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Productivity Hacks: How to get more done

Aug 05, 2020

In this roundtable I talk with Katie and Darrin, who are both high performance achievers, about productivity and how to get more done in the same amount of time. Prepare yourself for a lot of awesome inspiration!

Dr. Katie Woodley is a holistic vetenarian based in Northern Colorado in the US.

Darrin Barney from Grand Junction, Colorado, US owns together with his brother the company «Barney Brothers Offroad» and he‘s a certified High Performance Coach.

Darrin brought his friend Katie in as a guest for this roundtable, because he highly admires her productivity skills, her drive and her motivation and I‘m super excited to learn a lot from these two!

I ask Katie what comes to her mind, when she reads this topic‘s title and her answer is, that having a routine changed her entire business.

«When you don‘t have a routine, that‘s where you enter chaos», Katie

Each morning Katie journals about how her day should look. She knows exactly what she has to do and what the needle moving acitivites are. As she‘s more creative in the mornings, she blocks out time for the things that requiere her to be on her a-game like writing blog articles. Appointments she‘ll have in the afternoon.

Katie says that when she doesn‘t schedule her day out, that‘s when she lets other people‘s asks and requierements take over, she becomes a people pleaser and gets things done for other people instead of herself and her business.

A normal weekday in Katie‘s life looks like this: Get up at 5am, go for walk with the dogs, come back and journal, map out the day, set an intention and write down the three needle moving activities she needs to go through that day. This creates the mindset of knowing what needs to be done. Katie cuts back to having 3, 4 things to do per day at most, as she tends to overload her days. The morning routine takes about an hour. After that Katie works in 1 – 1.5 hours blocks with breaks in between. Each hour block is set for a specific thing like responding to emails, writing blog posts, writing treatment plans for clients etc. 11 am is workout time after which she has lunch with her husband. She calls it her gratitude lunch, she takes time to be appeciative, to talk to her husband, to relax. Katie says, that she sometimes tends to work in the evening but tries to shut it down by 8pm. At 10 the latest she goes to bed.

I ask her how she‘s able to be so consistent.

Katie says, that Social Media is a big time sucker, especially as she‘s also connecting and networking and getting clients through it. Her solution for that is to use scheduling. She does 4 posts per day and tries to have most of the posts finished by Sunday. During the week the sets time for responding, that way she‘s more focused during the time when she‘s live on Social Media.

«What‘s your why, that‘s the foundation», Katie

For Katie to know that what she‘s doing is helping move her mission is her biggest drive.

«When you look at what‘s your mission, what‘s your why, how do you achieve that, what are the things that you need to do eveyday to touch that dream so that it moves forward, that‘s how I‘ve been able to generate a lot of interest in my business in a short time», Katie

Darrin agrees and says that you have to know why you get up in the morning. You have to know where you‘re going. When he wakes up at 4.05 am, the first thing he does is thinking about things he‘s grateful for.

Darrin and Katie both use the High Performance Planner from Brendon Burchard which I have too, but haven‘t put to daily use yet. For Darrin, the awesome thing about it is, that it‘s not only on a professional level, but also on a personal level. It‘s not only to plan out your day, it also asks you things like setting an intention and thinking about how you can make a difference that day.

Katie says that planners like that make her think outside the box: «They make you ask yourself everyday why you are doing what you‘re doing and who needs you, that necessity is huge for me».

«When I fall out of the routine it affects my productivity», Katie

I like to spend time with my friends and let an afternoon pass by whilst doing something fun and joyful, so I ask Katie and Darrin how they deal with that, because it‘s a thin line between not having discipline and making the conscious decision to have fun.

«You need your connections, that‘s a huge part to your personal health and wellness, without that you wouldn‘t feel fulfilled. That fills your cup», Katie

Katie says that you can shift things around but you shouldn‘t miss the things that you want to achieve that week, because otherwise you won‘t get on with your business. Katie wants to create a life where she can travel, where her husband doesn‘t necessarly has to work and where she‘s helping pets. They‘re working all the time now, but that‘s not the life they want. They are doing it to create their dream life. She says that when you for example schedule out time to drink coffee with your friends in the afternoon, make sure to get things done in the morning.

This reminds me of a book called «Eat That Frog», says Darrin. It talks about eating the biggest nastiest frog first, before you can have fun and play. It takes a lot of will power to move on and there are small sacrifices. but do set time aside to enjoy life. When you‘re too focused you also miss certain things like when your son is looking at you and you could look back and smile but instead you overlook it.

It‘s so hard to stay on the mission and find the balance. I like that when you come to the state of nonnegiotable it‘s so easy, but when you‘re in the negotiating zone it‘s like fighting with yourself, that‘s interesting to figure out.

I ask Katie and Darrin about their top 5 things, how to be productive:

Katie‘s 5 things:
- Get your phone out of the bedroom and don‘t pick it up in the morning for at least an hour
- Get a morning routine
- Write down the three things that need to be done that day
- Schedule out your day
- Get an evening routine, like being present with your family, reducing screen time, taking time to meditate or reading a book

«When we‘re tired we‘re going to burn ourselves out and that‘s when we develop physical illness», Katie

Darrin‘s 5 things
- Read «Eat That Frog» and/or «Maximum Productivity» by Brian Tracy
- Know that you‘re in control of your life

- Start a list with things that you want to do in life, that gets the ball rolling
- Self-reflection; ask yourself how you can make a difference
- Meditation is key

«I have so much going on with family and business and I have a really hard time to stay focused, but when I meditate it allows me to bring that focus in order, it helps me to think about how I‘m feeling, what I want to do in life, what relationships I want to improve, how I‘ve been acting towards people lately, all these things that you normally don‘t have time to do, when you‘re constantly running and doing all kinds of things», Darrin

«The effort to sit down and spend time with yourself, that‘s scary for a lot of people», Ronja

Katie says that finding a good planner that works for you, helps you plan out the day and to be consistant.

Darrin adds, that just writing things down, that you want (not have) to do that day is an easy way to get started. That way you can still be happy in the evening, even when you weren‘t able to accomplish everything.

«Celebrate every little thing that you‘re doing. When you‘re not celebrating the things that you are currently achieving, you are always looking for the next mountain to climb and you‘re never getting to that final destination. We need to feel that happiness and be joyful during the journey. You‘re not going to achieve happiness once you get there if you weren‘t happy doing it», Katie

Katie says, that she has to remind herself of that every single day. When it‘s hard, be thankful for the amazingness that you‘re creating and what you‘re doing. Find those small things that you can be thankful for.

«You‘re working smarter not harder if you‘re using assistance to do things. You‘re working on your business and not in it. That‘s smart, that‘s how you should be doing it», Katie

Brendon Burchard says that you should hire out your weaknesses and also not someone very specific like only for Social Media but someone that is like a Swiss Army Knife.

We‘re also talking about the big vision, that leads the way like a lighthouse.

«The awareness, that life can be over anytime, makes me a better person instead of making me fearful, I think that‘s very important», Ronja

Darrin tells us about his vision of where he‘ll be in 20 years: «My wife and I will be in a cabin that we built, overlooking the valleys, I‘ll have some passive income coming in, I‘ll be able to really enjoy being with my kids and we‘ll also have a house at the beach.

«I love picturing my future, it‘s a bright place. It gives me some stuff to push myself further everyday. Enjoy your ride, enjoy life and stop sometimes to just be», Darrin

Darrin & Katie are sure walking their talk!

What about those that feel like they will never be able to achieve their dreams? How can they get out of that mood?

Katie says that she wasn‘t in the best mental state either. She was crying every night, she was negative and complaining a lot, it wasn‘t good and not what she wanted in life. Katie says that what helped her through that time was being grateful. When she was sitting in the car in front of the clinic, now knowing how to spend another day at work, the beautiful sunrise was her trigger. She said to herself: I have a car, I have a job, I have a house. If you have none of this, you can still tell yourself: «I have the potential within me to create change. I don‘t know what that is but maybe it‘s just putting one step forward», «I think that‘s where you can start shifting that mindest or reaching out to other people», Katie says. She found Brendon Burchard during that time and people like Darrin. Getting counseling and reaching out for support helped her get out and start her own thing.

I ask her if there was a breaking point, that let her quit the job. Katie says that the pain she felt was too much. For her personal health she just had to quit. At that moment the only thing she had for her own business was a name and her husband who supported her. She went from being the key money maker in their household to zero.
«If you have a passion or there‘s something you want to do, start thinking how can you can make this into your dream», Katie

Katie is sure that every single person has someting they love, that they‘re passionate about. They may not know about it, but starting to focus on the things you love in your life gives you a clue.

«Start with the basics, start with the gratitude and start from there. What are those simple things that you can implement in your day», Katie

I discussed this with Andi and Leanne in our previous roundtable conversation, some people need to jump and build the airplane while they fall and some people need time for the transition. When you decide that you don‘t want it anymore, that you want to change something, ideas pop up and when you listen, you can pick them like fruits from a tree.

«Spend alone time with a journal, write about what you want, what you love, what you‘re good at, what other people say you‘re good at», Ronja

I ask Darrin how he made the transition from doing motor work to coaching. He says: «I just had a life change. I decided that I was tired of feeling burned out and I wasn‘t where I wanted to be in life. I‘m still not there, but i‘m working on it constantly trying to get there. I realised that I was capable of a lot more than what I was doing, I took life a lot more seriously. I was going to take control of it. It‘s been a hard journey but I wouldn‘t want to change it. With failure you learn, you grow and you continue to move on. I was tired of doing what I was doing. If i‘m tired of doing what I‘m doing now I will change it again».

I think that for many people the biggest obstacle is that they‘re afraid of failure. «Is your WHY big enough?», Katie asks. If people complain but aren‘t willing to change something, they should stop complaining.

«You get the life that you choose. We all have a decision to make a change. It‘s hard and it‘s uncomfortable and it‘s scary, but in order to achieve your greatest happiness, it has to be uncomfortable, that‘s how you grow», Katie

I like to picture a tree that is constantly growing and blossoming, it never keeps still. If you don‘t like your job, why not try something new? We get this life, let‘s do something fun and joyful and meaningful. If you schedule your day or not, choose to have a great day and be nice to yourself and to others.

You can watch our conversation here:

You can find Katie here:

Resources we talked about:


  • Brendon Burchard and his High Performance Planner (
  • Bo Eason


  • «Maximum Productivity», Brian Tracy
  • «Eat That Frog», Brian Tracy

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