Momentum Podcast: 863

Ultimate Productivity for Entrepreneurs

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

In this episode of the Momentum Podcast, we are going to learn a cool way to get more stuff done, even if you feel like you don't have time. We are going to be using a tool called a time study. For two weeks, you write down what you're doing every 15 minutes.

Guess what? You'll find out amazing things about yourself! You'll see where you spend time on things that don't help much. Then, you can do better things with your time. Imagine putting together a puzzle where each piece is a part of your day.

Here's a special gift: visit You'll find special documents that can help you do the time study. Whether you're just starting or need some help, these papers will guide you.

Ready to start? Try the time study for two weeks. See how it changes your days. Share your results with us!. We're excited to cheer you on as you become a super productive entrepreneur.

This is the Momentum Podcast. Your journey to being super productive starts at

Full Audio Transcript

This is the Momentum podcast.

Hi, everybody. How are you doing, Alex?

I pride myself on being very productive. If I'm going to spend time working, I want to make sure that I am getting things done, that I'm moving things forward, that I'm moving the bar and making things happen. And as a result of wanting this to happen in my life consistently, I have searched and studied and researched How do you create productivity? And there's one discipline, one tactic that I have used for over a decade that creates more productivity than anything else, not just for me, but this week I'm doing it with my entire team and I want to share this tactic with you. I want to share this tool with you, because if you use it as an entrepreneur, it can be absolutely life changing.

I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution. And we always will be.

Before I start, I want to thank you for being a podcast listener and for listening to Momentum. I appreciate you like crazy. Thank you for making this one of the top business podcasts in the world and the top one half of 1% of all podcasts. If I can ask you a quick favor, take a minute right now and leave me a review. It helps us a lot with the rankings. It helps us a lot to get more downloads and it helps us share this information with more entrepreneurs out there who are looking for momentum. Thanks in advance for sharing a review. I read every single one of them. I can't wait to see yours.

Now I want to jump in and share with you a discipline that I've used to be more productive over time, to understand how much I'm capable of over time to collapse time and get more done. And it's a discipline that most entrepreneurs aren't willing to undertake. In fact, this is one of the things that we teach every single person who joins our high ticket coaching program, because here's what we need to understand if we're truly productive, we need data around where we're spending our time. Here's what we need to understand: If we're working too much in the tactical side of our business and not enough in the strategic, we need data to understand where we're spending both of hose categories of time. And here's what we need to understand: what we can delegate or hand off to somebody else and increase our productivity on a daily basis. The discipline is a time study. And if you've listened before and you've heard me talk about this before, I want to share some insights with you that maybe I haven't shared before.

You know, a time study is a simple process. It's a process of two weeks, not for three days, not for one week. I recommend you go two weeks of taking sheets of paper and writing down everything you're doing in 15 minute increments. This is a discipline that I originally learned from a book called The Effective Executive from Peter Drucker, who wrote tons of books on business and productivity and how we become more effective as people who are running businesses and making decisions. And this discipline of writing things down in 15 minute increments absolutely changes how you look at everything. For me, every time I do this, it changes how I look at everything. Now, first I want to make a confession. Every time I do a time study, every time we do a time study as a team, it's difficult for me to get started. You know, I think there's something about us as entrepreneurs that any type of constraint, any type of measurement, any type of process feels heavy. At first. It feels frustrating at first to sit down and write down everything you're doing in 15 minute increments. I know because I started this process yesterday and my wife actually, Cadey, we run our company together, she brought up the fact that we needed to do it as a team. We hadn't done it in a while. We try to do this at least once a quarter. And so she got everybody started on it and she even printed the time study sheets and put them on my desk. And I started doing this yesterday. And I just want you to know if you're listening to me and you're thinking, ‘Oh, that does not sound like fun’, and ‘I really don't want to do it’. I can empathize completely, even though I've coached this for years, even though I've done it for years, even though everyone on my team has done it and we've reviewed them together and I've seen that it creates massive productivity, not just over time, but in the moment, it's still hard for me to get started. And so I share that with you because I don't want you to think that you're different and I don't want you to think that this is easy for me, and I do it without even really thinking about it. In fact, I have to talk myself into it every time. There's a lot of things that I do in my life that I have to talk myself into every time. You know, on a daily basis, I get into a cold plunge, which is around 50 degrees, a little bit colder, and I'm in there for 3 to 4 minutes a day. It's one of the hardest things I do every day. And I do it so I can put myself in purposeful discomfort to know that I can overcome that discomfort. And there's all other types of health benefits from a cold plunge. But every single day I'm talking myself into it. I think there's been a couple of days in the past few years where I'm like, ‘Oh, I'm really looking forward to a cold plunge. I can't wait to get in there’. But that's a couple of days out of hundreds. And it's the same thing with doing a time study. When I sit down to do it, I'm like, ‘Oh, I can't believe I'm going to do this for the next two weeks’. But here's what happens every time, and this is why it's so important. This is why I want to share it with you. As soon as I started doing the time study, here's what I found. I start finding times in my day when I'm not as productive as I want to be. I find that I get way more done in the time period I'm doing the time study. Yesterday was an incredibly productive day and today has been as well because I have to write this down and show myself what I'm doing. I actually have to come clean to myself. If I'm wasting time, I have to show myself if I'm burning time on social media. And so the two weeks that I do a time study every quarter are two of the most productive weeks I ever have. And in. In some cases, I feel like I've as much as doubled my productivity in the two weeks that I've done the time study or more.

Here's why: when I'm doing a time study, I again, I don't waste as much time. I figure out what I need to do and I get it done. And then I write it down and I prove to myself that I can, as I'm going through it, I find the things that I'm doing that I really shouldn't be doing. And I start asking myself, “Who can I delegate to? Who can I get help from?” And every single time I do the time study, even though I consider myself an expert in productivity, even though I'm a proven expert in process, structure and routines for entrepreneurs and for growing business, I find things that I missed. I find things that have snuck in, I find things that I'm doing that I really shouldn't be doing. And the time study reveals those things to me and allows me to create massive productivity moving forward. And if you've never done this, here's what I want you to consider. If you don't have data around where you're spending your time, how do you know if you're improving that over time? And here's what entrepreneurs always tell me, “Alex. I'm not going to do a time study. I'm just going to look at my calendar”. Well, here's the issue with looking at your calendar. Calendars lie. The calendar, it doesn't show you everything that you're doing. The calendar might look like you're really productive, but what we're capturing in the time study is the details, the things you're doing in between meetings, the things that you didn't really think you were doing. And this is one of those processes that reveals so much of ourselves to ourselves. It is an incredible discipline for me because like I said, every time I do it, I start seeing things that I haven't really noticed that I was doing and the calendar would not have shown me. The other thing that happens and entrepreneurs say, “Oh, you know, I don't want to carry around sheets of paper. I'm going to do this electronically”. Well, here's something that happens about carrying around these sheets of paper. I've been coaching this for over a decade. I've been doing it for about 13, 14 years. And then I started coaching it after it had been so effective for me. There's something about writing things down by hand that connects with us more deeply. In fact, there's a ton of science behind this. Typing does not have the same physiological emotional connection as writing. And so when you print out sheets to do a time study and you carry them around and you write them down, it can be absolutely life changing. I'll share a quick story and then I want to give you an address where you can download our time study sheets for two weeks and get started on this yourself. And I want to hear how it goes for you. I want you to get in touch with me on social. I want you to let me know what this does for you. I want you to let me know what change this makes in your life.

So months ago, we had a small get together at our house and one of our friends came over. Her name is Kole Whitty and Kole runs, an amazing company called the Condor Approach, where they work with psychedelic facilitators to understand how to better integrate after psychedelic experiences. She's a member with her husband Tah, and I remember her walking into our house and I think she had a clipboard or a folder or a notebook or something, and she had the time study sheets there and she made the joke. “I'm writing down that I'm at Alex Charfen’s house because Alex Charfen told me I had to do a time study”. And I said, “Kole, how's it going so far?” And she said, “You know, this is frustrating. It was hard at first, but I am seeing so much that I can do to be more productive. And I'm so much more productive as I'm doing this because there's certainly no way I'm going to write down something where I was wasting time or where I was doing something that I didn't need to do.” And I've seen this outcome over and over again with entrepreneurs. You do a time study and you start seeing what you're really doing. You do a time study, you start recognizing where you're not spending time the most productively that you could. You do a time study and you have this opportunity to make a list of things on that time study that you can delegate. And the next two weeks after the time study where you spend delegating, maybe it's the next couple of months where you spend delegating. By the time you do another time study, you will see this massive shift.

So here's some suggestions. One, do the time study for a full two weeks. In the past, I've done it for three days. That's revealing. It gives you some insight, but it doesn't give you everything that you should see that you're doing that's tactical, that you can move into more strategic and it doesn't show you the patterns that you have in how you're spending your time. Two, the suggestion is print these out. You do this in writing, it's going to connect with you deeper. You're going to feel it more, you're going to understand it more. It's more confronting, which is what we want this to be. If you're going to do this for two weeks, let's get everything that we possibly can out of it. And then the third thing, when you're done with your time study, you go through and you look at everything you're doing on a daily basis and you mark it as either tactical, which means someone else could do it, or strategic, which means you should be doing it right now. And tactical means that and this shifts over time for your business. What is tactical today or what is strategic today might be tactical tomorrow. Let me give you an example. If you're in a smaller company with no salespeople and. And you are doing all of your sales calls right now. That may be the most strategic thing for you to do. But as your company grows and your team grows and you hire a salesperson, that now becomes a tactic that you can hand off to somebody else. So this is a judgment call. What do I need to be doing? And what could somebody else be doing at this point of growth in my business, at this point of where my business is? And if you go through this two week period, I know that you're going to discover that you can be infinitely more productive, that you can as much as double your productivity. And once you've gone through and marked tactical or strategic, you spend a few weeks or maybe a month or maybe a couple of months delegating these items to people on your team, getting help with the things that are tactical, getting them off your plate so that you can move into more strategic thinking. Because here's a reality of owning a business as an entrepreneur: the more strategic your activities, the more your business is going to grow. If you are stuck in the day to day tactics, if you feel buried in those tactics, if you feel like you have that neverending to do list, that's just not going away. That is going to limit your business growth. And a time study is going to give you data on exactly where you can get leverage through delegating to other people and having someone else do these things for you.

Now, I want you to have the time study document that we share with all of our members. I want you to be able to start this right now. So a few months ago I did a training called “How to Hire an Assistant”, and we provided two things: a job description for an assistant and the time study. Because if you've never had an assistant before, you can use the time study to create the job description for your assistant. If you already have an assistant, you already have a team, you can use the time study to delegate to that assistant and that team. And so I wanted to get this out here quickly as I'm doing the time study. And so you can go to a simple URL Let me say it one more time. It's, and you can download the time study document that will help you hire an assistant or increase your productivity or delegate more to your team or understand exactly where you're spending your time. I should have said and and, and all those things and you will see your day to day activities radically shift in just two weeks. Go check out how to Download the exact documents that we give our members in our coaching program, and then when you have a minute, make a post on social. Tag me. I'm there. I will see it. I want to know how this time study goes for you. So thanks for spending this time with me today. Go Get started now. Go for two weeks and see your productivity go through the roof.

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With gratitude,


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