your feedback and questions – please contact us at

– Trevor and Amber Lightfoot

Wheelhouse Factory Team - Trevor Lightfoot - Executive Officer - headshot photo
Wheelhouse Factory Team - Amber Wesson - Operating Officer - headshot photo

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