36 Experts Share Their Productivity Tips for Online Course Creators and Digital Training Coaches

Our content is reader supported, which means when you buy from links you click on, we may earn a commission.

Do you struggle to stay on task during your workday?

If you do, then you’re not alone. Research by vouchercloud.com suggests that over an eight-hour period of time, the average worker is only productive for two hours and 53 minutes.

So there’s a lot of room for improvement.

And if you’re an online course creator or digital trainer than you already know how much work is involved with running your business.

Taking care of clients, updating learning materials, creating new courses, and don’t even mention marketing and sales. You could easily hire a team of 6 to take care of all the marketing tasks you need to do and still have 10x more.

The tasks are virtually never-ending. To save yourself stress, figuring out how to stay productive in this sea of tasks is well worth the effort. Not only will you likely get more done, but you’ll get the right things done, and you’ll feel better about how you spend your time.

Since there’s no one right way to do anything, we asked course creators and digital trainers to give us their best productivity tips. Here are the responses we got back …

Gemma Bonham-Carter

1. Gemma Bonham-Carter

~ Gemma is the founder of The Passive Project and Launch Your Shop.

“With the online space being what it is today, it’s very easy to get distracted by what other people are doing to be successful AND how they’re doing it. You then end up thinking: “Ok, I’ll give that a try.”

Next thing you know, you’ve got this strange mix of strategies that are not your own. What keeps me productive and moving towards my goals is quarterly planning.

I sit down a few weeks before the next quarter begins, and I create my top three goals that I will be 100% focus on for those three months.- Gemma Bonham-Carter Click To Tweet

I will then break those goals down into the actionable steps I need to take in order to achieve them.

What this does is help me eliminate tasks and items that don’t serve my end goals. If something comes up, I can ask myself how it serves one of my top three quarterly goals. If it doesn’t serve my goals, it gets chopped!”

Joe Bailey2. Joe Bailey

~ Joe is a Business Development Consultant at My Trading Skills.

“I’m the Business Development Consultant at My Trading Skills with over 17,000 unique visitors per month and over 12 years of experience providing on-demand education for financial traders.

  1. Set mini-deadlines for each part of the course, and strive towards achieving these deadlines. Reward yourself for each milestone accomplished in order to keep yourself motivated.
  2. Have a mechanism of capturing ideas as they occur to you and your teammates throughout the day. This will ensure that no good idea slips through the cracks. Capturing these ideas keeps the creative process running, as well as boosting productivity.
Bottom Line: Setting mini-deadlines, achieving them as well as having an effective method of generating and capturing ideas are sure ways of remaining productive while creating digital courses. - Joe Bailey Click To Tweet

Katriel C. Sarfati

3. Katriel C. Sarfati

~ Katriel is a growth hacker and the Founder of GrowthHaxx.

“Teaching and coaching live in-person and online are two different worlds!

Especially when working from home or the road.

The most instrumental productivity hack was really emphasizing WHY I was going to create content and courses online. Lifestyle and family. - Katriel C. Sarfati Click To Tweet

That helped as I began “drawing out” the kind of day(s) I’d love to create to maximize happiness. If it sounds cheesy, just wait till you try it!

This resulted in setting up weekly goals that I then tackle in daily increments. These goals have helped me take better care of myself, which in turn boosts my creativity and I often knock out a Month’s worth of work in 2 weeks.

One way I boost productivity is with something I call “power hours” (usually 4-hour blocks) where there are no distractions and all income-producing tasks.”

Breanna Gunn

4. Breanna Gunn

~ Breanna is the Founder of Breanna Gunn Enterprises, LLC.

“The biggest productivity tip that I have for anyone launching a course (or relaunching a course) or digital product is to have a realistic timeline.

A typical launch can take anywhere from 8 weeks to 8 months to get a product or course off the ground - and often we try to rush it. - Breanna Gunn Click To Tweet

This leads to frantic actions, crazy energy, and hospitalization (I’ve given myself pneumonia twice launching courses for my clients).

When I decided that a course launch needed to follow a realistic timeline including exactly what to focus on for the launch each week, things became so much easier, everyone became more productive, and we were able to shift from just focusing on the course launch to focusing on business growth – which is a great place to be.”

Syed M. Rizvi

5. Syed M. Rizvi

~ Syed is the Founder of REV MED online medical education platform.

“I have created videos, diagrams, q&a’s and notes that have been an overnight success. What do I owe my success to?

I plan out everything that needs to be thought of for that particular topic. I receive suggestions/comments from students across the world on social media in their weak points for that topic. Then I get over to the drawing board to make it as easily understood as possible. My focus is always on the already existent courses/content that the students are learning from.

I see why it's been hard for students to grasp the topic and then I execute. - Syed M. Rizvi Click To Tweet

I would say what really helps me is to follow a plan of action before making the course available. This includes the following:

  1. Research all relevant courses/educators.
  2. Receive suggestions/concerns from students.
  3. Plan a concise, high yield and thorough coursework. Pictures? Diagram? Too many words? Make it modern and fun!
  4. Have professionals look at it.
  5. Execute and reveal to students.
  6. Receive comments from students.
  7. Go back and make it better!

This is my version of staying productive and successful when designing coursework.”

Joe Staiber6. Joe Staiber

~ Joe is the CEO and Founder of Staiber Consulting, a digital marketing agency out of Philadelphia.

“First and foremost course creation needs to be well thought out prior to beginning the recording process. After building a few courses I realized I was wasting hours and hours of time and constantly needing to create and add new videos to the program due to poor planning.

The best way to stay productive is to know what needs to be done before beginning. I have a whiteboard in my office right next to my filming set where I brainstorm and list in order what lessons need to be filmed. This ensures your course is A-Z and doesn’t skip over any important steps in the process.

Secondly, it is just as important to remain focused, and this is done by building a schedule and holding yourself accountable. Most people try to record 10 lessons in a row, which leads to getting burned out and creating poor quality content.

The best way to stay focused and consistent is to schedule a 2-3 hour time block daily where you sit down and record. - Joe Staiber Click To Tweet

I also like to take it a step further where I even incorporate productivity into the marketing aspect for the course, which states a new video is added every week. This forces me to hold myself accountable as I have angry clients who want a refund if I don’t continue to create content.”

Jacob Landis-Eigsti

7. Jacob Landis-Eigsti

~ Jacob is the Founder of Jacob-Le.com, a marketing consulting company.

“Making consistent progress is key.

Every morning, I wake up early, do a 5-minute workout, and then work on my course for 70-90 minutes. - Jacob Landis-Eigsti Click To Tweet

I don’t check my email and my internet and phone are off (unless they’re crucial to the work that I’m doing). I’m laser-focused for the entire time. Scheduling online course work first thing in the day means that I’m not derailed by incoming calls and emails.

I’ve found it’s useful to start writing, even if it’s hard to find my thoughts and motivation. Once I commit and start writing, within 15-20 minutes I find my way and I get back on track. It’s easy to put off writing if the motivation isn’t there, so free writing helps me stay committed. I also have a calendar where I add a big X for each day where I put in 70-90 minutes on the course. This helps keep me accountable and it feels satisfying hitting my goal of writing every day.”

Leah Remillét

8. Leah Remillét

~ Leah is the Founder of The CEO Kid where she teaches kids how to have their own entrepreneurial adventures. 

“I’ve built several online courses. My first, I sold in 2016, and last year, I launched my newest, The CEO Kid. Here’s my advice:

When creating a course, really think about your ideal customer, then design your course around what would be the easiest way for them to utilize what you have to teach. Don’t worry about how everyone is saying to build a course. Worry about what your future customer needs!

The more you know your ideal customer and put their wants, needs, hopes, dreams, first - the greater your success will be. - Leah Remillét Click To Tweet

The first course I created had no video. My customer was a busy mom trying to learn business, and she didn’t have time to sit down and watch videos, so it was all audio tracks with worksheets. That course brought in 7-figures plus.

My second course is for kids who want to start their own businesses and parents who want their kids to learn timeless success principles. Again, I’m doing things differently. I have the online digital portion (this time with video). Still, I also have a physical product element because now, my target consumer is between the ages of 9 and 14, and the only people who love fun mail more than us adults are kids! Every single part of the courses that I’ve designed are with my target client in mind, and it’s made all the difference.”

Autumn Roadruck

9. Autumn Roadruck

~ Autumn is the Founder of TheStartupSuccess.com and the host of The Startup Success Podcast.

“I use the Pomodoro Technique for time management. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length followed by 2-minute breaks. I personally use the app Forest.  Forest users can earn credits by not using their cell phones and plant real trees around the world with the credits.

Use Calendar Blocking – Calendar blocking is very simple. It’s taking your calendar and using the blocks/events to space out time for all of your routines, work, and social events.

The idea is that EVERYTHING has time & space. There's no open time. Everything is scheduled like a non-negotiable appointment. - Autumn Roadruck Click To Tweet

Stacy Caprio10. Stacy Caprio

~ Stacy is the Founder of Accelerated Growth Marketing.

“I recommend outlining and writing your full course before you film it to stay on track, then you can spend a full day filming and get it done in one day.

Otherwise, you're going to be putzing around wondering what you should be filming. - Stacy Caprio Click To Tweet

It may take several days to get something done that you could have filmed in less than a day had you more clearly written it out beforehand.”

Shawna Newman 11. Shawna Newman

~ Shawna is an Online Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer at Skipblast.

“When I created my course, I started with an outline so that I could stay focused as I worked my way through creating each lesson. And to work through that outline at an easy pace, I used task batching.

I find that batching tasks for the course creation is a great way to knock out things on your list of things to do. - Shawna Newman Click To Tweet

It works great because it breaks up the overwhelming task of creating a course into little bite-size chunks of tasks that are more manageable. Not only does it help prevent that daunting feeling that you’ve got too much to do, but it gives you small wins throughout the process to keep you motivated.”

Nina LaRosa 12. Nina LaRosa

~ Nina works at Moxie Media, a workplace safety, health, and HR online training company based in New Orleans.

“At Moxie Media, we’re always creating new online courses to train employees and working to meet our clients’ evolving training needs. With so many different training materials to create and maintain, we employ a variety of strategies to stay productive. These include the following:

1. Eliminate or limit multitasking.

Many people view multitasking as a necessity and even believe it makes them more efficient and productive. However, research shows this often isn’t the case. Psychologists have found that trying to focus on more than one thing at a time can increase lost time and decrease productivity. Try committing to one single assignment before moving on to the next task.

2. Turn off notifications.

Hearing and seeing your phone notifications can be pretty distracting, not to mention more tempting than the work at hand. Turn your personal phone on Do Not Disturb while at work, so you’re only checking it during breaks. If possible, only check your email in between tasks or at set times during the day, such as every hour on the hour. Also, see if you can have an intern, assistant, or administrative employee take your calls while you’re working and only disrupt you if it’s truly necessary.

3. Get organized.

If you don’t know what you need to work on first—or what you need to work on next—you could be wasting time in between tasks or working in a less productive order.

Consider starting each day by organizing your calendar, planner, or project management tool. - Nina LaRosa Click To Tweet

It’s a great way to switch gears first thing in the morning and help you stay on task throughout the rest of your day.

4. Don’t rely on caffeine.

If you enjoy caffeine in moderation, it can help boost your mental faculties. But too much caffeine can have the opposite effect and actually decrease productivity. Many of us also rely on caffeine because we aren’t getting the natural energy we need from staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep. Instead, invest in healthier habits to keep you energized and productive at work.”

Chris Delaney

13. Chris Delaney

~ Chris is an author, coach, and trainer at Christopher-Delaney.com.

“When creating courses, which is often a long process, I split the course elements into different segments.

For each segment, I have an idea stage, creation section and editing process.

Splitting the elements up is highly motivational and improves productivity as the type of task keeps changing throughout the course creation process. - Chris Delaney Click To Tweet

This is the same for the type of material I create; ebook, video, etc. I rarely create all the videos in on go instead I mix them in between creating the ebook.”

Margot Waldrop14. Margo Waldrop

~ Margo is a Content Strategist and Copywriter at The Word Bar who helps course creators write better conversion copy for their courses and sales pages.

“I learned early on that many course creators get tripped up in writing conversion copy that speaks directly to the potential customer.

In other words, they speak to a broad target audience instead of sub-grouping down to the absolute, perfect customer. - Margo Waldrop Click To Tweet

So, that is where I start building my courses – in the mind of the perfect client. This helps me stay productive and focused because I’m not starting from a wide pool of content. I can reverse engineer how the course needs to be written and structured.

Starting small and then moving up the content chain is such a great method for streamlining your production process. It isn’t so overwhelming, and gives you motivation and understanding of what copy will hit your customer squarely on the nose.”

Billy Bross

15. Billy Bross

~ Billy is the Founder of BillyBross.com.

“My biggest boost in productivity came when I hired a virtual assistant. I was able to delegate many of the tasks I was doing and free up more time for me to focus on the things in my “zone of genius.”

My assistant now helps me with creating a program curriculum, providing customer support, and even helps me with FB Ads management. - Billy Bross Click To Tweet

It’s been a game-changer in terms of growing my programs (while allowing me to keep my sanity in the process).”

Jon Nastor

16. Jon Nastor

~ Jon is the founder of Hack the Entrepreneur where he helps companies scale their organic traffic and sales with SEO. His podcast has received 5.8 million downloads since its launch in 2014.

“When creating, I stay focused by avoiding overwhelm.

Procrastination comes from being overwhelmed, and large projects like online courses tend to be overwhelming in their scope. - Jon Nastor Click To Tweet

When creating an online course, we need to break the overall large project down to smaller, more manageable pieces and then focus on one piece at a time.”

Benjamin Houy

17. Benjamin Houy

~ Benjamin is the founder of French Together, a French-language education company that helps English speakers learn the 20% of French needed to understand 80% of everyday conversations.

“My favorite technique to stay productive and get work done when creating a course is to use a work journal.

Every day, I write down 3 things I would like to achieve including one priority task. I then put a Pomodoro timer for 25 minutes and work exclusively on this task. I then do a small break and start again.

Having a clear task and a timer helps me stay focused and make progress with the course creation process. - Benjamin Houy Click To Tweet

Kristin Marquet

18. Kristin Marquet

~ Kristin is the Founder & Creative Director of Marquet-Media.com and FemFounder.co.

“I’ve created the PR Academy course for entrepreneurs who want to learn the PR game. My best way to stay focused is to carve out a few hours every week to dedicate to creating and marketing all of my course content. I spend two to three hours every week on my course business. I plan out each course creation and launch strategy four months ahead of time to ensure I can meet my launch and financial goals.

Each piece of the course and launch strategy is mapped out on a whiteboard in my office so I see if staring in my face day-after-day. - Kristin Marquet Click To Tweet

Dee Clayton

19. Dee Clayton

~ Dee is the Managing Director of Simply Amazing Training & 2x Amazon best selling author on communicating.

“I’m a big fan of the 20:80 rule and I buy into the idea that 20% of what I do will make 80% of the difference. But it is easier said than done because like many people I want to do everything well (but that is not time efficient and ends up with lots left undone!).

When I’m working on a project I can easily lose track of time so once I’ve planned what I’m doing I set myself a 45-minute timer and then take a break. I also get to stop and assess where I am after that time.

Am I still working on the 20% or am I working on 'getting it perfect' and I ask myself is that a good use of my time? - Dee Clayton Click To Tweet

Sometimes it is and mostly it’s not so I move on to the next 20% task!”

Kelly Nolan

20. Kelly Nolan

~ Kelly is the founder of Kelly Nolan, LLC where she is a time management strategist and a course creator.

“I’m currently building a course on time management for entrepreneurs. To make sure I drive progress and don’t get stuck in the land of perfectionism, I picked a realistic launch date and then backed out the phases needed to meet that launch date.

For example, I planned when I needed to finish editing my course lessons, when I needed to finish recording the lessons, and therefore when I needed to have the slides completed.

All of these deadlines and phases went into my Google Calendar under my “Work Tasks” sub-calendar. I love sub-calendars because you can click the “on” and “off” into view, so I can organize a lot of information in one place (my calendar) without unduly cluttering it up.

I’ve also blocked time in my calendar to complete each phase.

By default, I've blocked three 3-hour blocks of time each week to work on the course, and I expand or contract these windows depending on what I need to get done and client work. - Kelly Nolan Click To Tweet

For me, making progress on my course mainly comes down to finding and protecting time for it while also making space for my clients, my mom life, and my need for downtime.”

Vishal Srivastava21. Vishal Srivastava

~ Vishal is a B2B marketing consultant, trainer, and the Founder of TrainEdge. He offers courses on Udemy as well as TrainEdge.co.in. 

“Creating courses requires a lot of effort and time. So I break up the course creation into short sprints. It keeps me motivated as every day I achieve a small goal. Breaking it up also makes a big project look small.

I use a speech to text converter to speed up writing. This allows me to dictate the content/video script whenever I have free time during the day or come up with a new idea to include in the course. I always record videos for a section in one go, usually during the early morning.

It's easier to record videos in the morning when I have more energy and then edit them through the day. The videos are always edited the same day I record it. - Vishal Srivastava Click To Tweet

I have a virtual assistant who loads my courses on the platform because its time consuming and I feel my time is better spent on creating and promoting the courses.”

Alexis Haselberger

22. Alexis Haselberger

~ Alexis is the Founder of Alexis Haselberger Coaching where she is a Productivity, Time Management, and Leadership Coach.

“I use a task management app for all my tasks (personally, I use Podio for my business).  It’s important to get everything out of your head so that you can prioritize.

The more you can offload the stuff you have to do out of your brain and into a system you can access, the more of your brain is available to focus on the task at hand and the more productive you'll be. - Alexis Haselberger Click To Tweet

I also time-block out my days on my calendar by doing a realistic assessment of my tasks to the time I have available.  Blocking out what I do and how long I anticipate it to take on my calendar keeps me on track and helps me to be realistic about deadlines.

take regular breaks.  Studies show that breaks of any length increase productivity and creativity.  If you don’t take regular breaks, you risk burnout.  When I’m stuck on a creative problem, or my attention starts to lag, I find it helpful to take an intentional 10 to 15-minute break.  For me, a quick walk or reading an article really resets my brain to get back into productive mode.”

Mike Zima23. Mike Zima

~ Mike is the Chief Growth Officer of Zima Media, an eCommerce digital marketing agency.

“It took me two years to finish my first course. Here’s what I learned about creating a course geared at freelancers thinking about going Fiverr Pro. Here are my steps to launching a course keeping productivity in mind:

  1. Free or paid? With free content, concentrate on the right platform or, better yet, go with YouTube.
  2. Have a strong outline. Where I failed was trying to make my course match a popular blog post on my website. The course was a natural continuation of the blog post, but the text is not always equal to video screen recordings.
  3. When doing screen recordings, pause when you make a mistake. Start over and edit the errors out of your recording.
  4. Create a simple introduction, make sure to include templates and deliverables, and finally, ask for their opinion or questions to create a comprehensive FAQ.
Instead of remaking the course every time a new idea comes up, building a useful FAQ resource can help make the course more evergreen. - Mike Zima Click To Tweet

Take these results into future improvements and updates.”

Marija Kojic

24. Marija Kojic

~ Marija is a former English language tutor who currently works as a Productivity Writer and Researcher at Clockify.

“The most important thing you need to remember when creating a course is that specific is always better than general.

You’ll make a more efficient, more interesting, and more alluring lesson people will want and be able to partake in if you focus on one key subject at a time. - Marija Kojic Click To Tweet

For example, I was focused on teaching children how to recognize stylistic devices in English literature, for which I often used popular books I knew kids would enjoy analyzing, such as “Harry Potter”.

Each lesson was focused on one stylistic device at a time – and their close counterparts and complete opposites. For example, I’d teach metaphors, and then contrast them with analogies and similes in the same lesson, with specific examples. Or, I’d teach climaxes and anticlimaxes together, to help children understand both by observing the stark contrast between the two.

After every 5 lessons, we’d take one entire lesson to revise all the previously learned stylistic devices. The trick to me staying productive while crafting each lesson – I thoroughly enjoyed the approach I’d pick so I had no problem focusing on work.

And that’s my main productivity advice – if you have the chance to choose your topics and the way you’ll present them (such as teaching stylistic devices through popular books), make sure you do. Always think about what and how you’d like to teach as much as what and how people would like to learn.”

Beth Bridges

25. Beth Bridges

~ Beth is the Founder of The Networking Motivator.

“There are two keys to staying productive in creating courses and digital training. First, connecting with peers and people who are also course creators is vital. I’m inspired when they produce something new and we share ideas and knowledge so that everyone is more efficient.

Second, I work with large chunks of time. Small steps are fine if you’ve got small tasks like follow-up or checking stats.

Anything that is creative or that is producing, editing or developing content should be done in big segments of time, ideally 2 to 4 hours. - Beth Bridges Click To Tweet

Otherwise, you’re never able to get into the flow state which is where so much of my best work is done.”

Dr. Allana Da Graca26. Dr. Allana Da Graca

~ Allana is a Part-Time Lecturer for the College of Professional Studies at Northeastern University and Founder of DrAllanaDaGracaa.com.

“As an SME in Social Media Content creation and digital course creator, I am not alone when I think about the feelings of being:

  1. Overwhelmed about creating a new digital course.
  2. Bedazzled about how to organize each milestone.
  3. Too picky around the sequencing of a marketing funnel.
The only way I can balance this is by getting still. I turn off all forms of social media, opt-ins and more so that the only update I am getting is one from within. - Dr. Allana Da Graca Click To Tweet

In this process, I am still actively working because I mind map what I would like my course outcomes to produce.

Is the goal to build more engagement or to lead the client to make a purchase after a series of lessons? It is important that with so much content out there that I remain true to myself. The other technique I use is to look at some influencers that I am motivated by to allow me to ponder on a certain aspect of my course a bit further.”

Shaan Patel27. Shaan Patel

~ Shaan is the Founder and CEO of Prep Expert which provides SAT & ACT prep courses.

“One of the best productivity tips I’ve used when putting together a course is scheduling my day out by lesson chunks. Because of my hectic schedule, my filming time is usually quite limited.

Therefore, once I have a new course’s framework and content plotted out, I’ll break it down into the necessary amount of sessions. Once that’s set, I’ll book myself usually 2-3 days of straight filming time, and work through lessons a third at a time.

This way I can keep my energy up and keep the presentation quality up, without risking burn out.

Once the day's segments are handled, I'm done. I won't work ahead for the next day. - Shaan Patel Click To Tweet

Leaving that hard cut off is my mental award for staying consistently productive during that day’s work.”

Rosann Santos

28. Rosann Santos

~ Rosann is a certified Gallups Strengths Coach and Bilingual Academic Keynote Speaker. You can learn more about her from RosannSantos.com.

“The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. By using collaborative tools such as Google Docs, DropBox, Zoom, and others I am able to structure my projects into bite-sized sections of work tasks organized into bulleted lists.

My team and I impose deadlines on one another in order to keep a sense of urgency among us, and to keep ourselves honest with our progress. - Rosann Santos Click To Tweet

Emily Mahr29. Emily Mahr

~ Emily is the founder of EmilyMahr.com where she teaches digital entrepreneurs how to build a better business on a solid foundation, using plans, processes, & templates.

“As a course creator and digital business consultant, I teach my clients how to stay productive by outlining my productivity into a daily plan. I have an overall plan of how I want the end result to look, and then break that into what steps, actions, or benchmarks I need to have in place, working backward from the result toward where I am today.

It often looks a bit like a post-it note explosion at first, but once all of the actions I need to take are written down and placed on the timeline, I know what I need to do today to start tomorrow’s activities on time. - Emily Mahr Click To Tweet

Adjusting along the way, and giving oneself grace, is also necessary if timelines aren’t met as expected.”

Justin Butlion 30. Justin Butlion

~ Justin is the founder of ProjectBI, an education site for analysts, ops specialists, and entrepreneurs.

“Use a tool like Notion or Asana for planning and task management – I’ve been using these tools for a while and they are amazing for putting systems and order in place. I have a list of daily tasks that I duplicate each day and use Zapier to schedule recurring tasks in Asana.

Focus on systems rather than goals - Focus on getting your environment and routine optimized before you set goals. - Justin Butlion Click To Tweet

You want to get into the habit of getting work done before putting goals in place. If you can’t be productive and become consistent then you will fail at your goals and be stuck in a negative cycle. I’ve focused on this since the start of the year and I’m significantly more focused and productive.

My goal each day is to leave the apartment and get to my coffee shop where I work. I’ve eliminated decision making altogether, all I need to do is get to the coffee shop and the rest falls into place. James Clear talks about habit stacking and by getting to the coffee shop I manage to leverage this concept for a ton of productivity.

Aim to finish your first online course in a single night – This is what I did and it was great for learning the process and preventing paralysis from analysis. The quality of the course will be low but you will learn a lot and can go back and optimize it at a later stage.”

Ana Casic

31. Ana Casic

~ Ana is the Media Relations at TalentLMS, an online platform for training teams and employees. You can find her on LinkedIn here

“Create productivity triggers

Use classical conditioning to ‘program’ yourself to be automatically productive when a specific event occurs. It can be putting on your headphones and listening to the same song or playlist, having the same beverage, working from the specific place, or launching an app or website.

Create your productivity system

Don’t rely on your memory to stay on top of tasks.

Create an organized system to capture everything you need to do. - Ana Casic Click To Tweet

Use a digital to-do list to have all you need to do in an organized space.”

Gloria Pierre32. Gloria Pierre

~ Gloria is an Author, Speaker, Presenter, and Coach at Clearly Speaking where she helps people speak more clearly.

“I’ve been creating and presenting accent reduction courses for 15 years and I am now developing my first online course. Here’s how I stay focused and productive:

I start with 2 questions: What would the learner be able to do at the end of my course?  What is my ‘why’ for creating this course?

My reason for creating this course is to help people who speak English as a second language to be easily heard and understood every time they speak, to feel more confident and get better-paying jobs. These are the benefits my clients have been getting for 15 years. This keeps me focused, productive and motivated.

I assess each spoonful of information I am considering towards the objective and imagine how it could be converted to activities, audios or videos and be easy for the learner to understand and use in real-world applications. - Gloria… Click To Tweet

Also knowing who my training is for gives me a sense of urgency to stay focused and productive.”

Suzanne Brown

33. Suzanne Brown

~ Suzanne is a work-life balance speaker, strategist, and bestselling and 4-time award-winning author as well as a marketing and business consultant at MomPowerment.com.

“Plan out your week on Sunday to set your goals and priorities for each day and then plan each night for the next day. It will take about 15-20 minutes on Sunday and 10-15 minutes each night. That way you know your goals and priorities and can keep in mind any things that might take up time (e.g., in-person meetings with clients, conferences, etc). And you’re better able to adjust and reprioritize when (not if) new information comes your way.

Break all your big goals into smaller bites. It’s not about creating a new course. It’s about creating the content for one module or writing the email to share this new course with your audience. That makes everything more doable and helps you build momentum as you cross things off your list.

Use your peak productivity to tackle your most challenging task(s).

Your peak productivity, the time in your day when you're naturally most productive, should be used for working on your biggest challenges and most strategic work. - Suzanne Brown Click To Tweet

It’s when you’re at your best, so don’t use this time to check off a bunch of things on your to-do list. If you’re not sure when this is in your day, consider when you naturally hit your groove. Clear meetings from your calendar on two typical days and see when this happens. That is when you’re in your peak productivity.”

Tina Dahmen

34. Tina Dahmen

~ Tina Dahmen helps business owners monetize their online presence in a more passive way at TinaDahmen.com.

“Here are my five productivity tips …

1. Work in Batches

The best way for me to stay focused and productive while creating online courses is to work in batches.

Plan out all your steps and into different categories and work through each category in batches. - Tina Dahmen Click To Tweet

For example, once you start filming, don’t film only 1 or 2 lectures and then start writing the script for the next videos. No, write all the scripts for all videos in one go until you are done. Don’t start the next task before you aren’t done with this. When you are filming, film all your videos until you are done, when you start editing, edit all the videos in one go. This is the most important advice I can give anyone – approaching your work systematically like this is the only way how you get things done the right way and in a timely manner.

2. Have a Plan & Stick to It

To stay focused on your project, make sure you have a plan, and you stick with it as well. While you are planning your lectures, you will have more ideas as you go along. Write them all down in your scripts and organize them properly before recording anything. This brainstorming session can easily get out of control. Set yourself a goal on how many lectures you would like to film and how many hours the entire course should be. The subtopics you could add to your main course topic are endless. Don’t overwhelm yourself and stick to your plan (e.g. 3 hours course in total, or 40 lessons in total, etc.) Only start filming once done with your strategic planning.

3. Repurpose Content

Repurpose your content. Your audience consists of different types of learners. There are visual learners, aural learners or verbal learners included in your audience. Not everyone consumes content in the same way. You have most likely already really great written content somewhere which you can repurpose in your online course and serve more people on a visual level. Maybe you have written an ebook before about the same topic, maybe you have written several blog posts, or have talked about it on social media or on any podcast. Take this content and add it to your course outline.

4. Plan for Smooth Transitions

If you still have lots of ideas while you are filming, that means you haven’t brainstormed enough before you got started. So make sure that before you start the video work, you know exactly what you will be talking about, and when. It’s important to introduce the next lecture at the end of each video to keep the viewer engaged and to make smooth transitions.

5. Pre-Sell Your Course

Pre-sell your course before you have even created it doesn’t only validate your idea, it also puts you under pressure. This is a really good method for delivering on time and sticking to your deadlines and launch in a timely manner. If you have already clients waiting for your product and they have paid you already, the pressure is on. Who wants to take other people’s money and not deliver? Not me and not you!”

April Beach

35. April Beach

~ April is the Founder of the SweetLife Podcast and SweetLife Co where she helps women build a strategic business.

Once you proceed to build your course and sustain it, it can be hard to stay productive, focused and moving forward. Here are some essential tips that our clients use to stay the course (literally).


  • Use a weekly “block calendar” strategy. Group similar work together and bundle it into collective days.
  • Protect your content creation time. I recommend doing this is always early in the week when your mind is fresh and you have yet to be infiltrated with other business and life demands. This is when you’ll produce your best work.
  • Batch record your videos. Videos can seem daunting for course creators but when you batch them into your block calendar, you’ll push through and stay on track.. Tip: Schedule time in your block calendar to determine your video recording software and tools.


Go workout. Seriously. Exercise in the morning before sitting down to work on your course (or business). - April Beach Click To Tweet
  • You will think clearly, be more productive, and your confidence level will naturally rise which is important for entrepreneur success.


  • Use Dropbox or similar to organize your course content. Create folders, subfolders, and very specific folder levels to impeccably organize and for safe-keeping. With the addition of Dropbox Paper, this provides an ideal online organization to create content and organize your work. You don’t have time to hunt things down.


  • Follow your outline. You WILL think of new ideas to add to your course, but stick to the original plan first or you’ll get completely derailed.
  • For new ideas, create an “ideas” folder where you’ll place all new thoughts and schedule a time on your weekly block calendar (mentioned above) to revisit them.”

Karen Harrington36. Martin & Karen Harrington

~ Martin is the Director of Beauty Courses Online where people can start a career in the beauty industry.

“As we grew over the years, we found we got behind on new course and content creation as we had more and more work servicing current students. We did 2 things to get back on track.

First, we set days aside for the key staff working on new courses to focus solely on course creation. - Martin & Karen Harrington Click To Tweet

And second, as we have multiple staff working on courses at once who can’t all focus on them at the same time, we use a few online tools, primarily Trello, to plan out and organize our course creation.”


With these productivity hacks, you can be sure you’re staying as productive and on task as possible.

As you already know, there’s a lot involved with course creation. You’ll want to give your business the best chance at success as possible. This means you need to stay productive.

So, what do you think of these productivity tips? Do you have any of your own that you’d like to share in the comments below?

Lisa Parmley
Lisa Parmley

Lisa Parmley is the founder of coursemethod.com. After gaining a Master's degree, she worked in research for about seven years. She started a training company in 2001, offering a course helping people pass a professional exam. That course has earned multiple 7 figures. She created SEO and authority site building training around 2007 which went on to earn well into the 6-figure mark.

She has 22+ years of experience in the trenches creating and selling online courses. Get help starting and growing your online course business here.

Grow faster with free step-by-step training for online course founders.

Access Course Method Pro progress tracking and Strategic Planners
+ gain inspiration from successful course creators in weekly emails.

Unsubscribe at any time.