Use the XDS Method to increase your productivity


Entrepreneurs always look for new ways to increase productivity and optimize their time.

A useful approach that has helped me focus on my most important business goals is the XDS Method.

This simple framework separates the important work from the urgent work.

Important work is the stuff that moves me toward my business goals. Urgent work distracts me from reaching those goals.

The XDS Method enables me to prioritize those tasks that take me closer to what I want to achieve with my business.

Unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs get caught up in urgent, reactive tasks on a daily basis.

They’re always on the back foot with their business because urgent tasks get in the way.

Despite setting targets for their business, they make little progress toward achieving them.

Sometimes they set the wrong goals or set goals in the wrong way.

Other times they’re too busy working in the business rather than on the business.

The good news is that you can change this approach and become more focused & productive by applying the XDS Method.

Here’s how step by step:

1. Track your time

“What gets measured gets managed.”
Peter Drucker

Before changing your current approach, you need to understand what you spend your time doing.

Spend a week tracking the time you spend on different tasks during the day. You can use something as simple as Google Sheets or apps like Toggl, Rize and Centered to track your time.

Schedule time in your calendar at the end of the week to carry out a review of your results. Find a quiet spot where you can focus and jump in.

During the review, score your results out of 10:

  • Scores 1-3 = Eliminate these tasks.
  • Scores 4-7 = Delegate or systemize these tasks.
  • Scores 8-10 = These are the tasks you should be focusing on every day. Block out time every week to work on them, and stick to it.

Once you have your scores, you can organize your tasks using the XDS Method.

2. First, Eliminate

Start by eliminating the unnecessary task preventing you from making progress.

We all have unnecessary tasks that we fall into the habit of doing. Things that need our time but don’t generate a return.

Time tracking helps you identify what these are so you know which tasks to cut.

As an added step, set up a ['Not To Do' list] of things you have eliminated and won't do again.

3. Next, Delegate

To get comfortable with delegating, think about your effective hourly rate:

Total Hours Worked/Annual Salary or Net Profit

Now that you have your effective hourly rate, delegate all tasks that fall below this rate.

These are the tasks that prevent you from working on your highest-value activities.

Record yourself doing those tasks using a platform like Loom. The person you’re delegating to will have a visual reference for completing the tasks.

They can use the video to create standard operating procedures for your business.

You can find a V.A. to delegate work to on platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, or PeoplePerHour.

4. Then, Systemise (and Automate)

Don’t do anything that software can do for you. If it can automate it, you should automate it.

Look at the tasks you do on a regular basis both online and offline.

Figure out whether you can use a software tool to automate these tasks for you.

Set up direct debits. Invoice and collect payments using Stripe. Schedule your content with Buffer.

Integrate any web application with Zapier to automate your workflows.


There’s only so much time you can spend working on your business.

To maximize the use of that time for achieving the goals you set for your business, use the XDS Method.

Cut unnecessary tasks, delegate low-value tasks and automate recurring tasks.