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Do You Know Your Worth?

How often do you get that sinking feeling that you haven’t gotten much done during the week?

To take your business to the next level you need to be stingy with your time as its your most valuable asset. As a matter of fact, your income is a direct result of how you choose to spend your time.

A few years ago there was a study done on Fortune 500 CEO’s about thier productivity levels. And what they found was that these high-powered executives were productive only for about 28 to 38 minutes a day.

Now think about how many hours a day you spend working? Yet, only a few of those minutes or hours are truly productive.

I know, you are probably saying, but Yvette, I’m not a fortune 500 CEO. You are correct, and because of that you can be oodles more productive. However, you have to be very focused and disciplined.

So what is productive time?

Productive time is time spent generating income. Period.

Here are some examples of non-productive time:

  • Chatting with friends on FB, Twitter
  • Web surfing
  • Checking and reading email
  • Answering your phone
  • Checking Web site stats
  • Organizing your desk
  • Cleaning your office
  • Cleaning your house
  • Doing laundry
  • Fixing your website
  • Paperwork
  • Lack of plan
  • No deadlines
  • Not being able to say no
  • Indecisiveness
  • Lack of energy
  • Perfectionism
  • Resistance to change etc…

Even studying and learning time is not productive time. It only becomes productive when you actually do the work. Here is the thing, knowledge has zero worth to your business unless you implement and take action!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t spend any time on some of these activities. You need to spend time learning, you need to socialize with friends, spend quality time with family and schedule me time. But, these things are not money generating because they are not activities that you can directly tie to revenue they are just things you do as part of your life.

Productive time is time spent creating and marketing your services and products, improving your marketing strategies, planning your launches, managing money making projects, setting up joint venture relationships, and adding leverage in your business.

But there is something even more profitable and strategic than productive time, I call it uber-productive time. Uber-productive time is when you create a system around a money making activity. So, a quick example of an uber-productive activity would be: creating systems that automagically generate ideal clients to your website. Makes sense?

So, do you know how many hours of productive time you have a day? 4 hours? 5 hours? What’s your most conservative estimate at this point?

From speaking to other entrepreneurs and my own experience you probably have 2 to 2 1/2 hours of true productive time a day.

Yup, that’s it. But, remember, we are talking about income generating activities only!

So, how does all this relate to how you manage your time?

Well, this crucial information will allow you to figue out what you need to do to take your business to the next level.

So, let’s assume you want to make 300K a year.

Here is a quick way to determine how much you need to make an hour/day to reach your goals:

What is your income goal for the next 12 months? 300k
How many days a week do you currently work? 5
How many hours a day do you work? 8
How many productive hours a day do you work? 2
How many hours a week do you spend focused on generating income? 10
How many weeks per year do you work? 50
Total hours you have to produce your desired income? 500
How much do you need to make so you can reach your income goals? 600

Eye-opening exercise, right?

If you are asking yourself “what on earth do I need to do to achieve my hourly rate, every single day?” Don’t fret. Here is the thing, the answer to that question is not in any book, seminar, blueprint, home study course etc…. Nope. The answer is simply, you need to add leverage and build a more scalable business.

And how do you accomplish that? By, creating a mix of products and services for your clients to experience your value. As well as systematize, delegate what needs to be done that costs you less than the hourly rate you need to generate and automate the rest!

Now is your turn, what does your hourly rate needs to be worth in order for you to reach your income goals? How much do you need to make each day?

The answer to that question will allow you to take your business to the next level without working more and dramatically improve your ability to get things done with the time and the resources you have available to you.



  1. Hi Yvette – I love how you’ve broken time down into a value algorithm! Having a way to quantify what I need to make and being realistic about productivity is extremely helpful – particularly for a goal-setter like me. Thank you!

    • Value algorithm – love it! Glad to hear my ramblngs were of help to you. Would love to exchange goal-setting techniques one of these days 🙂

  2. Yvette, this such a good post and really had me step back (again) and realize how much unproductive – or I should say, non-revenue generating – activities I cram into each day! I have really been paying attention to it more and more the last 30 days, and plan to put new systems into place in September. Thanks for the reminder and the awesome exercise!

    You rock!
    xo, Tina

    • Awww, thanks Tina! Keep me posted on how your new systems work out for you.

  3. Wow! I notice how bleary-eyed I get when I attempt to strategies to this degree. what you’re defining to be “non-productive time” seems to be such a valuable key to connecting with people, having deep insights, breaking up the monotony, and engaging in the tasks of every day living that inspire insights toward uber-productivity. No matter how I’ve broken it down over the years, directly relating time to productivity seems to be abstract in my experience. where is the happy medium where non-linear uber-creativity and linear uber-productivity come together?

    • Um, you make a good point and I agree with you. It is a challenge finding that happy medium. One way I blur the lines is that I make sure (on a weekly basis) I schedule lots of “me” time and time to connect with others. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  4. Yikes! You hit my weak spots. I can relate to what Kendra is saying.
    ” No matter how I’ve broken it down over the years, directly relating time to productivity seems to be abstract in my experience. where is the happy medium where non-linear uber-creativity and linear uber-productivity come together?”

    And when you present this side:
    “But there is something even more profitable and strategic than productive time, I call it uber-productive time. Uber-productive time is when you create a system around a money making activity. So, a quick example of an uber-productive activity would be: creating systems that automagically generate ideal clients to your website. Makes sense?”

    Yes. Yes, it does make sense ! I just don’t make sense when it comes to creating the systems. I do want that, because, then I feel my creative side would freed up so much more!

    I will be reading all you have to offer.

    • Pat, you are dead on, setting systems and managing YOU better will free up oodles of more time to embrace your creativeness. Thanks for you comment!

  5. i find that i go through fazes….chatting, energized and building, dragging my feet. so there is a cycle with me.
    i think that breaking the goals down and finding what time value you have is a great way of keeping from getting stuck in one part of the faze.
    also– hey, after the hours are done it’s play time right?

    • Absolutely!! Play, fun time all the way.

  6. Fantastic Post Yvette. I am going to use your formula to see how much time I am using to be productive and how much time is wasted. such a great reminder and I am signing up for your newsletter!

    Thanks doll! xo, Tracy

    • Thanks sweets, lemme me know how you make out. I checked and you are part of the community 🙂

  7. I needed this post! At times I feel like I am doing a thousand things yet accomplishing so little. And I have only 3 days to do what I do, because that’s when my daughter is in daycare. I love how you broke it down. I am seriously going to rethink my productivity based on this. It’s something that’s been swirling around in my mind, and now is the time to take action. It can be a challenge when you’re multi-passionate, but bringing in cash is important too.

    • Oh I hear you! I have a 7 month and 7 year. SO, I’ve needed to get really really good at spending my time on cash-generating activiites during my alloted “working hours” !

  8. Okay so the unproductive list that you provided just hit me. I am spending way to much time there and need to shift some of my time into other areas. Not sure why I didn’t realize this before, however thanks to your well written explanation I am going to make some pretty big changes.

  9. Yvette! thank you for this. And… what I know as a right brainer is that for me to be ON for those productive hours, I have to do what looks like some of those unproductive activities. It is like sleep. How many people have I heard complain about having to sleep. Meanwhile the brain is working on the most challenging problems from areas of the brain that the conscious mind just can’t get to. Thus Newton’s apple and Einstein’s beam of sunlight.

    AND… I so appreciate this breakdown, because no matter how much dreaming I do, the thesis will not be written by the image! So I have to take great care in fooling myself that I am being productive!

    I am going to print this piece out and balance my creative play productivity with my left brain efforts. A marriage!! Thank you!

  10. This is an excellent post! Thank you for breaking this down for us. xo

  11. Great post Yvette! And I also resonate deeply with Kendra’s comment. I spent many years working with a very structured + strict regime to keep my focus on ‘productive activities’ but I burnt out + didn’t truly value the importance of the ‘non productive activities’ and how they refuel + gave me energy to enhance my own productivity. There is definitely value in distinguishing the activities that make you money + acknowledging how much of your energy you devote to these activities. Like you mentioned, it’s not a whole lot…so why not make it count! x

  12. Yvette, you make a great point about creating systems around a money making strategy. I think you’re onto something and I would love to hear more detailed examples of what this could look like. Your sample breakdown of how much you would have to earn in an hour of time is sobering. I have tried similar exercises on a couple of occasions and my biggest challenge was being able conceive of a realistic breakdown. Either my financial goal was too high or it was too low to motivate me. My plan for profit clarity is definitely an area I need to work on. Thanks for this enlightening post!

  13. Yvette, I almost forgot … check out this post if you don’t already follow Sean:

  14. Ahhh! LOVE IT. It speaks to exactly where I am as a business builder. And I DO feel like I’m only ‘productive’ about 3 hours a day, and I’m loving it. This helps me understand why. Thanks! Looking forward to reading more from you.

  15. I love your concept of uber-productivity, Yvette! I launch my training program today and I would have classified all the activity leading up to it (and all the activity that lies ahead for this project) as being uber-productive. But my system lies within my program, not in how I created it! Your use of the word “uber-productive” applies to the course that I took on how to do a product launch, or better still, to the system that I learned during that course. This is an important nuance!

  16. Thank you so much to the list of non-productive things which I’m so good at those things 😛 I should really focus on income generating activities only and strict to myself not to waste too much on perfectionism, ughhh that’s a hard one! Thanks again, great post.
    Ps: I like the link that Laurie suggested as well 🙂

  17. Great post and scary numbers! thanks (email and FB junkie)

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