Use the Power of Productivity to Grow Your Profits

by Annie

in finance, systematic

Check out this great guest post from PJP buddy Nicole Fende, aka “The Numbers Whisperer”!

You know productivity is good for your business.  Just like you know vegetables are good for your health.

Do you eat your vegetables every day?  Actually I’m not concerned about your veggie intake.  My real question is do you manage your productivity on a daily basis?

Let’s try one more question.  Do you breathe every day?  Of course you do!  You breathe every minute, many times a minute.  It’s essential for living.

Productivity is as essential to your profits as breathing is to living.

Sound a bit extreme?  It’s not, and I’ll prove it!

Defining Productive Time (Cute Kitten Pics Need Not Apply)

The cold hard reality is that you don’t earn money every hour you’re working.  There are activities and tasks that you must perform that aren’t revenue generators. For example, you must file your taxes. However, taxes cost you money, they don’t make you money. Your business needs to be licensed appropriately, have the right legal structure, and solid contracts and documentation.

No one pays you to do these administrative tasks.

Only part of your day is spent on activities that can be billed to a client.  While the rest of the activities may be necessary, they won’t bring in revenue or grow your bank account.

*In case you were wondering, uploading your latest cute kitten pictures does NOT qualify as a productive activity unless your business is selling said cute pictures.

Your Real Productivity Uncovered (Caution Viewer Discretion Advised)

What do you think your real productivity is?  My clients generally tell me that they believe they spend 80% or more time on income producing activities.  Does that sound like you?

Not likely.  In fact that is about as unlikely as me becoming the next winner of American Idol (babies fall asleep in self-defense when I sing).  If even 70% of your time (and you must count ALL of it) is spent on billable hours you have hit a home run.  Yes 70% is a home run!

Don’t believe me?  Take the Big Brother challenge. offers a free time tracking application.  Download it, run it for at least a week, and then tell me I’m wrong.   I bet you’ll actually discover you’re in the 50% or lower range.

I’ve seen many people come back a week later with a number between 20% and 30%.  Let’s look at how improving your efficiency will boost your bank account.

The Bottom Line Impact of Improving Your Productivity

In this example we’ll assume the following:

  • You earn a net profit of $50 for every billed to a client
  • You work a 40 hour work week
  • You took the Big Brother challenge and learned you spend 25% of your time on direct client activities

Currently your weekly net income (the profit you can pay into your personal bank account) is $500.  This is calculated with the following formula:

(Hourly Net Profit) * ( Hours Per Week) * (Productivity)

($50 * 40 Hours * 25%) = $500


What would happen if you boosted your productivity to 30%?

($50 * 40 Hours * 30%) = $600

Without working any more time you were able to increase your income by $100!  What if you made it to 50%?  What would your income look like?

($50 * 40 * 50%) = $1000

What a difference!  By improving your efficiency from 25% to 50% you’ve just doubled your take home pay.  Now that you’ve seen the power of productivity it’s time to use it.  Take the Big Brother challenge.  Look at things you can eliminate from your day.  Learn from Annie on ways to use your time better, and your bank account will benefit.

To boost your bottom line, work smarter not longer.

Don’t miss your chance to win a copy of Nicole Fende’s new book How to be a Finance Rock Star! All you have to do is help Nicole find Fluffy the Finance Feline, who is currently MIA, gallivanting around the globe.  Check out the hints below and submit your answer for Fluffy’ s current whereabouts before today’s midnight deadline –

Hint #1: Located in Wiltshire, England

Hint #2: Built in 2500 BC

Go to to submit your guess on Fluffy’ s location in this picture for a chance to win a copy of How to be a Finance Rock Star and a VIP Pass to the virtual book launch cocktail party on February 23rd . To be eligible, your entries for this #FluffySighting must be submitted no later than midnight February 20th Central Standard Time.

No Purchase Required. Void Where Prohibited. Read Official Rules Here.


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon Hurley Hall February 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm

I tested RescueTime when it came out and it gave me a wake-up call. I now know that I can be a lot less productive than I thought. The good thing about tools like that is that it’s easy to learn what’s eating up work time and cut it out, even if only temporarily. Good post, Nicole.


Annie February 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Yep, Rescue Time was a necessary but somewhat ugly wake-up call for me too, a year back or so. But what’s that old saw? “Recognizing you have a problem is half the battle”? Yeah. That. And I concur – it’s an excellent post, Nicole!


Tea Silvestre February 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm

This was a great illustration of why we need to be more productive. Okay, Annie – tell us how to get there! I’m totally on board.
Tea Silvestre recently posted..The Downton Abbey Guide to Building a Passionate Tribe


Annie February 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm

I’m on it, Chef T!


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