Productivity Archives - Pauline Martin-Brooks

Category Archives for "Productivity"

Nov 25

Are You Paying Enough For Your Time?

By Pauline Martin-Brooks | Productivity

I think one thing we can all agree upon is that time is precious and there’s not enough of it.

But what if you could make more?

Normally when money and time are in the same sentence the thought process is, are you charging enough for your time...which hopefully you are...but that’s the topic for another blog post.

So let’s look at time.

Anyone that knows me well knows that I’m an efficiency freak, which is both good and bad.

Good because I can save time with the tools and tech and services I subscribe to, bad because finding those tools and tech etc is the part that takes time.

So I’m both a researcher and an efficiency freak!

Let me give you something to think about.

When I was younger I often used time to save money, now that I’m in my forties I use money to save time.

As a person that works from home, I save time on my commute - it’s non existent, unless you count the stairs to the kitchen and back to make tea.

Many people that work from home are blessed like me, however they may also be cursed by just how much there is to do around the house on a regular basis.

I reckon anyone that has worked from home at some stage has spent at least an hour cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms etc.

In fact this can be a practical form of procrastination.

The other joy of working from home is that you have all the time in the world to cook.

Well technically this is also a good thing it can turn into a total time suck.

As a Small Business owner that works from home I understand that neither of these things is a productive use of my time. 

As a Small Business owner that works from home I understand that neither of these things is a productive use of my time. 

I don’t mind cleaning and I don’t mind cooking BUT I don’t love either of them enough to swap my precious time for them.

So think about and maybe start making some enquiries to find out what it would cost for you to get a cleaner, even just a once a month to start would make a big difference.

After all it’s much easier to keep a place clean than clean it!

And there are people out there who actually love cleaning, my sister is one of them -- she actually gets a thrill out of it.

And you know what, she’s a small business owner too.

So stop being selfish and keeping the cleaning to yourself 😉 especially when there are people out there also trying to make a living with their small business just like you, who actually love to clean!

Now let’s look at cooking, as time goes on there are so many meal services it can make your head spin. I often travel to Canada and over there they have a delivery service that delivers what you need to cook a specific meal - all in one bag - now that’s more efficient than having to shop but still it could be improved upon.

Then there are services where you can get ‘ready meals’, these can be amazing too - but I’ve heard they can get a bit boring over time.

Anyway after looking at some of these options I decided to find someone who loves to my kitchen and no it’s not my husband - though he does a mean spaghetti bol.

Luckily a friend of mine had already found someone to cook for her and I was able to use her services too.

So you know what? I have both a cook and a cleaner. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not rich (but I am happy).

Interestingly when I was 30 I did this exercise of what my future would look like and I thought to myself…” I want a cook and a cleaner and a pool boy” ...I’m still working on the last part 🙂

In fact when i quit my job a few years back and essentially had minimal income and was living off savings I still maintained these services. Why? Because I knew the value of my time.

So let me ask you are you paying enough for your time?

If not now is the time to change it.

So spend a bit of time researching to find someone that can give you back your most precious resource.

Jun 28

Need Help Getting Stuff Done? Try this technique!

By Pauline Martin-Brooks | Productivity , Systems

Do you ever wonder what on earth you should be focussing on next?

Well, you’re not alone. I hear this often when I’m speaking with clients, even my husband tells me on a regular basis that he has no idea where to even start!

Which led me to explain the following concept to him last weekend and now to you, lucky you!

So here goes….

Many years ago I learned of a technique which I call Blueboard/Whiteboard…super technical name right?!

Well, I’m guessing you know what a whiteboard is, but what’s a Blueboard I hear you ask?


Use A Dumping Ground For Your Ideas

We all have a myriad of things we want to do. So when you think about all the things you want to do, that you haven’t even started on AND all the things you’ve started on but haven’t completed…

Well now you have yourself a pretty big list and you know what happens next – Nothing – well nothing productive at least because our brains go into overwhelm and all of a sudden it becomes much easier to pick up the remote and see what’s on the television or sit down and scroll through Facebook. I know… I’ve done it, so has my husband and I’m sure you’ve been guilty of it a time or two yourself.

Now please don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with tuning out because your brain is fried – I get that too.


How about helping yourself so your brain gets fried less often?

Which brings me back to the Blueboard…

Let’s say we dump a whole lot of ideas on the Blueboard – they could include things like:

  • Create an online course
  • Build a landing page
  • Launch a new product
  • Hire a VA
  • Use a support ticket system
  • Build a chatbot
  • Create a lead magnet
  • Build a funnel
  • set up a nurture sequence
  • Do some youtube videos
  • Publish a blog

If you work online like I do, the list is endless and there’s a ridiculous amount of software and tutorials that you could get lost in for years – believe me I’ve done that too.

Anyway as you can see there’s a whole lot of little projects on there.

Pick One Thing!

Pauline Martin-Brooks

Now once you’ve done this for yourself you need to find the project that is the easiest to get done.

Let’s think of this as the low hanging fruit.

In this case, we’ll pick Publish a blog because that’s what I decided to do.  Now we move Publish a blog over to the Whiteboard.  So everything else sits on the blueboard and only Publish a Blog sits on the whiteboard ALONE…that becomes your One Thing!

Now we need to break up Publish a Blog as a project and think about what goes into it.

So we could either just write what we feel like writing about, which is what I’m doing right now. Or a better approach would be to do some keyword research first and write to the Key Phrases that people are searching for so they find your blog. 

Do The Research!

If you write what you feel like writing, you should still do the research to see where you can add some keyword phrases to improve the rank!

Now we can also just write straight into WordPress, or we might create it in notepad or google docs or some other software and then if you’re lucky hand over to your virtual assistant:)

Then we need to spell check it and find images and upload it and format it and SEO it – so you can see how one little project becomes quite a big one.

This is why it’s key to drag the item onto the whiteboard and then map out what needs to happen with that project… simultaneously ignoring all other projects! I repeat DO NOT start to map out any of the other projects!

So Publish a Blog could include things like this…

  • Do keyword research to find key phrases
  • Decide on the journey you want the reader to take ie what’s the call to action at the end? If any..
  • Write a blog post around Key Phrase
  • Find/Create an image
  • Brand the image for social
  • Upload to WordPress or Blog Website
  • Format with subheads and pull quotes etc
  • Add feature image
  • Add a call to action – this could include an external link (Make sure that works)
  • Is there a download PDF/MP3/MP4 etc?
  • Is there an opt-in page created for it?
  • Is there a relevant email sequence?
  • Ensure blog and images are SEO friendly
  • Check readability
  • Have someone proofread it
  • Publish the blog


And Voila!

So there we have one project that we’ve taken from the Blueboard and added to the whiteboard and seen through until completion. Now we have to market the blog, but I hope you get the idea about how it works. In this instance, I’ve chosen to leave this blog without an opt-in but I may add one watch this space.


Actually, do me a favour and let me know what would be useful to you?

– A Video on the Blueboard/Whiteboard technique
– A checklist of exactly what you need to do before you can publish your blog
– Something else you need help with around this topic

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