• Jerrid P. Kalakay

Episode 25 - Productivity with Business Strategist Deana Kalakay

Updated: Sep 17, 2019

The ever-elusive concept of productivity is explored with Workflow Management Strategist and Productivity Coach Deana Kalakay on this episode.  Deana has been helping professionals and businesses to build confidence and take action using the science of consistency and workflow mastery.  Her clients overcome chaos and inconsistency by getting organized, becoming confident and taking the massive action required to meet and exceed their objectives. 


To learn more go to her website at

#bepowerfullyproductive #powerfullyproductivemedia


Jerrid Kalakay 0:10

Welcome to the teaching change podcast where we explore issues and social entrepreneurship, education and innovation. I'm your host, Jerrid Kalakay. On today's episode, we have a very special topic around productivity, what does it mean? How do you do it? And why are so many people bad at it? We have a very special guest today, Deanna Kalakay of powerfully productive. Deanna, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me. And yes, listeners, before we even get started, Deanna Kalakay is Jerrid Kalakay, your host, wife and partner in life? So I'm sure she could tell you all kinds of really silly stories about how silly I can be at times. But well, let's see what let's see. Let's talk first about the productivity. So Deanna, when we talk about productivity, what exactly are we talking about?

Deana Kalakay 0:56

Well, was talking about efficiency and effectiveness and productivity as a term gets thrown out there? Pretty loosely. But sometimes people don't really know what that means. If I were to ask the common lay person just randomly on the street, what is productivity mean to you? The most common answer that you'd probably receive is managing time. And while that is true, being productive, can mean managing your time very well. The actual meaning of productivity is being efficient and effective.

Jerrid Kalakay 1:30

Alright, efficient and effective. So when we talk about productivity, especially with social entrepreneurs, in that social entrepreneurs are often either the the head person in their organization, or the solo person in their organization, they're wearing many hats and doing many different things. Productivity tends to be a complicated subject for them, because no one's kind of telling them what to do when to do it. And in your work, can you talk a little bit about powerfully productive and how you came to, to start that that organization? And that that enterprise and, and kind of what you do on a day to day basis?

Deana Kalakay 2:07

Absolutely. So first, tackle your first part of the question, which is how do social entrepreneurs really tackle it when they're acting as what we'd like to term as a solo printer? And it can be really challenging just because as you said, they were so many different hats. It really comes down to discipline when you're a solo printer, primarily, because you are just wearing so many different hats. How do you do? How do you shift from being a marketer to being a salesperson to being the delivery to managing operations, to taking care of your finances, to self development, leadership, management, etc. and all of the other components that I haven't even mentioned as far as running either a social enterprise or even a just a regular business? So it can get really hairy really fast? Yeah, it's, it's kind of crazy, I think, which really comes down to is first primarily having the confidence to know that productivity, it's okay to be messy, and it's okay to be vulnerable. That's the whole point of being powerfully productive is to move through the Michigan, and the minutiae of life, and all of the hats that we wear, and move forward with concerted effort and focus. I like to work in a snowball effect where I help entrepreneurs or professionals really build their confidence when at the workflow mastery and that time mastery that way, they're not operating in an ad hoc style, that way, they become consistent and with time become powerfully productive.

Jerrid Kalakay 3:40

Okay, and, and if you were to boil down, what exactly productivity is in one sentence, what would it what would it be? What is your definition of productivity?

Deana Kalakay 3:51

productivity, in one sentence is the ability to take concerted focused, massive action.

Jerrid Kalakay 3:58

Okay, now and you massive action? What do you what do you mean by that for our listeners, and even myself that I'm a little bit confused about massive action? What does that mean?

Deana Kalakay 4:08

Well, I think passive action, we hear that term, also thrown out pretty loosely, like take action, take action, take action, but people don't realize that there's a whole other component to taking action, which is believing in yourself that you have the capacity and the ability and the confidence to take that action. You know, anybody can pick up a pencil and say, I took action. But before you had, you went through a psychological process of, can I physically pick up the pencil very subconsciously. And not only that, but it's actually the forward momentum of movement toward what it is that you desire. So taking action can be the deliberate movement of a physical form or body into action, or it could be the subconscious perception of taking the smaller steps from a mental perspective, moving towards your desired outcome, whatever that looks like.

Jerrid Kalakay 4:58

Okay, I think I, I think I follow you, when you when you before you started, powerfully productive? How what what kind of steps were leading you in that direction? I mean, I know I understand that you are a business coach, and working with with entrepreneurs, social, social entrepreneurs, solo entrepreneurs, as you mentioned earlier, which are entrepreneurs that are just by themselves. So there's solo printers. And and then you kind of got into the productivity pieces. Talk us through how that happened. Was it a common thing you kept seeing in clients? Was it something that you felt was a was needed in the market? There was a niche? Or is this something that you're really good at, or all of the above?

Deana Kalakay 5:42

Well, it was a natural progression, really. And what's really fascinating about it is it kind of just fell on my lap. I'm really naturally good at being pretty self disciplined. When I set my mind to a goal, and I'm all in and fully committed into it. I'm pretty much a freight train. And what's really fascinating about that, is I believed that everybody else was like that as well. But that really isn't the case.

Jerrid Kalakay 6:07

A lot. I am not like that.

Deana Kalakay 6:09


Jerrid Kalakay 6:09

I freight train would not be what anyone would describe me. Maybe Thomas, the train. It'd be more more my speed arm or the little Engine That Could but but a freight train, not so much.

Deana Kalakay 6:23

Yeah, so I thought other people were like me. And I was quite surprised that, you know, when I experience I was like, wow, people are don't have the capacity to focus for an X, pretty intense period of time, on one outcome. And see that all come through. And also, I started being asked a lot of the same question and basically got asked over and over again, how do you do what you do? Like? How do you get everything that you do done with everything that you have on your plate? And for a little bit of time? My answer was, I don't know. That's just being legit. And real. I mean, having three kids managing a household in laws, three dogs, a business, a marriage, being a daughter, I mean, I can keep going on and on. And it sounds exhausting. To me. It wasn't I thrive in that environment. So I kept getting asked all these questions like, how do you do this? All? This is crazy, like, how do you do this? Can you show me how to do it, and I thought everybody could do it. But then I started unpacking my actual process of how I was able to manage everything so efficiently and effectively. And I realized that people wanted to learn that they wanted to learn how to master their time, they wanted to learn how to become the master of their schedule, how to time block, how to use the Komodo method. They wanted to know how to manage their self. So they can powerfully manage other people and be an effective influencer and a leader, how to be emotionally intelligent in really difficult times. All of these things are kind of in that same wheelhouse of being powerfully productive. So it's really fascinating how that kind of evolved into that.

Jerrid Kalakay 8:00

Absolutely. I mean, and I, I am part of that equation, obviously, with three kids in the household and so forth. But hearing you talk about it, it makes me a little tired, I'm getting a little exhausted, even though that's the reality that I live, obviously, as well. So you kind of fell into it. And you also had this assembled like an aha moment or epiphany, in which you realize other people didn't operate the same way. As you, you you mentioned, you know, your freight train. And then you just thought everyone else was the same the same way. How do you now in in your work, and working with with entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs, and and so forth? How do you feel they're there? I guess what I'm trying to say is, how do you know that there's a lack of productivity on their end, that they need help fixing, because I productivity is one of those things that everyone knows what it is, and no one knows what it is? Correct. And as a leadership educator, that's been one of the most difficult things is that leadership is like that as well, right? Everyone knows what leadership is, and no one knows what leadership is. And I think productivity kind of fit in that same category. Everyone would know what it is, but they also don't know what it is. So how do you identify it? And how do you how do you help people kind of through that process? What does that look like?

Deana Kalakay 9:29

Well, that's a really great question. And you're absolutely right. I think there's just so much information out there about how to be productive, or what you need to do, or how to manage your time or do this or do that. But there's a disconnect between the ideology or the theory piece. And then there's that disconnect into the actual action. Same thing with leadership, there's a lot of information out there, what it is to be a good leader, and, and all of the theory part. But again, that action pieces is that disconnect. I think what's really fascinating here, when an entrepreneur or solo printer, or even a professional in the corporate sector, or the private sector comes to me and says I'm having challenges in this area, you know, there are a lot of the the flags that pop up, and most of the time, it's either procrastination or perfectionism. And quite even more fascinating than that. Procrastination is actually a symptom of perfectionism, which is kind of mind blowing for a lot of people, because they see and identify them as two separate. But procrastination actually, is that symptom of perfectionism because you are sitting on a project, completely avoiding it, because it isn't perfect yet. But that's technically the definition of a perfectionist, if it's not perfect, you're not doing it. So procrastination is perfectionism. And if you're experiencing the, if you're experiencing either the tendencies to procrastinate, or the tendencies to wait, or continue to work very vigorously on one project, because it isn't perfect, yet, you are experiencing challenges and productive. And I can certainly help there.

Jerrid Kalakay 11:02

That's awesome. Yeah, so I'm going to refer to myself as a perfectionist From now on, and not a procrastinator.

Deana Kalakay 11:09

I think that's good. I'm a recovering perfectionist, and I say recovering because I have understood now based on my work, and all of the behavioral, organizationally and individually, the cognitive behavioral that it's, it's actually a coping mechanism. So it's really fascinating about that is that, you know, we activate our procrastination or our perfectionism because we already know that there we are sensing a deficiency within ourselves. And so we're like, Okay, well, it's not perfect, cut that off. So I'll just wait on it, or I'll just keep working at it and toiling at it until it is good enough, whatever our perception of good enough is, and sometimes, even when it's the most stellar thing in the world to other people, external forces would say, wow, this is incredible. And our mind, our perception is still categorizing as it not good enough.

Jerrid Kalakay 11:59

So on on a previous episode, we talked about taking the risk and making the leap, it kind of sounds like it's kind of a a self fulfilling prophecy, my product or my service is not good enough. And so thus, it's not perfect. So that's I'm going to continue to work on it, and enter into a multi state of paralysis around whatever it is, and I never bring it to market and and I in my classes and my social entrepreneurship classes, I often have students who have a fantastic idea. They have the passion they have to drive. And but I think that they fall into that paralysis that, well, what I have, or what I'm doing isn't quite where I want it to be yet. And so I'm going to wait. And one of the one of the primary rules in business is you cannot wait,

Deana Kalakay 12:53

no. Money loves speed.

Jerrid Kalakay 12:55

Yes, money loves speed. Right? And, and maybe speed loves money, I don't know,

Deana Kalakay 13:00

time is money, and money is time. And so the really, I think fascinating a lot because it just is so darn fascinating all the way around. You know, what's really interesting is that people think of money as the most common goal that they want to achieve, especially in business, like we want to grow our revenues, we want to build wealth. And in social entrepreneurship, it is that dual core driver where we have that value proposition of we either want to solve a social or environmental challenge, while building wealth as well. But when we look at it from a money and time perspective, you know, money can always be replaced, like we Evan flow, like at the business cycle, we will have a lot of money, and then you'll go into a low period of money, we call that cash flow. But what's really, what's really interesting is when we look at it from a time perspective, once the time is gone, it's there, there's a there's not an infinite amount, it's very definite. So once that money, or once excuse me once the time is invested, right? Not necessarily wasted. Because we always make choices in our once that time is invested, it's gone versus money can always be made more, and we can always find some more money.

Jerrid Kalakay 14:08

Yeah, yeah. And now, I'm sure some of our listeners who are who are social entrepreneurs are thinking, wow, if I just had a better cash flow month, that would be fantastic. I, you know, because one of the biggest one of the biggest hurdles is finances, right, especially in the beginning, finding enough money to get things up and running and going. So we'll talk about that another another episode how to how to tackle that challenge. But I definitely understand when you talk about, you know, time being a finite commodity, that, you know, and there is no way to recoup it. No, you know, and so if you, you know, so I definitely understand what you're saying, and that if you, you know, if you lost a bunch of money, there is abilities for you to gain it back. But if you lost a bunch of time, unfortunately, there's not a way that you can ever recoup that time. And so it's kind of gone. And when I when I talk to myself, so in the social entrepreneurship class that I that I teach, and in my work that that I work with students, they have to create a social enterprise plan or business plan. And, like I said, a lot of them have really great ideas and have really great motivations and reasons for why they want to do what they're going to do, or what they want to do. But they do, they fall into that I it's not perfect enough, it's not good enough, or they do the other, they do something else. And they get really, really, really busy on really small and insignificant pieces of their plans. And they get caught up with you know, making sure that their website is just perfect, or making sure that social media is just perfect, or making sure that you know, whatever it is insert, whatever, whatever your thing is right. And they and they tend to get they tend to get paralyzed around that one thing and the overall picture they don't work on, and the overall work, they don't work on that really make any Forward, forward progress, like kind of two steps forward one step back. So I understand there's that little bit of attention, you've got to get started. And you've got to get moving in the right direction for productivity. Yes, but you don't want to get caught up in the small things. Right. So how does a social entrepreneur know? What is a small thing? versus a big thing? I mean, how do they tell the forest from the tree?

Deana Kalakay 16:21

Right? Well, let's, let's tackle the first part of that. Because I think that's the challenge that a lot of people face, they get really distracted on the things that really don't matter. And I like to use an acronym for when, you know, you could use this for when you get stuck in those areas where you're just focusing on those really small things that don't really produce a large hourly, when I'm talking about are we I'm talking about a return on effort. We talked about ROI a lot, but the productivity space, I like to refer to it as a return on effort. And really, that's the subconscious sabotaging your your bigger goal, because you're not fully confident that you can take this to market and make it a go. So you rather work on the little tiny little details and hyper focus on that, because you're not quite sold on the fact that your idea is going to be a success or whatnot. And really, that's a fear of failure. Okay. So in that failure, so in that failure, though, it's the inability to be comfortable with being vulnerable and messy. And that goes back to that perfectionism that if it's not perfect yet, then it's not going to happen. So here it's we're, we're in a society that's so judgmental, of if it's not amazing, when it comes out of the gate, then it's crap. That's not necessarily true. Just think of all of the most amazing inventions we've ever experienced in our lifetime, or in the multiple lifetimes. They didn't, they were really, they were very, very messy. And it took a lot of courage to even attempt the innovation. And it wasn't right the first time and it had to go to or through many, many iterations. But through that, that vulnerability and that courage of being messy, they were able to then have the product that we have

Jerrid Kalakay 18:04

today. And you mentioned an acronym, can you share the acronym with

Deana Kalakay 18:08

Oh, the acronym is win, which is WIN. And when you're feeling stuck, and being a perfectionist or procrastinating, I want you to focus on what's important now. So when stands for what's important now. So when you are stuck in the past, you get very, very, like sad. And it's really hard to to move past previous failures or attempts or even desire to move forward from, from whatever it is that you're working, you're kind of like stuck there like oh, well, I'm afraid that it's not going to go well, or, you know, I've tried this before, and it didn't go very well. And so you're stuck in the past. And if you're very anxious, and you're constantly trying to one be one step ahead of the game, you're very in the future. So what you're doing is you are literally pissing on the now and that's all that you have is being present. And so if you focus on what's important, now you can reset her and refocus on what's really happening. Okay,

Jerrid Kalakay 19:11

so when what's important now and and when you're talking about the the entrepreneurs who are focusing on these other things, because in part subconsciously, they're not fully in or they're not fully. They're not fully invested in terms of the their product or service is going to meet all the needs. But this is a subconscious thing. This is not a a conscious thing, right?

Deana Kalakay 19:39

Absolutely. Completely subconscious. Actually, the conscious part of you serves as a protection airy method, the subconscious part of all of us doesn't know the difference between right wrong, good or bad. It just acts in the conscious part where the logical piece of us of our brain really protects us and helps us decipher what's right, what's bad, what's good, what's wrong. And that helps protect the subconscious because like I said, the subconscious doesn't know any different. So when you are about to do something that is outside of your central belief system, your logical OR conscious part of yourself will say, Oh, hold on, this is scary. Let's let's run this through the checks and balance system and see if this is okay with our with our values, morals and beliefs. And if it's not, then you are going to deploy your triggers of, of self sabotaging behaviors.

Jerrid Kalakay 20:29

Okay, absolutely. Absolutely. That productivity. I mean, obviously, it's impossible to break it down in one episode.

Deana Kalakay 20:36

It's hard, we probably have to do a part two.

Jerrid Kalakay 20:38

Yeah. So So I want to thank you very much for coming in. And for putting up with me 24 seven, you're amazing. Oh, you hear that? I'm amazing. But let's do it. Let's do a part two. Let's have you come back and maybe we can talk specifically about some of the some of the things that really trip people up in, maybe we can start to try to pick some of that apart and and move forward. So you've been listening to the teaching trans podcast, we explore issues and social entrepreneurship, education and innovation. I'm your host Jerrid Kalakay. And on today's episode we had Deanna Kalakay of powerfully productive her website is powerfully productive calm. She's you can find her on Facebook powerfully productive on Instagram be powerfully productive. And the best way to get ahold of her is at is her email. Deanna In the meantime, be nice and change some stuff.

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