Focus on Productivity at Remodeler’s Conference WiRE Event

Posted by Cheryl Savit, KitchenVisions and EM NARI PR Committee


Ever wonder how you can save time every day? Sandra Kearney, founder and President of Human Power Solutions, led the WiRE  (Women in Remodeling Event) session at the Remodeler’s Conference centering on answers to that question. More than 40 EM NARI members and female students from Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School attended.

Kearney began with a Wheel of Life Exercise to assess priorities, and guide attendees on how to score themselves on a scale of 0 to 10 in eight areas of our lives. Her wheel is based on Stephen Covey’s with slightly different areas:  education, relationships, financial, health and wellness, community service, inner growth, career, and personal. A 10 is something one feels has already been accomplished or has no aspirations to do. Anything less than 10 may be an area to become more proficient or engaged. The purpose was to identify and prioritize where we might want to focus time and energy in the coming year.

Kearney broke the audience into smaller groups to brainstorm time management and personal productivity strategies. Groups reported ideas on how to save time, what services and apps to use to increase productivity, and to whom to delegate (at work and at home). Goal setting and prioritizing tasks topped the list for managing time each day.

The 4 D’s – Decision Making and Time Blocking TTTs (Top Tasks To do)

Kearney’s system is called the 4 D’s: do defer, delegate, or delete. She suggests that each To-Do item on our lists can be handled this way. She also recommends using Time Blocking and trying the TTT exercise.

  • List your 3 top tasks to do every day to run or grow your business
  • Take some time to block out the day that will allow you to do your top TTTs
  • Schedule all of your tasks and track your time (even scheduling personal goals like exercising, volunteering, meetings, phone calls, etc.)
  • Use a timer to schedule breaks, social media breaks, etc.

Every day we all need to figure out a time to handle:

  • Personal (sleeping, meal prep/eating, housework, errands, exercising, family, friends, social life)
  • Emails – incoming and outgoing
  • Phone calls & Voicemail – incoming and outgoing
  • Financial tasks (invoicing, bookkeeping, taxes, banking, accounting, etc.)
  • Social Media
  • Work tasks (sales, proposals, contracts, marketing, planning, management, meetings, etc.)
  • Transportation – to and from office/appointments, etc.

Attendees suggested the following tips, services, and apps:

  • OHIO Method – Only Handle It Once
  • Instacart – Purchase groceries for delivery
  • Basecamp, Trello, Asana and other project management apps
  • WAZE – and other directions and mapping apps save time driving to appointments
  • Google docs, Google Calendar and Calendly
  • Two productivity books: Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy and The One Thing by Gary Keller

Additional tips:

  • Meetings between noon and end-of-day
  • Turn off phone and email notifications
  • Create a monthly calendar with all appointments
  • Review weekly calendar on Sunday nights
  • Set intentions at night or early morning for the day ahead
  • Layout wardrobe night before
  • Do the task you least want to do FIRST
  • Delegate tasks when possible: i.e. ADP for payroll; hire bookkeeper and consultants for tasks someone else can do better

Sandra Kearney founded Human Power Solutions, full-service learning, and development company. She offers 137 different courses to engage companies and their employees through training.  Learn more at

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