The Simple Secret To Getting More Done In Less Time

What if we could make every day as productive as the day before we leave on a vacation?

Have you ever had the experience where you’re about to leave town on vacation or some other trip… and all of a sudden you get a lot done right before you leave?

I have found this to be true numerous times and I’m guessing you have, too.

For us, we like to take trips in our motorhome. When we see those trips coming up on the calendar, I know that I have certain things that I need to do in my business before we leave. Things like:

  • Pre-writing a few issues of The Edge so I don’t have to do it while I’m gone.
  • Perhaps preparing a marketing campaign to run on automatic while I am traveling.
  • Perhaps finishing a course or other training I’m working on.

I see that deadline coming up there on the calendar. I have no desire to move it around. So I simply must get these things done before I leave!

And so what happens?

I get them done. 🙂

Furthermore, I don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about it, trying to seek perfection, or questioning things. That deadline is coming whether I like it or not and I just quit screwin’ around and I take action.

The motto is…

[click_to_tweet tweet=”When I have a lot less time to get things done, I’m incredibly efficient!” quote=”When I have a lot less time to get things done, I’m incredibly efficient!”]

When I have a lot less time to work with, I get a lot done. And one of the things about it that I find is that I tend to focus on just the core things that HAVE to get done to keep the business operating. I concentrate on minimum viable product and I just do only what needs to be done in order to make it DONE.

It might be easy to think that things suffer because I’m pumping out something of lower quality, or less thought out. But, no. Here’s an example…

Many times when I take a trip like that, I like to set up a marketing campaign to run on automatic while I’m gone. That campaign will make an offer and pull in a nice little hit of revenue into the business. It is a little game I play sometimes because, to be honest, it’s fun being on vacation and having money come in on automatic. 🙂

But, with that trip start date coming up, I don’t have the time to sit there and think up some fancy product launch. I don’t have time to make fancy videos or any of that. So, I concentrate on minimum viable product.

I write some emails rather quickly. I come up with an offer really quickly. My products already exist, so it isn’t as if I have to make something first. And, I just get it done.

One time I did this before I went on a cruise with my wife. I generated a little over $12,000 in sales that week while I was out on the Caribbean barely paying any attention to the business other than a couple short check-ins over the ship wifi.

Now, without fail, every time I go into one of these hyper-productive pre-trip fits, I have that thought…

Wow, I’m so productive. What if I could do this every day?

Wouldn’t that be something! Perhaps there is a way…

How Can We Make Every Day As Productive As Right Before A Vacation?

So, how can we apply this normally? How can we keep that same level of efficiency going all the time even when we don’t have a vacation or trip coming up?

Well, give ourselves less time to work with!

This quote has been attributed to, of all people, Lucille Ball. But, it’s fantastic. She says:

[click_to_tweet tweet=”If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.” quote=”If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.”]

So, here are some simple ways to get more done and do it habitually:

  1. Set deadlines. Don’t give yourself infinite time to get something done. Set a deadline. Put it on your calendar. If you need to make that deadline less flexible to you, then schedule something else immediately after that so that you have no choice but to get it done. On a day to day basis, try using a timer to set deadlines within your day for single tasks.
  2. Stop thinking. I know, sounds stupid, right? But, many of us spend way more time thinking about what we have to do than actually doing it. If that’s you, be aware of it and try to knock it off. Stop thinking and just do it.
  3. Set a new pattern. I believe this is a compounding thing. The faster we’re used to going, the faster everything goes. It is why a person who lives in New York City might move to Kansas and be utterly bored because they’re used to a faster pace! So, in your life, just try to set a pattern of doing things quickly. Set the pace. Set the rhythm for how you want things to go.
  4. Do more things. Don’t shed projects because you “don’t have time.” Do the reverse of what might make sense to you. Do more things. Change your viewpoint. What is overwhelming to one person is child’s play to another and the only difference is the habit they have set for themselves and their own viewpoint. So, take on more projects. Do more things. And get used to it.

Much of that advice might seem quite counter-intuitive. The way to get more productive is to take on more things to do? Is Dave crazy?!

Possibly. 😉 But, I believe it. I can’t say that I’m always perfect at doing this, mind you. But, I know that it works.

I’m also not advocating that you live a life in constant production. I think play is important. I think having down time is important. But, I’m an advocate of “work hard and play hard”. I enjoy downtime and vacations as much as anybody, but when I’m not in that mode I should be working my tail off. If anything, I’ll get way more done by scheduling more vacations. 😉

So, that’s just my little piece of advice for you today.

We All Have 168 Hours

We all have 168 hours to work with every single week.

Take the most productive person you can think of… that person who seems to do so many things that you don’t know how they possibly do it… and realize that that person has the exact same 168 hour week that you do.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”You’ve got 168 hours each week to work with. What are you going to do with those 168 hours to get where you want to be?” quote=”You’ve got 168 hours each week to work with. What are you going to do with those 168 hours to get where you want to be?”]

168 hours. That’s a lot of time to work with.

You can set the pace for what you do with it.

You can either get more things done… things that you’ve always wanted to do… or…

You can binge-watch Netflix. 🙂

Think about it.


  1. Sounds crazy, but it is true. I procrastinate. I have to say to myself. It’s time to get it done. Any person who housecleans knows how fast it gets done before a party.

  2. Thanks Dave! I have been very challenged with time lately and am finding my way back now that a few things are off my plate. This is a great reminder! BTW ~ your tweet links don’t work. 😉

  3. You are right I have been scheduling mini vacations every 2-3 months since last year. This helps me to get my list done before I go because i do not want to do the task when I get back. I also dont want to think about it when I am supposed to be having fun. Those little breaks are much needed in this fast pace world.

  4. Thank you! Sooooooooo helpful! Your modules produced immediate results after years of drifting around the office, now I’m actually getting things done! Thank you again! (PSfirst link in post is broken)

  5. Part of the reason we get more done when we are busy is that we are thinking in our heads about situations and problems, even when we are doing other things.

    1. True, and we should stop it. 🙂 I think one of the “secrets” of production is to do what you’re doing while you’re doing it. If we’re thinking about something else, then that’s not being present.

  6. I love the post and the comments. I also found that with a dead line and a list I get a lot done. I recently put my house on the market and all those things that I procrastinated about have come back to haunt me. I also learned to farm some things out and when to ask for help to meet the deadline. Best of luck with the new digs and have a great Thanks Giving.

  7. David,

    First, congrats on your new space & LOVE the audio blog posts – I am inspired and will do the same for my new blog (In progress).

    Well, on the other side, I have found the “Do more to do more” not effective and largely a tiresome way to waste time (IMHO). True, I agree that under pressure we get much accomplished and you have presented a good argument for time management. However, I’m discovering that outsourcing tasks – hiring the people who specialize in such (Movers, painters, designers, et al) is the most effective way to be productive. Yes, one may save money with the ‘Do-It-Yourself” approach, but at what cost as it’s valuable time away from what could be considered more important.

  8. hi david,
    great points. you are right – we all have the same amount of time. and although i am sometimes more efficient when i´m under pressure i can tell that things i really want to do well and without any errors simply need their time… so i prefer to do some general tasks under pressure while writing my blog posts usually takes some time 🙂

    1. You might try putting your blog writing under the gun as well. I think a lot of people spend a lot of time second-guessing their own writing. Plus, you can concentrate on the form of content which works best for you. For some, writing is an ordeal while they could probably bang out a solid piece quickly be recording it in audio and hiring somebody on Fiverr to transcribe.

  9. Good to have you back David. Glad you got everything done. Hopefully you get the paint out from under your fingernails soon enough 🙂

    I like the “stuff that matters” approach to help stay focused. For me it streams from goal setting and top down strategy. For example if my goal is to grow my online business (which it of course is) then I want to focus almost entirely on the things will contribute to that the most for me at this point.

    For me, those things are list building, product creation, and building relationships. Nothing else is going to make nearly as large of an impact.

    So if I get a wild idea or find myself working aimlessly, I ask myself that question – is this going to help me with those efforts. If it doesn’t ill likely push it out, outsource it, or eliminate it.

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