Hustle… this seems to be the battle cry of every personal training business mentor. Do more to earn more. Is this the best way? Hustle means forcing someone to move hurriedly or unceremoniously in a specified direction; busy movement and activity. But being busy won’t get you anywhere; being productive will! While it’s easy to source productivity hacks to help you manage your busy, what you really need is a reliable process for getting things done.

Creating a workflow is the missing step. Workflow is defined as ‘the sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.’ Think of this as your daily, weekly, quarterly, and yearly series of actions to identify what must get done, the steps required, and the cadence at which the work can be completed.

While this topic could constitute a full book (many exist), here are the highlights:

- Choose your tool(s). A simple to-do list works for some things (like remembering what you need at the grocery store), but to organize and grow a business you’ll need something a bit more robust. Try a simple notebook and platforms like Trello.

- Get in the habit of using these tools to capture every single thought and consolidate into one location. Yes, that means getting action items and brainstorms out of emails, texts, phone messages, and Facebook for easier visibility.

- Create a cadence and process to turn your thoughts into actions. This is your ‘workflow.’ Review this daily, weekly, quarterly, and annually.

For example, I begin my day with a 10- to 15-minute review which includes: what I accomplished the day before, tracking the status of items I’ve delegated or am waiting on, and identifying the ‘must do’ items for the day. I focus on single tasks to move projects forward daily.

Then, each Sunday I spend 30-45 minutes doing a deeper dive to focus on projects and progress. I sort through my handwritten notes, other scraps of paper that have accumulated, and any thoughts for reflection. What got done? What didn’t? What can be moved or removed?

Finally, I mark a date on the calendar quarterly and yearly for a 360-degree review of my business as a whole. This helps me assess the direction I’m moving: Am I veering off course? Is the work paying off? What opportunities should I keep, discard, or add?

Productivity requires getting essential projects across the finish line to enhance your business. Enhance doesn’t necessarily imply growth. It could be increasing efficiency, improving quality, or tackling new opportunities. It requires discernment and constant renegotiation. Believe in working hard, but working hard on the right things at the right time. Harness the hustle!