Maximising Your Time: Overcoming Overplanning for Optimal Productivity

Can we start with a round of applause for that stellar title? Alliteration for the win! Anyway, now that I’ve boosted my ego, it’s time to talk about something that’s really been on my mind lately: overplanning. 

If you don’t know by now, I’m on a quest to make the most of my time and help others do the same. And two things that I’ve found to hinder the process are:

  1. Not using templates
  2. Overplanning

I spoke about templates in another blog post, so you can give that a read here. Today, though, I want to tackle the second problem: overplanning. I also have a video about this, if you’d prefer to watch that.

What is overplanning?

Let’s start by defining what overplanning is. It’s pretty self-explanatory; it’s when you plan too much. When there are too many tasks in your week, despite only having a finite number of hours to get them done.

How do you know you're overplanning?

If you’re awkwardly trying to convince yourself that this blog isn’t talking to you, you’re probably overplanning. But let’s face it – we all over plan to some extent. 

Do you struggle to stick to your weekly schedule? Do you constantly move things from one day to the next? Yeah? Me too.

It’s hard to balance ambitions with the reality of your daily life. I get that you want to do all those tasks, but that doesn’t mean you actually can. That’s why this post aims to help you stop overplanning.

The pitfalls of overplanning

So, why exactly is overplanning a bad thing? I mean, if you don’t get everything done, you can just do it later, right?

WRONG. 

If you’re an ambitious person hoping to achieve a lot in life, it’s so easy to fall into this trap. There’s something exciting about a jam-packed schedule filled with productive tasks. 

But in the end, if you over plan, something is going to get neglected. Maybe you never have time for morning meditation. Or you keep cancelling on your friends. Or skipping meals. Or not getting enough sleep. 

Basically, if you keep overplanning, you will burn out. And you will feel like a failure (which is arguably the worst thing possible that can happen to an overachiever.) 

the need for feedback

Hi. My name is Max. And I’m an overplanner. They say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right? Well, my problem is thinking that I’m superhuman and can somehow fit one hundred hours of work into one day. Spoiler alert: I’m not, and I can’t.

That’s where feedback comes in. I created a planning tool, called Forzeit. And it’s honestly much more than just a planning tool. It aims to help you break this cycle of overplanning by gathering feedback on your time management issues. I get that feedback can be scary. Analysis paralysis and all that. But it’s a key to helping you stop overplanning. 

You can track progress, see where you succeeded and where you failed, and most importantly, figure out why you failed. In this way, you can optimise your time even better. Feedback is, in my opinion, the most important thing when it comes to time planning, and the more you do it, the easier it will be to overcome the dreaded analysis paralysis.

a closer look at forzeit

As mentioned, I am the creator of Forzeit, so I obviously want to highlight it a bit. Can you blame me?! I’m like a proud parent, wanting to brag with their child. 

So, what does Forzeit have to offer?

  1. You can set goals for different timelines.
  2. You can create weekly templates.
  3. You can mark off tasks as completed, partially completed, or not completed.
  4. You can select why you didn’t complete a task.

This feedback loop helps you figure out how effective you truly are at time management, and how you can improve. Plus, it takes a few minutes, rather than a few hours, because it does so much work for you. It’s the gateway to creating the perfect plan. 

so, how can we avoid overplanning?

Now that you know about overplanning and why it’s the biggest obstacle when it comes to your planning, it’s time to kick this problem to the curb, and here’s how.

1. turn data into action

So, you’ve admitted you have a problem with over-planning. Welcome to the club, by the way. And now you know that feedback can help you overcome this problem. But what’s the next step?

I’m mentioning Forzeit again because I haven’t found another tool that does this quite as effectively (hence why I built my own). Forzeit calculates your execution rate. It shows you what percentage of tasks you did versus didn’t do, as well as why. 

This can help you figure out whether your progress is being hindered by over-planning, lack of motivation, or other factors.

2. start improving

Once you have the knowledge of why you are struggling with certain things, it’s much easier to make informed decisions to refine your schedule. If you always run out of time, reassess your priorities by removing non-essential tasks, or breaking tasks down into smaller chunks.

3. be honest

We are all limited. By time, by resources, by money, by our own capabilities. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s the truth. And being honest with yourself will help you realise your limitations and do your planning with that in mind.

Make your decisions based on real data, rather than an idealistic version of yourself and your week.

Conclusion

Overcoming overplanning is a struggle most of us face in some way, and while it may seem like a small thing, being able to plan your week in a balanced and realistic way will remove a lot of stress and increase your chances of succeeding at your goals. 

Give it a try, and if you’re looking for a tool to help, why not consider Forzeit? You can sign up to try it here

Weekly Planning Tips to Help You Execute on Your Week Better: The Power of Templating

For most of us, time management is a far-fetched goal, rather than a reality. We’re juggling a million balls – and all of them are made of glass. 

I’m a bit obsessed with time management (so much so that I started my own intuitive planner, Forzeit), and I think I’ve cracked the code to successful time management: templates. I made a video about how I use templates to plan my entire week – from my to-do list to my weekly plans and important tasks, and I want to share that with you as well. 

Because let’s face it: most of us don’t have the time to spend hours planning every detail of our weeks every Monday morning.

The plannning conundrum

There are two major issues that hinder time management: planning taking too long, and overplanning. I want to focus on the first issue today. But keep an eye out, because I’ll have a post on how to help you avoid scheduling too many tasks soon!

We all know that planning is the key to success, but the truth is that it’s simply not a priority. I get it! When you have a business and a family and a life, your precious free time is most likely not spent planning. Which means most of us end up with a subpar weekly schedule. 

Well, whoever said you can’t have your cake and eat it too was wrong, because you can! At least, you can if having your cake means saving time and eating it too means still having a good weekly schedule.

the superhero: templates

This is where templates come in. Most of us have a lot of recurring events that carry on from week to week. That annoying Monday meeting, your child’s soccer practice, your grocery shopping day, your meal planning, your yoga session . . . you get it.

So, instead of writing or typing these things in your weekly schedule time and time again, why not have a template that allows you to simply add these repeatable tasks and take the effort out of it? 

You can still have a to-do list that changes depending on what you need to do on a specific day or week, but your weekly tasks will already be scheduled in your upcoming week thanks to your template.

here's how it works

  1. Identify repeatable elements: Figure out which tasks repeat each day or on the same day each week. Prioritise tasks that recur every week. 
  2. Create your template: use whatever tool or weekly planning app you like to create a template based on these elements (I, of course, recommend Forzeit, but I might be slightly biased). Think of these templates as frameworks so that you don’t need to start your weeks from scratch every time. 
  3. Integrate calendar events: Forzeit allows you to integrate your calendar event with your template, but if your templating app isn’t as cool as that, simply manually add these in to ensure you have the full picture. 
  4. Iterate and optimise: your life isn’t static, so your template shouldn’t be either. Make sure to regularly check in to see where you can finetune your template. Look at your past week, and think of ways to effectively plan your week ahead.

benefits beyond saving time

If the idea of saving heaps of time isn’t enough to convince you to use templates in your weekly planning, there are a few other things that might bring you over to my side.

  1. Improved focus: if you have a template, you can spend more time doing what actually matters instead of trying to set up a weekly plan. 
  2. Consistency: you’re much more likely to stick to new habits if you have them in your templates! They’ll form part of daily planning and weekly routine. 
  3. Adaptability: your template is a base. You don’t need to follow it to a T. If you have a week that’s very different from the norm, remove the parts of your template that aren’t relevant for that week and get back to your normal weekly routine the following week. 

in conclusion

Templates are life-changing when it comes to planning, and I for one don’t know why more people don’t utilise them! 

Seriously, if you haven’t already tried it, please do. If it doesn’t work for you, that’s fine, but I’m willing to bet you’re going to wish you’d discovered this method of planning much sooner! It will help you complete tasks effectively, set achievable weekly goals, and balance your professional and personal life. 

Mastering Goal Setting That Works: A Practical Guide to Achieving Your Dreams

If you’ve read some blog posts of mine or watched any of my YouTube videos, you will know that I am a big fan of goal setting, time management, and all the good things that come along with that. I believe in setting attainable goals, and then figuring out systems that help with achieving goals. 

Setting goals helps give you direction and structure and helps you avoid floating through life with no aim. I’ve spent hours on goal setting, so I like to think of myself as a bit of an expert in this field, and today, I want to share some tips to help you not only set goals but actually achieve them. These tips can help you achieve goals in all areas of your life – whether they be personal or professional goals.

The common misconception

Let’s address the elephant in the room: you can’t just write a dream down on a piece of paper and hope for the best. That’s wishful thinking, not goal setting. 

Instead, if you plan on setting goals, you need to have a roadmap that gives you tangible steps that you can take to reach your end goal. We all know about the frantic rush to come up with some New Year’s resolutions only to have them fly out of the window by February. That’s because an idea is not a goal.

SMART goals

You’ve probably heard about SMART goals. These are the things that have been said to make a goal “good”. A SMART goal is:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

. . . Or smartER goals?

But why stop there?! Sure, having things like measurable goals will give you a starting point for your goals, but I like to add my own two things in my goal-setting process that take goals from being SMART to SMARTER. Those are: 

  • Emotion
  • Reviews

Emotion

Your goals need to make you feel something. We’re all more likely to actually feel moved to do something if there’s some type of emotional attachment. If you want to be making progress in your personal and professional development, you need to set achievable goals that also ignite your emotions. Let’s take one of my past goals. 

If I wanted to write the goal, it would look something like this: lose weight. Sure, that’s a goal. But after careful consideration, I realised that it wasn’t a goal that I cared about. And it’s hard to complete goals when you don’t care about them. 

But do you know what’s a better goal? I want to be sculpted like a Greek god. I want a six-pack that turns heads. See the difference? Injecting some emotion makes me feel excited about the goal.

Review

Hopefully, you now know how to accurately set goals. But that’s only the start. The other thing that you need to do is to regularly review and reassess your goals. In my experience, this is the area where a lot of people fall short. 

You need to stay accountable. You need to make sure that your goals are still serving you. Think of your goals as living, breathing entities that require attention and nurturing. You need to keep track of your current goals to help you with your future goals.

Let's talk structure

I think a big reason why people fail at their goals is that they get overwhelmed. If you’ve never run a day in your life, the idea of running a 10k is probably enough to make you curl up in a ball and cry. 

You know what they say about eating an elephant: you go one bite at a time. Your goals are the same. Split them into easily digestible, bite-sized chunks!

I advocate for structuring your goals like this:

  • Yearly 
  • Quarterly
  • Monthly 
  • Weekly 

This hierarchical structure helps you focus on short-term wins while still keeping sight of the bigger picture. It breaks your goals down into actionable steps that you can accomplish. Plus, it’s time-bound, which helps with motivation.

Track your goals

The human mind is great, but it does have a limited capacity for memory. Sure, you may think that you’re going to remember your goals, but that valuable memory real estate will soon be taken over by thoughts of work, your newest obsession on Netflix, and when you can go on holiday again. Balancing career goals, personal goals, and other goals can be a lot. 

Therefore, you need an external system to track your goals. While good old pen and paper will do the trick, there’s no denying that technology has changed the game. I personally use Forzeit to keep track of my goals. It has an intuitive organisational and tracking experience across different platforms. 

It has automated reminders, progress trackers, and more. It’s essentially your personal goal-setting assistant. 

In conclusion

Goal setting can truly transform your life. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. The big thing is simply to realise how to set goals that align with the life you want, and that you can actually achieve. 

It’s not just about ticking the goal off, but also about the journey. Okay, I’m done with the cliches now. I’m logging off to set some goals, and I hope you do the same!

From Planning to Execution: Time Mastery with Max, Ava, & Forzeit

the problem?

You know that planning makes you more effective in both executing on your work goals, but also personal.

Getting rid of that gut, scaling your business, doing big things that help make a better world. These all require changing habits and executing to a higher standard. Ultimately aspiring to be better. To be the best you possible.

You set yourself this epic list for the day, but how often do you actually complete it? You meditate every morning. Right?!

You may have tried Trello, Todoist or another tiringly complex software out there, but none of them hit the mark.

So you mix your calendar and some kind of to do list together into a somewhat workable solution. But you know it’s not right.

Well I have an alternative…

the solution

The solution comes in 3 parts:

1. Weekly Planner

One of the big challenges to planning is that it takes time. Particularly, the smaller stuff. But that small stuff matters! Forzeit allows you to build a perfect week of daily to do lists from the smallest new habit, through to the big projects, all in a fraction of the time.

Forzeit allows you to build a template of your perfect week! This allows you to plan in far more detail and so remembering those important details, whilst taking only a fraction of the time you otherwise might need.

2. Critical Feedback Machine

The other big challenge is being real with yourself. To know how you’re really doing you need feedback. This is the biggest missing piece that these other apps, or calendar/notes combos, fail at. Forzeit gives you this critical feedback.

Each week, when you hit build your week, you will be given a personalised report by Ava, your AI assistant. This will detail your overall execution rate for the week plus details on which tasks you’re missing, and also why you’re missing them! This allows you to be more honest with how you plan.

3. Max, Your New Side Kick

Alongside Forzeit and Ava, you have me. Now about 10 years into building businesses, after a successful sales career, my super power is execution. You know those Myers Briggs 16 personalities tests? I’m an ENTJ. “The Commander”. I live for this stuff as it transformed my life. 

The system Forzeit is built out of comes from 100’s of weeks of iterating over the last 10 years, testing on myself to develop the ultimate time management training regime! I have lived this system.
 
I will sit on a call with you weekly in the beginning to help you reshape your planning and time habits to take things to the next level. I’l be the ultimate side kick, holding you accountable alongside the software.
 
Then over time the calls will reduce with me as you take charge.
 
 
All of this combined will allow you to progressively plan the best week of your life, every week! 

Execute on your grandest ideas, whilst living a life you love! 

I will make you a fucking master of your own time! 

See a full video of the software here.

The offer

Our pricing breaks down into two levels:

  • Forzeit software only @ £49 p/m
    Full access to the Forzeit software and Ava your AI assistant

  • Forzeit software + 6 month coaching package by Max @ £499 p/m for 6 months
    All of the above, plus, Max as your personal assistant. There to literally build your weeks with you and support you in the goal of mastering your time!

For the first 5 alpha testers cohort, I want this to be an overwhelming amount of value for you.

So I’m going to offer both subscription to the software AND a 6 month coaching package for only the price of the software itself!

You’ll get my full and undivided attention. My one goal, to help you master how you manage your time.

So be one of the first users to receive full access to Forzeit and 6 months of 121 support by Max for a 90% discounted price down to £49 p/m.

(NOTE: Cohorts are fully booked for a few months ahead currently. The next available cohort start date is July.)

The details

  1. This package runs over a 6 month period and to accept, complete the form below and we will then set up a Stripe subscription for you to confirm your spot. 
  2. Payment will be taken at the end of the 6 months in full for the 6 months at £49 each, so £294 total.
  3. You have a full money back guarantee if you feel you didn’t gain enough value for our fee. We will email you a week before payment is taken to give you the chance to let us know you didn’t feel you took enough value from the process and would like the payment cancelled or reduced.
  4. Your subscription to the software will continue on at the software only cost of £29 p/m, but you’re free to cancel at any time. Or if you choose to continue on with coaching from Max this can be agreed at the time.
  5. Coaching will start hot and gradually cool off, being very hands on at the start and then letting you take the reigns on your own later on. The schedule will follow the below call structure with adjustments to fit around our lives:
    1. Month one
      Concierge onboarding process to minimise setup, map out the big picture together and setup your initial week template
    2. Month two & three
      Biweekly calls together, leaving you to build your week alone every other week. Iterating through updating months goals and coming to the end of the first quarter.
    3. Month four & five
      Reducing to coaching calls to once a month with you fully in charge. Using the feedback to become an ever better planner and executer.
    4. Month six
      Closing month where we look back at the past 6 months and set you up for long term success into the future!

Up for it?

To go ahead, fill out the below application.

Once complete we’ll reach out to you to let you know the next available cohort if it’s a right fit for both sides.

We will then send over a link to make your paid Forzeit subscription (Note: This won’t charge you until the end of the 6 months (see the details).

Questions? Email or WhatsApp me max@forzeit.com / 00447366387566

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

APPLICATION FORM

If you’re happy to move forward, simply fill out the below form

If we feel it’s a good fit, we’ll send over the link to complete your subscription

The Top Time Management Tool You Never Knew You Needed

Time management is one of my favourite topics to dive into. Whether we’re talking about to-do lists or productivity, I’m always looking for ways to up my game, and today, I want to dive into a time management tool that’s changed my life. 

Because let’s face it: if time were a currency, we’d all be broke. We’re all scrambling to find an extra hour to finish the latest Netflix show, to sleep in a bit, or to simply stare at the ceiling and contemplate the meaning of life.

Not to brag – but I think I’ve cracked the code to time management. So, if you (like me), used what felt like a million different project management and time management tools but you haven’t found something that works for you, I might just be able to help. 

Also, I get that blog posts aren’t for everyone, so if you’d rather skip the reading, give this video a watch instead!

my search for productivity

To give you a bit of history, my story is pretty standard: once upon a time, I lived a life of uselessness. And then I learned about to-do lists, and time management tools, and all these other ways of getting my shit in order. Now, I successfully run my own paid ads agency

And I didn’t do anything fancy! I didn’t use time turners or a million different apps and time management tools. I didn’t use time tracking software or any fancy project management features . . . I just realised what worked for me, and found a way to implement that in my day.

what makes a good time management tool?

I’ve been going on and on about finding a good time management tool, but what exactly does that mean?

Here’s the Fantastic Four of the best time management tools (just with fewer capes):

  1. Simplicity: I know it’s in our DNA to overcomplicate things, but when it comes to your time management, you need to keep it as simple and friction-free as possible. Effective time management techniques really don’t need to take up a lot of brain space. 
  2. Focus: having a time management tool in place is great, but you need to actually know what you want to use it for, otherwise it will be useless. You need to know what you want to achieve and which focuses will help you to do that. A massive part of task management is learning to prioritise. 
  3. Second brain storage: This isn’t as creepy as it seems. Basically, what I’m referring to is a place for you to store all those thoughts and ideas taking up real estate in your head. Jot it down on your Google calendar, write it in the notes app of your phone – it doesn’t matter, as long as you have somewhere to store it. 
  4. Feedback: If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, you’re never going to improve. So, make sure to take some time each week to look over your past week. See where you went wrong, and think about ways that you can improve your next week. Time spent reflecting is time well spent.

A digital image of a man in a rush with clocks behind him.

Introducing . . . (drumroll, please) . . . Forzeit!

Here’s the thing. If you want to be more productive than a squirrel on espresso, you can’t just breeze through life. You need to have a plan in place, and you need to have tools to help you execute that plan. 

That’s where Forzeit comes in. It is, in my not-so-humble opinion, the crème de la crème of time management. It’s not just a to-do list; it’s a hub where you can plan your life goals, business goals, and more. You can boost productivity, manage tasks, and improve your time management skills . . . all in one place. Think of it as your digital project manager. 

Whether you want to plan your meals for the week or you want to make sure you’re scheduling your daily walks, this is the place to do it.

You can set your goals for the week, quarter, and year. You can set up templates for each week and just duplicate them – I cannot begin to tell you how this will help you save time (plus, you won’t end up forgetting recurring tasks!)

There are emojis. Motivational quotes. Dashboards. Questions to help you figure out why you didn’t complete certain tasks. . . As far as project management tools go, it’s pretty decent. 

I know you’re wondering what the catch is. So here’s the plot twist: I created Forzeit. Naturally, I’m a bit biased towards it. But the truth is that I tried what felt like every time management tool out there, and nothing worked for me. So I decided to build my own. 

final words

As you can guess, my favourite time management tool is Forzeit, and I’m hoping that this can be the thing that takes you to productivity paradise as well. And if not, well, I shared some things to look for, so hopefully you can find the best time management tools to suit your life!

At this point, Forzeit is not even properly launched yet, but you can sign up to test it – and this includes having a one-on-one consultation with me!

Now, I’ll leave you to your day – because time really is of the essence.

From Loser to Productivity Maestro: How You Can Set Up a To-Do List That Transforms Your Life

I love to-do lists. And there’s a simple reason for it: my life changed because of to-do lists. Sure, there were a lot of other things that I had to do to get from rock bottom to where I am now, but it boils down to the fact that I used to-do lists to help me turn my life around. 

It sounds dramatic, but it’s true. I recently made a video sharing my experience, and today, I thought I’d write about it as well.

The loser, the lady, and the wake-up call: where it all began

At the ripe age of twenty-four, I was a loser. It sounds harsh, but that’s the simple reality of it, and reality is often harsh. 

I had no ambition, and I was slowly wasting away – even though I didn’t realise it at the time. And then the plot twist happened: the girl I was seeing dumped me for another guy. 

As much as it sucked, this was the key event that propelled me to realise that I needed to make some changes, and I needed to make them soon.

The magical elixir: to-do lists

Most people who have this epiphany and renewal of motivation to change their lives end up diving head-first into resources to help them better themselves, and I was no different. I consumed self-help books like they were my only source of sustenance. I watched YouTube videos. I researched deep work. 

And voila! It paid off. I found what worked for me: to-do lists. Of course, there are thousands of ways that you can set up to-do lists, but for me, it was a trusty Trello template that helped me plan out every second of my week. 

Checkbox by checkbox, I started to upend my lifestyle and work towards becoming my ideal self. I know, this sounds like any other self-help advice – I’m cringing just reading it. But what can I say? I’m here to share my experience, and that, my friends, was my experience. 

Four life-changing to-do list hacks

Okay, enough blabbering on about how to-do lists were my lifesaver and all that. Let’s get to the point: what did I learn about to-do lists? I want to share this with you, so that you can maybe skip a bunch of steps and dive straight into the good stuff. 

1. templates are your friend

If you need to start your to-do list from scratch each week, it’s going to take you hours – at least, it will if you have as many important tasks on it as I do. At this point, your to-do list will be more of a hindrance than a help, like the friend who thinks they’re being helpful, but is really just getting in your way.

You need to make setting up a to-do list as easy and friction-free as possible. Take the thought out of it. Automate it. In other words, have a template that you can work from. This is especially great if you want to keep track of your recurring tasks, and you’re worried you’ll forget to do a particular task on a specific day. 

If you have certain things that you do on certain days – such as changing your sheets on Sundays, or going to a yoga class on Wednesdays, add them to your template. 

This way, you can just duplicate your template each week and adjust it according to your needs, rather than starting with a blank page. While a written to-do list can be great, they aren’t ideal for duplication, so this is why my digital to-do list is my best friend.

2. Have multiple lists to help you in the future

Breaking down your to-do list into tasks for the day is great, but we’re humans, which means we’re always thinking ahead. You need to have a place to capture all your thoughts about future tasks (because, trust me, you won’t remember them, no matter how hard you try.)

I generally have separate lists for “now”, “next”, “next up” and “later”, but you can create lists in whichever way works for you. The key is simply to have somewhere to store your tasks in order of priority. This way, you won’t ever feel like you have too many tasks to deal with at once. You can focus on your important tasks now, and look over how many tasks you have in the future at a later date. 

3. Replace randomness with strategy

I know it’s easy to add a task to your to-do list and leave it wherever it lands, but that’s not going to help you. Instead, have some type of strategy in place to help you organise your tasks. 

Me? I like to do them in chronological order. This way, I can remember to do things like meditate first thing in the day. But play around with different systems. Maybe you want to order them by priority tasks, or perhaps you want to start with the tasks that you least want to do, or all the tasks that go by the quickest.

4. reflect, reflect, reflect

Finally, you need to make sure that you’re not just going through the motions and sticking to the same template or structure you started with just because it’s easy. 

Instead, you need to take some time to reflect each week. What worked? What didn’t? Which tasks did you not tick off . . . and why? Your life is going to change, and you need to make sure that your to-do list adapts.

Another part of reflection is to give yourself a pat on the back! I love having a place in my weekly to-do list where I can write down my previous week’s achievements and give myself the motivation to keep going. It’s like having my own private cheer squad!

forzeit: the to-do list jedi

Remember what I just said about patting yourself on the back? I’m about to do just that. I realised that while there were many to-do list apps out there, they just weren’t cutting it for me. 

I run my own business, and I’m also always on my journey of self-development, so there are a lot of things that go onto my to-do list. I’m serious: I don’t just use it for a big task like a meeting. I also use it to make sure that I take my creatine in the morning, I use it to remind myself to answer emails, I use it to plan my meals and to remind myself to go grocery shopping . . . it’s a hub for my entire life. 

And no to-do list app or software was really cutting it and allowing me to manage my life the way I wanted. 

Enter Forzeit. This is a tool that I designed to help me master my to-do lists. From my personal to-do list to my work to-do list, this is a hub where all my digital to-do lists and important tasks can find a home. It’s broken up into goals, weekly lists, daily dashboards, and more. I’ve even added a fun emoji feature that allows you to filter through certain tasks. 

You can easily duplicate tasks so that you don’t need to keep adding the same daily tasks over and over again. You can add notes to help you batch similar tasks. You can keep track of completed tasks, and stay on top of multiple projects.

And you can be a time lord too! You can sign up to be an alpha tester of Forzeit – which will include a one-to-one consultation with me.

Conclusion

I can admit that there are still a bunch of things that I want to achieve, but looking back, I am miles away from where I used to be, and that’s all thanks to to-do lists.  

I’ve become a healthier, happier version of myself. I’ve bid farewell to my day job and started multiple successful businesses. And sure, I deserve a lot of credit for that – but I also know that having a system in place to help me stay on track was a key element. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Forzeit is calling my name, so I’m off to write (yet another) to-do list. 



How to Store Ideas (From Someone Who’s Been There, Done That)

Ideas are the backbone of any business. Anyone can have a good idea, but that’s not enough. You need to come up with an effective way of storing those ideas rather than letting them slip through your fingers.

My goal with this blog post is to help you find the perfect storage space for all your ideas. I want to share some practical tips that I’ve found work really well. In particular, I want to share the bucket method. It’s something that I know firsthand works, because I’ve implemented it in both of my startups; my tour operation business, and my current company, Snowball Creations, which is a paid ads agency. 

And if you’re asking yourself “WTF is the bucket method?!” then don’t worry, we’ll get there. Or, if you don’t want to wait, just watch this video.

Grab a bucket

Okay, you’re probably chomping at the bit for some context. Now we’re about to chat about something that holds a very special place in my heart: buckets. 

You have these ideas, but then what? Having an idea is only the first step. You need to then make sure that you don’t forget it. And of course, you need to execute on it. 

Humans have the amazing ability to have a never ending flow of great ideas. That’s the pro. But every pro has its con, and in this case, the con is that most of the time, the best ideas don’t come to use when we need them. 

They don’t come to us in the boardroom, or the office, where we’re ready to design mind maps and start note-taking. Instead, inspiration strikes in the shower, in the back of an Uber, in a conversation in the middle of a club. 

This makes sense because when we give our unconscious a bit of a break while our conscious is focused on other things, our unconscious gets the freedom to get creative and come up with clever ideas. 

Unfortunately, if you don’t capitalise on that idea and save it, you’re going to forget it. I know you think you won’t, but you will. So that’s where the bucket comes from. You need buckets to store your different ideas.

A real-life example

If you’re wondering what the hell I’m on about, let’s take a trip down memory lane. When I worked in sales, I would need to manage leads from the point where they were a cold call, all the way to a closed deal. Therefore, organising ideas was essential.

So you can imagine that losing a lead or not logging it correctly was a deadly sin. The same went for missing an email. Hence the buckets. 

In my head, I would imagine these things as different buckets. Every time I had an idea, I needed a place to capture it, so it would go into the bucket. 

If you haven’t figured it out by now: a bucket is my way of storing ideas.

Make buckets your own

One of the key things you need to realise is that there isn’t just one way to store ideas. The important thing isn’t how you store them – it’s that you store them in the first place. 

For me, that’s buckets. For you, that could be using a CRM system, or another system that works for you. You need to find a bucket and make sure that your ideas are being captured in that bucket, whatever that looks like for you. Find apps and tools to help you develop your ideas further. 

You need to aim to keep it tight. Get the idea from your brain into your bucket without spilling a single drop.

Fun fact: your memory sucks

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: don’t rely on your memory to remember ideas!

When you’re out for drinks and your friend mentions something cool about a particular topic, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’ll remember it tomorrow once you’ve sobered up. Instead, send yourself an email right then and there, so that when the hangover has worn off, you can look at your idea with a clearer mind. Make sure that you have easy access to your idea across all your devices. 

If you go to a course, or you’re in a meeting, take notes. Just because it seems straightforward now, doesn’t mean you’re going to remember the important stuff in a few days. If someone is giving away knowledge, take advantage of that. Write ideas down on a page, and then later go home and find an effective way of storing those ideas. 

be the lone wolf

If you want to stand out from the thousands of other people in your business niche, you can’t be doing the same thing that everyone else is doing. You need to think of new ways to come up with things. 

Be a doer. Don’t just have a great idea, but turn it into a reality by capturing it as soon as you can. Jot stuff down in notebooks. Add them to mind maps. Use an app. Make voice notes for yourself. Whatever. The method doesn’t matter; the action does.

Be consistent

Another thing that applies to nearly everything is that you need to be consistent. So, yes, it doesn’t really matter how you capture your amazing new ideas. But if you keep capturing them in different places or different ways, something will go missing. It will become a mess. 

Try to find a fun way of organizing your ideas. Make a mind map, create lists of to-dos, and use tools that help you create and keep track of your business projects. Find something that works, and stick to it. 

I’m going to take this chance to mention that I’ve been working on my own little version of this, called Forzeit. It’s still in its baby phase, but the idea is that this will be a place where you can turn your ideas into reality. It’s an all-in-one tool that you can use for note-taking, storage, inspiration, and projects.

final thoughts

That’s the bucket method! I’ve learned a lot through my time as a business owner, and one of the key things I’ve seen time and time again is the importance of keeping track of your ideas. I hope that this post has inspired you to do the same.

If you like my bucket mentality, connect with me on LinkedIn so that we can keep in touch and share ideas!

Disclaimer: This blog post is not responsible for any spills, leaks, or flooding caused by the adoption of the bucket strategy. 

My Top 5 Productivity Tips for Business Owners

Most business owners have big goals. Maybe you want to be rich. Maybe you want to make millions. Or maybe you want to thrive and succeed in your career. But for business owners – and especially small business owners – this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. 

Money isn’t just going to fall into your lap, and neither is success. If you really want to accomplish your goals, you’re going to need to put in the work. That’s the harsh reality of it, and the truth is that many people don’t want to hear that. They look for shortcuts, for “get rich quick” schemes, but the best way that you can make your goals a reality is to increase productivity. 

So, your next question is probably “Well how on earth do I do that?!”

You’re in luck, because I’m going to share my top five productivity tips for small business owners, although I think that anyone can benefit from these tips! I’m a business owner myself (I run an ads agency called Snowball Creations), so I like to think that I know what I’m talking about. Whether you’re a big corporation looking for some tips, or you’re looking for small business productivity hacks, you’ve come to the right place.

It's all about cutting out, not adding in

Before I get to the juicy tips, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. A lot of the stuff that I’m going to be sharing really isn’t that hard! Sure, it can be difficult to put in long hours and work on time-consuming and repetitive tasks, but most people can cope with that.

The hardest thing isn’t focusing on what you should do, it’s eliminating what you shouldn’t do. But if you’ve got the discipline to be productive and put the necessary effort into your business, you can end up being super successful, rich, and high-achieving. I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of that! Anyway, enough rambling on, and let’s get to the good stuff!

I lied. I have one more rambling to insert before I share my best productivity tips. I know that reading long-form blog posts isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so if you’d prefer to watch a video of me discussing the content of this, click here! Okay, I promise I’m done now. Nothing but tips from here on out.

Tip #1: cut social media

I know, I know. Your favourite part of the day is when you’ve shut down your laptop, ticked all the items off your to-do list, and you get to sit and mindlessly scroll on TikTok. But that’s poisoning your productivity. 

Let’s face it: you already know this. You know that social media isn’t increasing productivity. The entire purpose of social media is to suck you in and drain your time. It’s like a vampire, intent on draining your productivity. 

Of course, there is some nuance to this. Many people use social media for business purposes, or to connect with loved ones, but in general, social media is not the best use of your time. In fact, it’s one of the most addictive habits that many people are struggling with in the modern age, and I’m sure you can relate. 

We’ve all been there. We pick our phones up in the morning, “just to check our emails”, and before you know it, you’re two hours into your work day and you’ve achieved nothing. Except maybe feeling the sense of comparison and inferiority that often comes with regular social media use, but that’s a topic for another day. 

Or maybe you’re waiting for something to load on your computer, so you promise yourself that you’ll use Instagram for just five minutes. And bam. Five minutes turn into twenty. 

I cut social media out of my life, and the difference in my productivity was massive! And look, I get that going cold turkey might not be an option for you, but you can work on decreasing the time you spend on social media. 

If you cut your social media time by half an hour a day, that’s fifteen hours a month that you can use for other, much more productive things! You can focus on your marketing tasks or other important tasks, squeeze in a workout . . . the possibilities are endless. 

You’ll be able to improve your time management, stay focused on a single task without getting distracted, tick items off your to-do list, and generally just boost productivity. This is genuinely one of the best productivity hacks you can implement.

Tip #2: drink less

You’re probably considering clicking off this post by now. Most people don’t want to hear that they should be drinking less. I’m English, and if you weren’t aware, we’re known for drinking a lot. So this was a hard one for me to learn as well. But if you’re spending multiple nights a week going out and drinking, your productivity is going to take a knock.

Even if you’re not hungover, you’re going to feel sluggish and not super productive the next day, and you’re probably not going to be in the mood to tackle your to-do list. Again, I’m not saying that you need to completely eliminate alcohol. After all, the social element of drinking can actually have a positive impact on your business because you may go out and make some new business connections!

But what I am saying is that you don’t need to be drinking excessively. Limit your drinking to special occasions, and you might just be surprised at the effect it has on your productivity.

Tip #3: limit your spending

So, we know that this whole post is all about how you can be productive, right? But let’s break it down a bit further. For small business owners, the main reason why they want to be productive is that they want to be successful – especially financially. You want to give yourself and your business the highest chance of success. 

That’s why you need to limit your spending. You need to build cash reserves. If you’re spending less on things like extravagant nights out or even just popping to your local cafe for a coffee, you’ll naturally be more inclined to spend your time productively, so limiting your spending helps with this.  Limiting your spending will help you spend more time on valuable tasks because you will inevitably have more time in your day to focus on critical tasks.

But it also helps with the bigger goal of being financially successful, because you’re going to be holding on to your money and building up your cash reserves.

Cutting spending may not seem like it’s a productivity hack at first glance, but if you give it a try, you’ll improve your time management and task management, while also learning skills like delegating tasks.

Being smart with your money is one of the most effective ways of being successful, so give it a try and see how it impacts your life!

Tip #4: cut off bad friends

Grab your bandaids, because this can get painful! You’ve probably heard that the people you surround yourself with affect your life, and while it may sound cliche, it’s true. Not only will cutting off bad friends increase productivity, but you will likely also just be a happier version of yourself.

You need to surround yourself with people who push you, who believe in you, who have your best interests at heart, and whose values align with yours. This doesn’t mean that you should cut off your friends just because your lifestyles are different, but it does mean that you need to really do some closer examination to see which friendships are rotten apples that are just plain bad. 

You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones who try to twist your arm to go for a drink and tell you to leave your work for tomorrow. The ones who are always trying to pull you away from what’s important to you. Essentially, you need to cut off anyone who’s a bad influence. 

If you want to become who you’re meant to be, you need to keep moving forward, which means you can’t have people in your life who hold you back. 

People who try to keep you away from new opportunities or try to make you have second thoughts about your decisions may seem like they’re trying to help, but more often than not, they’re just keeping you from moving onwards and upwards. 

Don’t worry, cutting off your bad friends isn’t going to leave you a friendless loser. Instead, it’s going to open doors to help you meet new people who are ambitious and don’t mind pushing you to become a better version of yourself.

Tip #5: get up earlier

Okay, this one’s going to be controversial, because not everyone has the lifestyle or genetics to go to bed early and wake up early. But I went from being a night owl to a morning bird, and it’s changed my life. 

When I was a young lad, I would often stay up until the wee hours of the morning. And then one day I went to bed at around 10 p.m., and I woke up a changed person. I was energised, I was motivated, and best of all – I had so much free time on my hands! This is one of the productivity tips that helped me the most!

I personally feel like we get more sluggish with every hour, which means that by the time it’s evening, you’re likely not going to be your most motivated self. But every hour in the morning, when it’s just you and the rest of the house is asleep . . . man, you’ll feel on top of the world!

Again, I get that this approach won’t be for everyone. Some people really do their best work late at night. But if you’ve been struggling to improve productivity, I highly recommend giving this a shot! Go to bed early and wake up early, and just see how that feels. 

Bonus tip: take baby steps

Chances are that all the productivity tips I’ve mentioned so far sound nearly impossible. In a society where we place so much emphasis on social media, drinking, excessive spending, friends, and late nights, it can feel like eliminating even just one of those things is overwhelming. 

So, don’t be too hard on yourself. Like I said, you don’t need to entirely cut out social media or completely cut out alcohol. If you currently spend five hours a day on social media, try to spend four and a half hours a day on it for a month. Then four, then three . . . You get the idea. If you go out drinking three days a week and you drink five drinks each time, maybe try just going out twice a week. Or drinking four drinks each time you go out. 

Small changes build up over time! Also, keep in mind that you don’t need to do everything I’ve mentioned. As with all advice, take what resonates with you and leave the rest. Tweak it until it works for you. The aim is just to get some type of plan in action so that you can improve productivity and be a successful business owner. 

If you want to make it big, you shouldn’t wait until it’s too late. Rather start implementing these good habits now. Small business productivity leads to big business success, and if you boost productivity, you boost the success of your business.

In conclusion

The quest for productivity is a never-ending journey. There will always be obstacles and reasons why it’s not easy to improve productivity, but you need to stay strong – at least if you want to be successful. 

Sure, you can likely run an average business by doing the bare minimum, but who wants to simply be average? I don’t, and I’m pretty sure you don’t either, since you clicked on this post. Productivity isn’t glamorous. It’s not fun. No one’s denying that. So I get why you may want to spend your time going to parties and hanging out with all the cool kids instead of putting away your phone and spending a few hours doing solitary deep work. 

The thing, though, is that the former will give you short-term happiness and satisfaction, whereas the latter could help you build habits that will positively impact your life for years to come. Just some food for thought! I hope that these productivity tips gave you some helpful insights into how you can increase productivity.

.