How to Avoid Having Too Much on Your Plate

This Thanksgiving, at Nimble, we’re serving up a feast of productivity insights in an effort to show you How to Avoid Having Too Much on Your Plate. As we gather around the table to celebrate gratitude, we’re dishing out invaluable tips to express our thankfulness to our audience. We reached out to several industry leaders who generously shared their secret ingredients for success, offering handy tools, favorite apps, and lessons learned from their experiences. 

Our goal is clear: equip you with the know-how to savor the holiday without feeling overstuffed with tasks. Join us as we serve up strategies not just for the dining table, but for managing your workload this Thanksgiving season!

1. Focus on Strategic Task Management & Energy

Brad Friedman

President | The Friedman Group, LLC 

Recommended Productivity Tools:

Brad addresses the challenge of avoiding task overload by employing a strategic approach. He reveals, “Avoiding task overload is a challenge. I keep all my tasks in a To-Do list and every Sunday I go through my list and move the tasks I’m ready to work on to my calendar. Calendar blocking has helped me avoid task overload.” 

When it comes to productivity, Brad emphasizes the significance of managing energy over time. He finds that maintaining a well-balanced routine, including a good night’s sleep, morning workouts, and a nutritious breakfast, contributes significantly to his productivity. Staying hydrated and maintaining regular meals throughout the day are key components that play a crucial role in sustaining his optimal level of productivity.

Connect with Brad:




The Friedman Group, LLC 

2. Keep Distractions Minimal

Timothy Hughes

CEO & Co-Founder | DLA Ignite

Timothy utilizes Flipboard as his primary productivity tool, leveraging its features to stay informed and organized. To prevent task overload, he employs a time-blocking strategy within his calendar, effectively managing his schedule and ensuring a balanced workload. 

When asked about his favorite productivity tip, Timothy advocates for a simple yet impactful approach: silencing all the notification sounds on his PC or Mac. He emphasizes the importance of minimizing distractions by eliminating the constant “bings and dings” allowing for a more focused and uninterrupted work environment.

Connect with Timothy:







DLA Ignite

3. Stay Ahead with Planning & Prep

Craig M. Jamieson

Managing Member | Adaptive Business Services

Craig relies on a combination of productivity tools to streamline his workflow. He mentions, “Nimble, of course. I also use Google tools like Docs on my iPad that allows me to jot down ideas and tasks whenever they hit my head. I’m going to be experimenting with FlyMsg, primarily for social messaging, and Scribe for documenting some of the steps that are associated with my Nimble training materials.” 

To manage task overload, Craig employs a dual approach, utilizing Nimble for specific client-related tasks and maintaining a traditional to-do list with a two-week outlook. He explains, “I review this every morning and look for items that can be completed ahead of time. This allows me to have open time whenever the unexpected arises.” When asked about his favorite productivity tip, Craig succinctly emphasizes, “If you are not staying ahead, you are falling behind!“—underscoring the importance of proactive and forward-thinking approaches in maintaining productivity.

Connect with Craig:



Adaptive Business Services

4. Life Audit for Peak Efficiency

Stacy Ennis

CEO | Creatively

Recommended Productivity Tools:

Stacy advocates for the transformative impact of discretionary time in avoiding task overload. She defines discretionary time as intentional blocks of focused time, highlighting its versatility for activities such as self-development, focused work, or anything requiring singular focus. 

Stacy emphasizes a unique perspective on productivity, stating, “Productivity means getting more, better work done in less time.” Rather than viewing productivity as merely a 9-to-5 endeavor, she sees it as a means to free up mental space for creativity and a fuller presence. Citing research on frequent interruptions in the workplace, Stacy underscores the potential for wasted time and presents working from home as an opportunity for change. Her favorite productivity tip involves conducting a life audit, a reflective process she applies to herself and encourages in her clients and students. This life audit, detailed in a provided link, serves as a tool to regain focus and productivity during challenging periods.

Connect with Stacy:





Stacy Ennis

Check out more of Stacy’s favorite productivity tools here!

5. Optimize for Retrieval, Not Transmission.

Seth David

President & Chief Nerd | Nerd Enterprises, Inc.

Seth relies on Notion as his top productivity tool, leveraging its capabilities to streamline his workflow. He emphasizes the importance of a trustworthy system to manage tasks, stating, “I capture, clarify, organize, reflect, and engage with everything I need to do in a system I can trust.” This comprehensive approach allows him to avoid task overload by ensuring that each step of the process is systematically addressed. 

Seth’s favorite productivity tip centers around optimizing for retrieval rather than transmission, underlining the significance of setting up systems that prioritize easy access and retrieval of information. This approach aligns with his overarching strategy of maintaining an efficient and reliable system to enhance productivity in his daily tasks.

Connect with Seth:

Nerd Enterprises, Inc.

6. Time-Block for Optimal Focus

Phil Gerbyshak

Sales Consultant | 

Phil employs a strategic set of productivity tools, including Fancy Hands for quick research tasks, ChatGPT for writing verification and ideation, and SaneBox to maintain a clutter-free inbox. In managing task overload, he follows the 4D method, advocating for a proactive approach: “Do it right now, defer it until task time (this is time blocked for these tasks), delete it, delegate it – and you don’t need a ‘person’ to delegate to.” 

Phil’s favorite productivity tip revolves around time blocking, urging the prioritization of crucial tasks by dedicating specific blocks on the calendar. Whether it’s prospecting, follow-ups, or demo preparation, he emphasizes the importance of protecting these time blocks from interruptions, noting that this focused approach significantly enhances overall productivity.

Connect with Phil:




Click here to check out Phil’s mindset insights delivered bi-weekly with an occasional podcast!

7. Prioritizing is Paramount

Liz Heiman

CEO | Regarding Sales

Recommended Productivity Tools:

  • A Calendar
  • A Spreadsheet or CRM 

Liz strategically navigates task management to prevent overload. “First, I set priorities around the work I need to do,” she notes, underscoring the importance of clarity in her approach. To structure her responsibilities, Liz employs a multi-faceted strategy: “Second, I put things on my calendar that need to get done. Third, I assign myself tasks in the CRM.” Notably, she ensures efficient workflow by embracing delegation: “Last, I delegate anything that someone else can do.” 

Turning to her favorite productivity tip, Liz focuses on sales productivity, stressing the significance of prioritization. “Focusing on the things that push you closer to your goals is the key to success,” she advises. She delineates four critical types of daily sales work—prospecting, qualifying leads, cultivating relationships, and closing deals—each demanding attention. Liz prioritizes closing deals at the forefront, cautioning against neglecting hard-earned opportunities. She advocates for disciplined scheduling: “I recommend scheduling time on your calendar for prospecting and creating tasks in the CRM for your other sales work.” Liz emphasizes the need for a structured daily approach, ensuring sales goals are not just met but exceeded.

Connect with Liz:



8. Make Space for “Cushions” On Your Calendar

Lynn Abaté-Johnson

Co-CEO, CCO, Author & Speaker | Lynn Abaté-Johnson

Recommended Productivity Tools:

Lynn strategically navigates task management by incorporating “cushions” of “nothing” time into her schedule to absorb any potential overload and prioritize personal tasks effectively. As she emphasizes, “Having those ‘cushions’ of ‘nothing’ time built in for absorbing any overload and making personal priorities possible.” This approach allows for flexibility and resilience in the face of unforeseen demands. 

Lynn’s favorite productivity tip revolves around proactively scheduling these “cushions” on the calendar. She advises, “Block out time for ‘cushions’ on your calendar one or two days a week. A couple of hours or half-day here and there make all the difference.” This intentional allocation of time not only serves as a buffer against overload but also proves instrumental in maintaining a balanced and effective workflow.

Connect with Lynn:






Lynn’s Website

9. Ditch Distractions with a Phone-Free Zone

Marc Scott

Voice Over Artist | Marc Scott Voice Over

Marc efficiently manages his productivity using Notion, appreciating its ability to consolidate notes, timelines, task lists, and associated information in one centralized platform. Reflecting on how he avoids task overload, Marc stresses the importance of prioritization aligned with his goals. “Not everything is a priority, even though it may make the task list,” he notes, emphasizing the need to filter tasks through the lens of overarching objectives to make informed decisions about what truly needs attention. 

In terms of his favorite productivity tip, Marc offers a practical approach: “Leave the phone in a different room.” Recognizing smartphones as both productivity tools and potential time drains, he opts to distance himself from notifications and the lure of his phone when deep focus is required. This intentional separation enhances his ability to concentrate and accomplish tasks without succumbing to distractions.

Connect with Marc:




Marc Scott Voice Over

10. A CRM is Your Secret Weapon

Ross Keating

Founder | Nextree Business Growth Consultancy

What productivity tools do you use?

Ross navigates task overload by maintaining a clear focus on the immediate priorities that propel both himself and the business forward. He succinctly articulates his approach, stating, “I focus on what must be done today that moves me and the business forward.” 

Ross’s favorite productivity tip centers on the strategic utilization of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. Emphasizing its significance, he straightforwardly advocates, “Please use your CRM or start using one! You will increase sales, close more deals, retain more customers, AND save yourself a lot of time!” His recommendation underscores the CRM’s multifaceted benefits, from enhancing sales outcomes and deal closures to fostering customer retention, ultimately streamlining and optimizing overall time management.

Connect with Ross:


Nextree Business Growth 

11. Work Smarter, Not Harder.

Stephanie Garcia

CEO | Lights, Camera, Live

Stephanie, as an entrepreneur, has strategically embraced Calendly as a pivotal productivity tool for efficient calendar management. Reflecting on the impact, she shares, “I used to spend way too much time exchanging emails to find meeting times that work for everyone. It drained my productivity! That’s why I started using Calendly.” Stephanie highlights how Calendly streamlines scheduling by providing a convenient link, reducing unnecessary emails, and syncing seamlessly with her main calendar. 

To avoid task overload, Stephanie employs a set of practical tips. She emphasizes ruthless prioritization, batching similar tasks, and strategic delegation. “The key for me is working smarter, not harder,” she notes, focusing on high-value activities while avoiding nonessential tasks. Stephanie’s approach includes setting boundaries, taking breaks, single-tasking, and regular workload assessments, all contributing to enhanced focus and productivity.

Stephanie’s favorite productivity tip revolves around understanding and leveraging natural energy fluctuations throughout the day. “Our energy levels actually fluctuate naturally throughout the day,” she observes, emphasizing the importance of aligning work with personal peak energy times. By identifying her “golden hours” Stephanie strategically tackles demanding cognitive work during these periods, optimizing productivity and avoiding frustration during less alert times. This approach, centered on managing energy rather than just time, has proven to be a transformative game-changer for Stephanie’s overall efficiency and meaningful work output.

Connect with Stephanie:


Lights, Camera, Live

12. Use a Simple Rule of Three

Bernie J. Mitchell

Founder & Consultant | Engaging People

What productivity tools do you use?

Bernie adeptly manages task overload by implementing a ‘personal scrum’ method using a Kanban board, focusing solely on the tasks in the ‘doing’ column. Acknowledging his neurodiversity challenges, he shares, “I have to work extra hard to stay focused on the present.” Bernie strategically utilizes the ‘backlog’ section to store ideas and tasks, addressing them later in the week, allowing him to maintain a manageable workload of three prioritized tasks each day.

His favorite productivity tip centers around the simplicity of accomplishing three meaningful tasks daily. Bernie expresses, “Three things a day, I always liked this but when I read Hero On A Mission by Donald Miller it took on a deeper meaning.” He underscores the profound impact of consistently completing three tasks daily, emphasizing that this approach, inspired by Miller’s insights, leads to steady progress and meaningful accomplishments over time.

Connect with Bernie:


Bernie J. Mitchell | Engaging People

13. Maximize Content Consistency by Repurposing

Michelle Garrett

Consultant & Writer | Garrett Public Relations 

Recommended Productivity Tools:

Michelle adeptly manages task overload by maintaining a balanced approach to commitments. “I try not to overcommit myself – but there are times when I might feel stressed by the amount of work I have to do,” she shares. During particularly demanding periods, Michelle adopts a proactive strategy by creating a comprehensive list of tasks and estimating the time required for each. This systematic approach not only helps her prioritize but also effectively manages stress levels associated with workload.

Regarding her favorite productivity tip, Michelle reveals a practical approach to content creation. She emphasizes the value of repurposing content to maximize its utility. “I like to repurpose my content. I do all my own writing (no, I don’t use AI!) and like to try to squeeze as much from each piece as I can,” she explains. Michelle extends this philosophy to assisting clients, illustrating her practice by repurposing a newsletter column into a LinkedIn post or a blog post. Additionally, she highlights how content from client videos can be transformed into informative blog posts through transcripts. These strategies showcase Michelle’s efficiency and creativity in getting the most out of her written work and that of her clients.

Connect with Michelle:




Garrett Public Relations

14. Declutter Your Mind with Brain Dumping

Carole Mahoney

Founder | Unbound Growth

Recommended Productivity Tools:

  • A Notebook & Pen
  • Calendar Blocking
  • AI Tools for Research

Carole avoids task overload by employing a focused approach. As she advises, “Write down your number one thing—the primary goal. This will help you to then align your time and efforts to that goal.” She shares a personal example of successfully launching her book last year, using the primary goal as a guide to make informed decisions about various opportunities and tasks that presented themselves.

Carole’s favorite productivity tip involves the use of a simple notebook for efficient task management. She explains, “I use a simple notebook to brain dump my to-do list every month, week, and day.” This method allows her to declutter her mind and then strategically delegate tasks that can be done by someone else. Carole further organizes her to-do list into categories, distinguishing between essential but less enjoyable tasks, like paperwork and admin, and growth-oriented activities such as sales, content creation, or speech rehearsal. This systematic approach, from brain dumping to categorizing, enables Carole to prioritize effectively and maintain clarity in her daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.

Connect with Carole:


Unbound Growth

Check Out More of Carole’s Productivity Tips


From strategic task management to minimizing distractions and embracing intentional time blocks, these experts offer a diverse array of tips. Whether it’s leaving the phone in another room, using a CRM like Nimble as a secret weapon, or repurposing content for efficiency, the common thread is a focus on working smarter, not harder. 

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s adopt these strategies to strike the right balance between productivity and gratitude in both our professional and personal lives. Get started with Nimble and boost your productivity this holiday season.