1593 – Productivity is A Skill with Productivity Straight Talk’s Amber De La Garza

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Speaker & Coach of The Productivity Specialist, Amber De La Garza.

Amber is a productivity specialist, who shared five tips for achieving more in less time. She emphasized the importance of working smarter, not harder, and learning the skills of productivity and time management.

Small business owners often wear many hats and juggle multiple responsibilities, leading to burnout and stress. The tips included consistent planning, personalizing your schedule, and focusing on behaviour and habit. She also added that using a task and project management app like ClickUp creates boundaries between work and personal life.


About Amber De La Garza:

Amber is a professional coach, trainer, speaker, and writer dedicated to empowering small business owners. Through her Peak Performance Program and the Productivity Straight Talk Podcast, she helps clients enhance time management skills, raise productivity levels, and accomplish vital goals.

Amber ensures maximized profits, reduces business stress, and fosters a healthy work-life balance. Her work also extends to promoting mindset growth, leadership training, and establishing business systems.

Passionate about off-road adventures, an ACDC fan, and a guacamole lover, Amber balances her professional pursuits with a fulfilling personal life.


About The Productivity Specialist:

The Productivity Specialist offers on-demand programs designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of small business owners. These programs leverage proven time management systems and productivity strategies to help clients overcome productivity challenges, maximize profits, reduce stress, and prioritize what truly matters.

The services are versatile, accommodating diverse business needs, from developing tailored strategies and overcoming productivity issues to guiding entrepreneurs toward successful results. These programs offer the flexibility and convenience of learning at one's own pace and comfort.

With the ultimate objective of optimizing time management and enhancing productivity, The Productivity Specialist is a beneficial resource for small business owners seeking substantial progress in their business and personal lives.


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Check out Amber De La Garza on Instagram at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now, Amber de la Garza. Amber, you are the productivity specialist for small business owners. Your speaker, coach, trainer, writer and podcast host at Productivity Straight Talk. Amber, thank you so much for joining us.

Amber (00:01:14) - Thank you so much for having me. I'm looking forward to our chat today.

Josh (00:01:18) - Right at the top to our friend that's listening right now. Do this. Pull up your open up your app, go to in your podcast player and search for productivity. Straight talk hit subscribe right now. Trust me, you'll thank me. Amber, Tell us a bit about what you do in the world, who you work with, and I can't wait to hear some great suggestions and tips around productivity.

Amber (00:01:43) - Yeah, absolutely. So I started my business over a decade ago to help small business owners not burn out and to be able to really achieve their goals. And it's with the the premise and the belief and now proven that productivity and time management are skills that can be improved upon and learned. And those skills are vital for us to achieve more in less time, not to mention, you know, less stress and enjoy our personal lives as well as the hat of being a business owner. So that's the work I do.

Josh (00:02:14) - Often when I hear about productivity, I think about what that means. I need to be more productive and I need to work harder and I need to stop slacking so much, right? And so I think about that and and it stresses me out a little bit because I'm like, I don't want to work harder, like I want to work smarter.

Josh (00:02:33) - But it sounds like the way that you describe productivity is again, about working smarter, not harder, right?

Amber (00:02:40) - Yeah, absolutely. So I define productivity as when we are being our most productive selves, when we're investing our best time into our best activities. And that is meant to be a framework. It could go over any goal. And essentially to sum it up is like, how do we get to show up our best? That's what, you know, our loved ones want. That's what our team members want. That's what our business needs from us, is to show up our best. It is certainly not about working more and getting overwhelmed and burning out. I have found that the more you can be holistic in the view of productivity, the more you can truly accomplish in your business and enjoy your life, which I think is quite important as well.

Josh (00:03:22) - Oh. You know, obviously you're producing a lot of content in the world and sharing great ideas, but how do you actually work with folks?

Amber (00:03:30) - Yeah, so I work with people in three different ways.

Amber (00:03:34) - One is I have some on demand trainings on my website and available. The second way is through a group coaching program, and the third way is through private one on one coaching.

Josh (00:03:46) - And what does that look like?

Amber (00:03:48) - Yeah. So private one on one coaching is for generally for experienced business owners that have figured some stuff out there saying they've got a team, maybe it's even a little bit of a team, but they're in a place where they really want the support. On being more strategic with where they're investing their time, how to lead their team. They want support around not just how to get more done, but to work smarter, to your point. And it's also a lot of mindset. So it's very much the intersection between mindset and strategy or ways to accomplish your goals in your business.

Josh (00:04:26) - Yeah. Amber, how did you become a productivity specialist? Like what what formative experiences happened in your life that that made you decide that this is. Yep, this is what I'm going to be known for in the world.

Amber (00:04:40) - Yeah, what a great question. I always joke. I'm like, No, I wasn't a little girl that woke up one day and said, I want to be the productivity specialist. I don't know that is the thought that anyone has. So yeah, it was a series of experiences and events. Prior to specializing in productivity, I actually worked in the corporate side of real estate for a large company that was in multiple states, and I was a business coach for all the top sales executives for that real estate company, and we had amazing systems. We were teaching great business processes and systems, but there was a repeating pattern of overwhelm, a repeat of, Oh my gosh, this is great. I can't wait to implement the system. And they come back and they're like, I have no time. I'm overwhelmed. There's no time to work on my business. I'm just working in my business. And that really made me dive deep into time management and productivity. And I thought, you know what? This is one of those foundational skill sets that allows you to actually learn other skill sets and apply them in your life and your business so much better.

Amber (00:05:48) - And I mean, obviously there's more to it, but that really was the point in my life where I was like, This is really important and it interests me. And I didn't see that it was being taught in the way that I thought it should be taught to business owners.

Josh (00:06:03) - Now, today you've worked with some pretty decent brands as well, like in your portfolio. I'm seeing some pretty big logos. Listen, I'm going to give you the stage and I'm giving you permission. Please brag about your impact you've had, you know, what kind of like what types of folks you've been able to work with and kind of what you've helped, what you've helped co-create with them.

Amber (00:06:26) - Yeah. So I think what you're speaking of is I do training specifically and speaking and for large corporations. So I just got done working with Pepsi. Frito-Lay worked with Cartier, Marriott, MGM Grand. There are many companies where I'll come in and either do trainings, workshops or speak about productivity in the workplace. And then on the other side of that and to me, just as important, are small business owners that are making their own impact in the world.

Amber (00:06:55) - And that is truly also where my heart is, is that helping small business owners show up and not get discouraged and love what they do because they feel like, you know, they're ready to conquer the day and the day's not knocking them out and conquering them. And I do that for various business owners, anywhere from think interior designers, architects, therapists, doctors, financial advisors and just about anything in between the through thread. And what I specialize in is the business owner. It doesn't. The work that I do isn't specific to industry. It's truly how do we show up in our businesses and be the CEO. We want to be the leader we want to be. And generally what I find is that we fall short of what we want for our business in ourselves because we have, you know, the belief there's not enough time. So I help business owners with that.

Josh (00:07:54) - Yeah. All right. So Amber, let's maybe deliver a couple of very actionable things that most of us could probably take a look at and maybe able to free up a little bit of our time or again kind of work a little bit more intentionally.

Josh (00:08:11) - What are some of the biggest areas where you see, you know, folks just not not living optimally professionally?

Amber (00:08:21) - Yeah, absolutely. You know, if I had to say that there was one foundational strategy that has the biggest impact and I see the most resistance to is being consistent with planning our days. You know, we've tried it and work the data and goes plan, you know, what's the point? Or you you tell yourself it's more important to do the thing you're doing instead of taking 15 minutes to plan your day. And I am here to tell you that 15 minutes consistently can literally change your entire experience and your productivity and what you can accomplish. And I will say this just to even understand that when we plan our day, the goal isn't for it to go as planned. It's not like, let's stop fighting reality. It's in fact allowing you to be in the driver's seat instead of the passenger seat. By planning your day by 15, take 15 minutes. It allows you to be proactive versus reactive.

Amber (00:09:15) - And a lot of the overwhelming the burnout comes from sitting in the passenger seat and letting the day, the team, the fires, the all the things run your day. Instead of you choosing what it is you're going to focus on and handling the inevitable fires that come up, it's got to be a both because we don't live in a fairyland. We run real businesses. You know, we have real challenges, but don't stop planning your day because it doesn't go as planned.

Josh (00:09:44) - Yeah. Amber, is most of your work obviously around kind of the workday or do you get much into the personal side of life as well? You know, thinking about the dishes that need to get done and the garbage that needs to go out and man, this carpet needs a good vacuuming. Oh, all these things like do you do you get in that side of it?

Amber (00:10:04) - I do not get onto that side, but I do get personal. So in the sense of I truly believe who we are in our personal lives impacts how we show up in our businesses.

Amber (00:10:14) - So we do talk about like, well, what is the schedule that would actually complement and not stress us out so that we can handle our personal responsibilities? We all go through seasons of our lives. And so I'm very much like, okay, the goals in our personal life have to support goals in our business and vice versa. And I'm actually a huge proponent of outsourcing and asking for help on the home front. So that is how I support my clients. On looking at it, you know, in whole personal and professional.

Josh (00:10:46) - And what was I going to ask you? There was something. Oh. You would imagine this obviously very hot subject right now, recommending specific tools, particularly we think about some of the stuff on the, you know, quote unquote AI side of things. Are there any technologies or platforms or tools that you're excited about right now that have just been huge productivity boosters?

Amber (00:11:13) - Yeah. So first, I just want to say I get this question all the time.

Amber (00:11:17) - Like what productivity app you have, What are the tools? All that good.

Josh (00:11:20) - One. Tools. Yeah, yeah.

Amber (00:11:21) - Everybody wants tools. So I mean, I really have to stand my ground and say the same thing I said over a decade is that it's not about the tool. It's about the behavior. It's about the habit, it's about the strategy under it. And then the tools can help it. And we all love a good tool. So if you if I had to share my favorite task management and project management app is Clickup, my team and I have been using it since almost it even started as a business. It's huge and it has the ability to grow with you. If you're a you're a business owner of one all the way up to huge corporations, which is fantastic. And it also allows you to do a lot of customization, which is what I find is important for a tool. Because again, I could say this works for me. And Josh, you work completely different.

Amber (00:12:11) - You want to see your task list different, your projects different and click up allows that. And that's why I think it's a really good recommendation because there's so much customization.

Josh (00:12:22) - Yeah. Talk about the power, Amber, of unplugging, you know, kind of, you know, creating delineations in our life where we say, you know what, right now I am not going to worry or think about work. I know for me personally, I have to prioritize that. And I you know, I was talking with a neighbor and she was lamenting that her husband on the cruise spent way too much of the time on the cruise, just on his phone, checking emails, doing work. And I'm like, there is no way I would be so mad if I got sucked into work. The way I guess I jealously guard my personal and private time.

Amber (00:13:06) - Yeah. And so do I. You know, I think that there's various reasons why people want to work all the time, but let's just address the one that's like, I.

Amber (00:13:16) - It's all going to fall apart if I'm not there, right? Like, I need to. I need to be involved. I need to be on my email, my clients need me. You know, I think that that is a an amazing goal to have to work on. And those are the strategies that I work with my clients on, is like, how do you build a business that doesn't need you every day? How do you build a business that you can prioritize vacation and totally check out and it's not stressful to you? That's the work that gets done in the business so that the result is you do not have to feel stressed or guilt when you're not working and vice versa. You're not working all the time and feeling guilt that you're not in your personal life. I will just say that I had Covid back in 2021 and I got incredibly sick. I was out of my business for over two months, unexpectedly, just like that. And I have a whole episode that says like, look, nobody thinks they can be out of their business for two and a half months.

Amber (00:14:09) - But I was and I shared all the lessons of things that I have created or built in my business systems, team members, processes that allowed my business to run and run successfully when that wasn't the ultimate goal. And I think that that actually is a wake up call. That should be the goal for all of us. We can't, you know, suddenly be without a business. We can't suddenly be without income and our teams can't fall apart without us there. So what do we do today to build that business so that we can find more balance and peace with our businesses?

Josh (00:14:43) - Yeah. Amber De La Garza, your website is Amber de la Garza. Right. And so to our friend that's listening just right now in your podcast app, click around, there's a little button or something like that, or maybe it's an AI with a circle around it, show notes. That's where you want to get to the notes that we have for this episode, click there because we have a direct link, Amber, to your website and I know you've got some really great resources there.

Josh (00:15:08) - What would you recommend for someone's like, Okay, I like what I like this conversation. I want more amber in my life. How do they do that? Yeah.

Amber (00:15:17) - Outside of getting more Amber on my podcast, could you get a lot of my personality and my methodologies there? I do have a free training. I love to be able to offer that. So it's take back your time. So if you go to Amber de la Garza board slash take back your time in less than 30 minutes. So it's a mini course. I'll teach you how to reclaim 20 minutes back each and every day forever. That's the promise. And that's a big promise. But it's a promise that I know that if you apply the strategies I share in there, you'll reclaim time.

Josh (00:15:48) - Heck, yeah. Multiply that out. And. Times. What's 20 times 30? Now we're talking if I did my math right, that's ten hours by the end of the month. That's significant. What would you do? Like we always I know that kind of the meme or the joke is right.

Josh (00:16:05) - If I could just get more hours in the day. Yes. Well, look, we were just given a gift of ten hours additional in your month. And what would you say? That's what a great question. It's like if you an extra ten hours, what would you do with that? Yeah.

Amber (00:16:21) - So I actually open up I've opened up many trainings and speaking engagements that way. And the first time I asked that question, I thought I knew what the answer was going to be. I was wrong. The answer, overwhelmingly, time and time again, is always sleep. We think it's like go to the gym, work on a project to get something more done. In our business, like people are craving sleep. And, you know, I've come up with my own theory. But honestly, sleep is one of the only things we do solely for ourselves. And it's the thing we cut out first when our kids need us, our team members need us. Everybody needs us. The sleep keeps getting condensed.

Amber (00:17:00) - And so if that's you, then take the training, get ten hours, get some more sleep, and I guarantee that will help you be more productive in your waking hours.

Josh (00:17:08) - I know we only have like a second left, but I got to ask him because he brought it up. Do you do you at all track or gamify your sleep?

Amber (00:17:15) - I do not. My I know some do.

Josh (00:17:17) - I do. And that was. But I don't think that fits every personality. So I use the I tried so many sleep trackers I finally like I like aura. It's got a subscription model which I think a lot of them do. But, you know, for me, it's like, you know, again, I think it's a personality thing. It's like I'm really try for like a score of 80 or higher and, you know, not but, but, you know, at least like I'm thinking about it, you know, in the evening, right? Like, oh, I could stay up, oh, I could watch that other show or I could start playing this game.

Josh (00:17:53) - I could start scrolling Reddit. But if I do that, I know it's going to negatively impact my scores. So yeah, I.

Amber (00:18:00) - Think it's also helpful for experimenting, right? So you're like, Hey, like if I do this, does it go up? If I do that, does it go up? I think that's a really helpful in behavior change to see that for sure.

Josh (00:18:11) - I just said like I was from Minnesota there. But you know, that's you know, so there's absolutely some things that I learned about, you know, exposure to bright lights when do I stop looking at my devices? Alcohol. Holy cow. Is that an easy one to discover? And now it's like alcohol might be awesome, but, man, it is not going to be great if you want a good restful night's sleep, it is just as pretty bad. So anyway, hey, this is a great conversation. Amber de La Garza And again, your website, Amber de la Garza.

Josh (00:18:47) - Com forward slash take back your time own word get the free training. Amber it's been a wonderful conversation. Thank you so much for joining us.

Amber (00:18:56) - Thank you so much for having me.

Josh (00:19:04) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up My Influence slash guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our listener Facebook group. Just search for the thoughtful entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love even if you just stopped by to say hi, I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together. We are empowering one another as thoughtful entrepreneurs. Hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right, seven days a week. You are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed.

Josh (00:20:02) - I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes each day. Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the thoughtful entrepreneur movement.

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