How do you effectively keep track of important tasks and deadlines when you manage two businesses and a staff?

While very organized and effective, Elin Barton was experiencing a productivity bottleneck created, she believed, by not regularly reviewing her calendar and project management system.

Elin’s video production and marketing company (White Knight Productions) and the Elin Barton brand ( were both growing, and although she had project management systems in place to track tasks and deadlines, she found that some things were still falling through the cracks. The most recent incidents occurred she was covering for a key staff member who was on vacation. Right before the employee returned, Elin realized that she’d lost sight of two important deadlines – an RFP was due (the next day!) and the presentation for an upcoming speaking engagement still needed to be completed.

AND…Elin just published her first book…yet another project to keep track of! (Check out Ready, Set, GRIT: Three Steps to Success In Life, Business, and the Pursuit of Happiness, designed to help readers grow in business and in life.)

Of course, you can imagine that Elin felt her bottleneck was that she wasn’t following her project management system.

Wrong! 😊

This is a perfect example of how integrating your systems can create a smoother process. Here’s what I mean.

You have a task or project that is due, and you have details outlined in a project management system. You add the deadline to your calendar. But you also need to plug into your calendar the prep and completion tasks! When you reserve the time needed to complete each step of the process into your calendar, you not only have a record of what needs to be done and by when, but also have blocks of time reserved to complete those to-dos.

In other words, outlining great processes doesn’t help if you don’t make time to complete them!

Here’s how the A.W.E. process helps to resolve this productivity bottleneck:

Awareness: Find the problem 

Elin was trying to solve the wrong problem. The true bottleneck was that time had not been allotted to complete the project.

Work: Fix the problem

Create a process to add time blocks to complete all tasks needed for the project at hand.

Evaluation: Check that you’ve fixed the right problem and that it is working.

Is the integration working? Are you following the process you outlined? What needs to be tweaked?

(Listen to the podcast here to learn how we uncovered Elin’s true bottleneck.)

Want some help uncovering your own productivity bottleneck? Let’s have a conversation and get you on the path to achievement!