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🥗That Meeting Could Have Been an Email

How to maximize your most productive hours and transform your daily output

Hey there,

Welcome back for another bite to chew on.

Today we're diving into a topic that any leader, entrepreneur, or professional must get right: 

Managing your time and energy effectively and efficiently.

We’ll go over:

  • What time management REALLY is

  • Why you need to be both efficient AND effective

  • How you can make these changes starting today

Before we get into all of that,

A BIG part of efficient and effective growth is knowing and understanding your finances, cash flow management and financial literacy in general.

Time is money after all.

Now, let’s get into making the most of it.

The Myth of Time Management

Traditionally, we're taught to manage our time—every minute, every hour. 

If you’re only focusing on the time you spend, you’re missing out on more than half of the real story.

Your energy is more critical than your time.

You might manage to stretch your hours, but energy doesn't stretch—it depletes.

Research suggests we have about 3-4 hours of peak productivity daily. That's it. 

These are your golden hours for deep work.

Whether you spend it strategizing, creating, or problem-solving will depend on you and your business.

The key is not to squeeze more into these hours but to maximize what you accomplish during them.

Harnessing Your Best Output

We’re going to go over Efficiency vs. Effectiveness.

Efficiency in business is typically about maximizing the output from each hour of work, or doing more with less.

Effectiveness focuses on the quality and impact of what you accomplish, not just the quantity. 

It's about doing the right things, not just doing things right.

Rethinking Unstructured Time

Although a full schedule might seem ideal, it's often the less structured, "inefficient" times that provide the most valuable insights.

For example, Google famously allowed engineers to spend 20% of their time on personal projects, which led to innovations like AdSense and Gmail.

Those engineers may have never had the time to even think about new ideas, let alone create and produce them, if their schedules were always packed.

Here are some strategies to property use unstructured time:

Strategize Your Downtime

Schedule "thinking time" into your week—blocks where the goal isn’t to check off tasks, but to explore ideas without a fixed agenda.

This could be a walk, a free-form brainstorming session, or time with a blank notebook at a coffee shop.

Use this time to question the big-picture aspects of your business, like your brand’s direction or new markets to explore.

Delegate Things the RIGHT Way

Evaluate tasks that consume your energy without contributing significantly to your business's growth.

Delegate these tasks to team members better suited to handle them, freeing up your energy for high-impact decision-making.

Don’t just delegate the task. Delegate the decision. 

Trust your team's competence and guide them to operate independently, or you’ll just end up doing the task yourself and all that free time will be gone.

Optimize Your Routine

Identify routine decisions that drain your energy (like daily food choices or outfit selections) and standardize them.

Steve Jobs wore the same outfit almost every day to eliminate small decisions, preserving his mental energy for more critical business decisions.

It sounds silly, but lay out the clothes you’re going to wear and pack your lunch tonight before you go to bed and just see how different your morning routine feels.

How to Implement this Change:

Start small by introducing one unstructured hour each week and observe the impact on your creativity and problem-solving capabilities. 

Encourage your team to do the same and share insights from these periods. 

Over time, adjust the frequency and duration of these periods based on the results you see.

It’s all about how you use your unscheduled time. 

By allowing mental wanderings, you and your team can stumble upon ideas and solutions that rival Adsense and Apple Pay.

You never know until you have the opportunity and ability to think, freely.

The Power of Time Blocking

Managing your time, whether it’s scheduled or unscheduled, will still be inefficient if your concentration jumps all over the place.

Have you heard of time blocking?

With how insane our schedules have become (Ron’s = Orange, Ash’s = Purple)

That’s just what we know about BEFORE the week starts…

We have to block our time both efficiently AND effectively.

Time blocking is about mentally preparing for different types of tasks.

It looks like this:

Dedicated blocks—Group similar tasks together to reduce context switching. 

If you’re recruiting, block out a few hours and do it all at once.

Match task type to energy level—Don’t schedule demanding creative work when you’re typically low on mental energy.

Consider setting themes for days of the week—Monday for marketing, Tuesday for product development, etc. 

This helps reduce context switching and keeps your mind focused on a single domain each day.

What we both do each day is incredibly different from each other, 

but for the most part, we structure the main blocks of our day around these 3 blocks.

Morning Routine

We dedicate my mornings to creative and demanding tasks. 

It's when our energy and focus peak, perfect for deep, thoughtful work.

Afternoons for Admin

We all know what that after lunch lull feels like..

This is where we switch to administrative tasks—calls, emails, follow-ups.

It's about aligning simpler tasks with lower energy levels.

Evening Reflection

A second wind of creativity usually hits in the evening. 

It’s a less structured time, ideal for brainstorming and exploring ideas, casually.

This Could’ve Been an Email…

There is no greater example of efficiency and effectiveness than how and why you meet.

I’m sure we’ve all been in a meeting thinking to ourselves like,

“All of this could have been in a freaking email…”

If you feel like you and your team have been swamped with meetings lately, do this when you get a chance:

Take the roster from your last meeting and compare it to everyone's hourly salary.

That number will make those meetings into emails FAST.

“But all I feel like I do is send emails?”

If that’s you right now, how many of those emails could be a quick phone call or voice note?

The goal is to go for the most efficient and effective communication.

Not everything needs to be discussed live.

With how fast Chew On This and GAAS are growing, we’re in the process of making a loom SOP bank to cut down on explanations and task management.

Take how we handled critiques on our new website, for example.

We recorded a loom explaining everything, and each team member left comments and suggestions in the comments of the video.

We compiled them all in a Google doc and sent them over to our web designer.

No long meetings taking up everyone’s precious time going over changes one by one.

While efficiency is vital to grow, we aren’t saying to be emotionless robots and never meet together.

Never sacrifice the human connection. 

You need that human interaction to build culture and team cohesion.

We are saying to consolidate, delegate, and automate whatever you can SO those meetings can get the attention and energy they deserve.

Tool of the Week

If you’ve ever thought about switching marketing platforms but got cold feet thinking about all the headaches and energy it’s going to take,

We've totally been there. 

The disruption to your business, the setup hassles, not to mention the costs,

all feel like you're just stacking up problems instead of solving them.

If you’re stuck in that exact spot, Sendlane is taking the cost and energy headache away with their 'Move Now, Pay Later' offer. 

You pay nothing upfront. No hidden fees, no unexpected bills during the switch.

They take over the entire migration process—transferring data, warming up emails, everything.

So, if you’re dragging your feet on a migration because you're worried about the costs, disruptions, or just the sheer amount of work it might take, 

It’s never been a more efficient time to move to Sendlane.

Pay only when you actually start sending out messages,

and use a marketing platform that focuses on the click to get conversions.

Thanks for Reading Along

This entire newsletter is an example of doing all of this combined.

Efficiently and effectively taking 5 minutes of your time to read, and then, going out and saving you hours of time in your day to day routine.

As you plan your schedule this week, don’t just think about what tasks you need to complete, 

think about the best time for you to tackle them to get great results.

Use your natural rhythms and recognize the limits of your mental resources.

Turn time and energy management into your best asset.

Here are some other resources to help save you time that we liked this week:

We can’t wait to talk with 80+ founders on how we’re all being more efficient and effective in our own companies.

We’ll see you there!

All the best,

Ron & Ash