37 Ways to be Productive (even when you’re not feeling it)

I’ve been reflecting on how the current times have been affecting people in different ways.   In times of down turn (especially if you are experiencing financial hardship) it can be difficult to keep up momentum. For some business owners, despite their training and expertise, not being busy equals a lack of motivation which can be challenging to overcome.  We lack focus, feel physically tired and sometimes this quite simply feels like we are bored.  (I know I question whether I’m even on the right path when I’m in this funk!)

So what can we do to pump up the enthusiasm?

Aside from physically looking after ourselves by eating well, drinking plenty of water and making time to exercise, I find that tackling a bunch of quick win tasks can get me back into flow and ready to attack some meatier projects.

Below are 37 quick win tasks you can complete in under 60 minutes (or your assistant if they are low on tasks).  They’re guaranteed to boost your enthusiasm by using your time productively and will ultimately bring you back on your path to success.  (I know of many business owners who have lost new business because of no. 15!)

Social Media

1.  Create a content calendar for the next three months
Review past articles, pull out tips and quotes and recycle great content which didn’t get the audience it deserved.

2. Develop a series of quote tile images
Jump into Canva and turn your article quotes into images

3. Refresh your Canva tile templates
Check out profiles of those you admire for inspiration

4.  Review and optimise your Linked In profile
Can you update your experience and qualifications?  Does your image or banner need refreshing?  Who can you ask for recommendations?

5.  Optimise your You Tube channel
Insert keywords into your title and description, create custom thumbnails, add subtitles.

6.  Research hashtags
Research and gather a list of hashtags you can use across your social platforms

Create article content

Even if you are not quite motivated to write a full article – there are tasks to complete to set you on the right path

7. Brainstorm headlines
Identify topics of interest to your audience and curate some headlines to get your creative juices flowing

8.  Research where else you can syndicate articles
Locate other sites and publications where you can share your content to reach a wider audience

9.  Create or update your mini bio to be added to articles
What can you add to make it interesting and stand out?

10.  Gather images
Collate a bank of copyright free images which are on brand to use for future articles

Refresh your email marketing

11.  Review your template
Add your new mini bio, check your social links are working, refresh your footers

12.  Update banner image
Does your tag line work?  Is your image a little dated?  Do you still offer the services listed?

13.  Gather & analyse data
Review your past sends for optimal results – what time of day has more opens?  What type of content lands with your audience?  What types of links have higher click throughs?

Complete a Website review

We can all be guilty of neglecting our website in the busy periods – now’s the time and review and renew.

14.  Review and update service pages
Is the content still correct?  Do you still offer those services?  Do you need to change any language or sales messages?

15.  Check your contact page
Does your form work?  Do the contact details flow into your CRM?  Have you embedded your online booking system?

16.  Update your WordPress theme & plug ins
Just ensure you have an up to date back up in place first!

17.  Ensure you have an automated back up
Check with your hosting provider that they complete a daily back up of your site – if they don’t, put it in place!

18.  Review & update page Meta descriptions
These are the snippits that Google shares upon search – make sure your keywords are included!

19.  Identify users
Check who has access.  Are you still giving access to a past assistant?  Remove and tighten up your security.

Review your CRM

20.  Update contacts
Review your clients and past clients – add the custom field information you were too busy to complete before

21.  Clean your data
If you pay for your CRM based upon number of contacts – save money by cleaning your list.  Unsubscribe those who haven’t opened any communications for a period of time (this will depend on the frequency you send).

22.  Create automations
What simple automations can you put in place to make your life easier?  Client birthday notification?  Opt in follow up?

23.  Customise fields
Customise fields to gather client data that’s important to your business.

24.  Create email templates
Gather your frequent communications and turn them into templates

Review your subscriptions

We all have many monthly payments coming out – what can you do to save on costs?

25.  Review all of your subscriptions
What platforms are you paying for monthly and annually?  Do you still use them all?  Can you down grade to the free option?

26.  Review email addresses
How many email addresses are you paying for?  Do you need them all?  Can you use the email alias function instead?

27.  Future proof your costs
Make a note of when annual subscriptions are due to avoid unnecessary auto renewals.  Set a recurring task to review your list of monthly subscriptions to ensure you still use them regularly.


If your email is overflowing or you spend waaay too long in there – a tidy up will pay dividends.

28.  Archive and clean
Use the archive button (so the content is still searchable) and get to inbox zero

29.  Create rules and filters
Use the rules and filters option to automate regular emails received

30.  Unsubscribe
Unsubscribe from all those unnecessary emails (and use rules or filters to bypass your inbox for those you want to keep)

31.  Update your signature
Perhaps give yourself an interesting title?  Add or update your testimonial, check your social links work.

Xero (or your financial platform)

32.  Review your budget [or load one if you haven’t already ]
In Xero go to accounting / reports / budget manager

33.  Review your email templates
Customise or review the email templates sent with your invoices

34.  Set up recurring invoices
You can also have them auto created for review before sending if you don’t want to send automatically.

Promotional Activities

35.  Review your listings
Google my business and other directory listings – are all the details up to date and current?

36.  Create a client call list
Reach out to all past clients, re ignite your relationship – its always easier to sell to someone who’s already experienced your awesomeness.

Systemising your business is the holy grail for many business owners.  Although this is a huge project to jump into – you can start with small steps.

37.   Identify the workflow for just one area of your business (e.g. what happens when you finish working with a client)

  • Write the task flow
  • Identify tasks which can be automated or templated
  • Create a written or video procedure or each step
  • Now you are ready to outsource that piece of work!

Keep this list handy – not only for your downtimes but also for those times when you have a spare hour between clients.

Drop the social scrolling and dig into something a little more productive for you and your business.

Stay productive!