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The Secrets of the Productivity Ninjas: How to Do More in Less Time

If you’re one of the 99.999% of people who’s ever said, “I don’t have enough time.” Or “I’m too busy”, then I urge to read this post — it contains my secrets for bending time and expanding your capacity to do more in less time.

No matter who you are, you can join the ranks of the world’s most effective people with a few simple shifts to your mindset and routines, and become a time ninja, doing more than you ever thought possible, in less time than you can believe.

Ever heard the expression, if you want something done, give it to a busy person? We all have, and for good reason — because it’s absolutely true…

The reason why this is true relates to a little known principle called Parkinson’s Law.

Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”…

It’s estimated that up to 50% of an average employee’s time is wasted time. After all – when you have 8 hours to get your work done, why would you be incentivized to get it done faster?

When you allow the same employee to work from home or give them time flexibility, all other things being equal, the same employee will do the same work much faster. Because now, the faster they get it done, the sooner they’ll be able to get on with their priorities. Things like family, friends, hobbies, you name it.

So what behaviors do you incentivize in your life?

Do you focus on getting things done quickly or do you focus on the feeling and the process? This is not a trick question. There’s no right answer here. There’s just your personal approach to time… and I’m going to share my approach in just a moment.

The important thing to remember is that success comes down to the every day actions that you take. Your habits, routines and rituals. The moment-to-moment choices about how you direct your time, energy and attention.

At any moment you can choose to focus on the squeaky wheel, your short-term goals or your long-term success. All 3 things are important and you get to choose what you do when. You also get to choose your relationship to the things you do each day. Your to do list can either be a “have to do list” which feels like an albatross around your neck or a “get to do list” which feels like the wind beneath your wings.

The “have to do list” is based on obligation. And the “get to do list” is based on choice.

I have to go to the doctor today VS I choose to go to this doctor’s appointment and take care of my health.

I have to do taxes VS I choose to do my taxes to gain a clear picture of my financial health and get my business in order.

I have to do the dishes VS I choose to do the dishes and keep my house clean and beautiful

OR…  I choose to ignore the dishes today and focus on my creative work.

OR…  I choose to hire a housekeeper or an assistant to do the dishes each day so I can free my time for creative work without neglecting my home.

The last one is the choice I’ve made around our dishes… and I can’t begin to tell you how much space and freedom that one simple choice has created in my life.

Now when you multiply that one simple choice times 10, 20 or even 100, you create your day… and ultimately your life.

You always have the choice to tell yourself a more empowering story about the things you do every day… when you really think about it, in this life, there’s nothing that you absolutely have to do. It’s all a choice. So what do you choose?

Let me share what I choose. Not because I have it all figured out… but because I’ve found a rhythm that works for me. And a rhythm that allows me to spend much of my day in creative flow so I can get my gifts out of me and into the world…

When it comes to time, I choose to play two roles.

For half the day, I get to be a time goddess, luxuriating in my creative flow, producing content and trainings and blogs like this one that move the business forward. And during that time, I’m fully in that mode. I don’t answer the phone. I don’t allow distractions. I go deep into creative mode… and it’s pure bliss for me. I lose all track of time and space. And I give myself this 3-5 hour block every single day so I can find my flow and lose awareness of time.

Now in order to create those 3-5 hours of uninterrupted goddess time every single day, I choose to spend the other half of my day as a time warrior. This is where I choose to do trainings and webinars, where I take calls, where I answer slacks and emails, and manage the team. This is where I’m on linear time and often have back-to-back meetings where I’m setting alarms for myself to show up where I choose to be when I choose to be there.

In both roles, I’m getting a huge amount done and moving my business and my goals forward. When I balance the roles of the time goddess and the time warrior, I become a time ninja.

The other day we were at our weekly time meeting and we like to start our meetings with a question that connects us as a team and helps us get to know each other even better.

The question this week was: One day you wake up and realize you have a superpower… what is it and why?

And my first impulse was: I want the power to pause or stop time so I can just chill out and not worry about falling behind…

But the truth is that’s a fantasy super power.

And I want to live in reality.

Not the reality which is full of obligations and limitations, but a reality that I can bend and expand at will.

A reality in which I expand my capacity to do more in less time, to earn more, and to be more….

So I asked my team for a redo.

I want my super power to be the ability to bend and expand time at will… to bend and expand my capacity at will.

To live in the same world and the same time horizon as everyone else while learning how to do more, be more, feel more, give more and receive more in that world.

Let me ask you, are the limitations you feel in relation to time real? Or are they limitations you’ve created for yourself? Let me know in the comments.

I’m constantly surprised, amazed and in awe with what can happen in a single day. What I can create, when I make the commitment, focus my attention and practice my time ninja moves.

You are infinitely capable and time expands to meet your needs. You can do what you want to do.

“Close your eyes and tap your heels together three times. And think to yourself, there’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Christian Schade Avatar
    Christian Schade

    Thanks. I totally agree.

    The first step I always have to take is being aware of reality – then I can choose to take the path that helps me lead a happy life or the path that makes me feel frustrated. It is basically a matter of choice…I can turn right or left, but first I have to know where I am. Or I will get lost 😀

    I wish you a happy day 🙂

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      That’s exactly it Christian. Making the choice in each moment of who you want ti be and what you want to do, rather than let life be and do to you. While still having the flexibility to allow for new insights and opportunities.

  2. Kim Avatar

    Fabulous article!! Definitely experiencing this with the Experience Product Masterclass. I’ve gotten more done in the last 5 weeks than in a very long time, and still have plenty of energy. Why? Because I’m *choosing* to do this, and also *believing* that I can! Thanks for the great inspiration!

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Exactly! I bend time every day… and do what most people say is impossible. Simply by shifting into *can* *choosing* and *believing,* I believe, choose and can. Funny how that works!

  3. Alinka Rutkowska Avatar
    Alinka Rutkowska

    I love your mindset, Marisa! Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”…this explains why everybody says I do things so quickly when in reality I have two little children to take care of, and obviously they are my priority.
    Yet I manage to do so much in so little time. I was wondering what I would do if I had double the time (or be able to expand time!) but I think you’re right – I’d do the same amount taking double the time.
    You made my day, Marisa! 🙂

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Awesome Alinka! Time constraints are incredibly powerful. It’s why people work wonders with the right deadlines. 🙂

  4. Colette Stroffolino Avatar
    Colette Stroffolino

    It really is a uniqe balance honoring the creative flow and the uninterupted time to accomplish while inspired…and the tasks that must be done within environment and business to keep all in order and flowing. I love hearing how you have balanced this for yourself. I notice I get completely engrossed in whatever I am doing and chunk out whatever time is necessary to complete whatever I have started. My boyfriend would sure love it if I had a more regimented approach to things like “dishes”! (I always get to environment, but not in an orderly, timed way.) I prioritize but find it hard to stop and shift gears when I am in a creative flow and don’t have something rigid scheduled. I would really love to prioritize environment a bit more, as when in creative mode all else is completely out of my mind!

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      I totally agree that the balancing act is challenging. I think that’s where strong boundaries really helps, so you know more or less when you’ll do when. That creates a feeling of peace because you can say I’m not going to focus on this now, but I will focus on it at x time, y date, etc.

  5. Dottie Hager Avatar
    Dottie Hager

    I love your distinction betweeen time goddess and time warrior. You have validated the importance of creating and that energy to growing a business as well as doing the tasks to keep it managed. Your words are magical. You have a gift for making the work have so much meaning.
    Thank you.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Thanks Dottie! 🙂

  6. Pamela Avatar

    I actually get overwhelmed when I write everything down in my calendar because then I see so much I have to do, and go into shutdown mode. When I don’t write things down? I then end up worrying about them even more because I worry about forgetting things. Then I have things that just fall through the cracks no matter what! Eek! Then, there is the old adage, ” if you need to get something done, give it to the busiest person! ” seems they can always get it all done come rain or shine. Then there’s the,” We all have the exact same 24 hours a day in which to accomplish things, and it’s a question of priorities.” I am by no means a lazy person, however my time management skills are all over the map. I am a creative, yet must seriously buckel down to get things done, check. I think if I could work on this one thing, “time management” I would be a happier healthier, walk more in faith than fear, feel deep peace person. I know this is effecting my mind body spirit self internalized dialogue. Sometimes I feel like a ship being tossed around on the daily surface waters of my life, when clearly if I was able to ground and focus myself in the deep waters, the turbulent surface waters wouldn’t be able to knock me off course or upset me so much. This is truly the most challenging piece of life for me. I also need to remember to get enough rest, hydrate during the day, eating well, take breaks and get up out of my chair and stretch, workout,(whatever that looks like, yoga, walking, treadmill, swimming.) I am a full time job!

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Thanks for sharing this Pamela. I can hear your frustration in this area. It sounds like you are ready for a major breakthrough here. Take a deep breathe and remember that you are capable and everything will be OK. Oftentimes resistance shows up when you have big work to do! So I’m hearing that you are meant for huge things! 🙂

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