Maximum Productivity | Tracy Hazzard | Take Back Time with Penny Zenker


Organized Process: The Key to Maximum Productivity With Tracy Hazzard From the Take Back Time Podcast with Penny Zenker

For many people, it has become extremely difficult to separate our professional and personal lives. These two get so entangled because we forget to create structure in the way we do things. We take too much time on our work and easily forget spending time with ourselves and our loved ones and vice versa. If you are caught in this problem, then what you need is an organized process—the key to maximum productivity. Tracy Hazzard sits down for Penny Zenker’s Take Back Time Podcast to share her best practices and processes in both areas of her life that help her maintain that work-life balance and enjoy them both at the same time. She shares how these structures have helped her scale her company, Podetize, and how her team maintains that high level of productivity. Follow Tracy in this episode as she spills some of her productivity hacks that helped her keep the composure she has in leading her life to success.

Listen to the podcast here

I do believe that resistance is what’s in our way and the obstacle is the most important thing to get through when you want to be more productive. Whether it’s your own resistance and procrastination or someone else’s. How do you go about getting that buy-in? 

You’re right. Self-resistance is sometimes the worst in the process. You don’t always look at that introspectively and you don’t always think about that, so that’s one’s harder in the process. That’s where you get to this place of you keep doing these things day in and day out and they’re stressing you out, but you’re not looking at them going, “We could do this differently.”

When people are excited, products and services sell. #TakeBackTime #PennyZenker #podcastinterview Share on X

Sometimes I have to step in. My oldest daughter is my Operations Manager. She’s fantastic and a great systems person. She builds fantastic systems, but she doesn’t have quite that creative mindset. Sometimes I’ll have to say, “Why are we doing this? Isn’t there a way?” She’ll say, “The software doesn’t let us do that. There’s this restriction here.” I would say, “Could we hack that and could we do this instead?” She’d be like, “How did you think that up? Yes, I can do that,” and she’s off and running and things are moving again. Sometimes we need to have that discussion between two people and a group. Imagine that.

Can I chat with them and text them?

Maximum Productivity | Tracy Hazzard | Take Back Time with Penny Zenker

Maximum Productivity: Self-resistance is sometimes the worst in the process. You don’t always look at that introspectively.


No, it has to be live and it has to be dialogue. That’s how buy-in happens. We did a lot of FaceTime when we went over to China. We would be in with the factory beyond the floor. They’d have to talk to us about the problem. They’d have to show it to us. There’s not a lot of hiding they can do and their resistance starts to fall away. In the process, our excitement about something or if we’re expressing what the end goal is and the result of how much better their daily process, workload, and all of these things are going to be, that’s how buy-in happens. The other thing is people want to be heard.

One of the things that you have to do in that process and that is the one thing that I do at the beginning before I start telling them what we’re going to do because at some point, you will have to go in and tell them what they’re going to do. Before that, you have to listen to their issues. I usually ask them a lot of questions about what’s not working or what is working? Why do you want to keep making the same product? Why do you want to keep doing this the same way? What would it look like if it was ideal for you? Walking through those with them, they feel that they’ve had input into the process. A lot of times, for me, I don’t know how to make everything.

Your ability to be efficient in your personal life is essential to your sanity. #TakeBackTime #PennyZenker #podcastinterview Share on X

I have a lot of experience making products. We’ve done 250 products. There isn’t a material or machine I haven’t touched, but I don’t know it like someone who’s on the line running it. They may have great ideas that might make it easier for me to design or make something that I’m doing. My ability to listen there and us having the ability to collaborate will make a better product. At the end of the day, what I found is this makes products that are more efficient, profitable, more buy-in happens and more excitement happens in the process. When people are excited, products and services sell. You’re proud of them, you tell everybody.

Now, let’s hear about some of your personal side of things.  What are your hacks, shortcuts, and tools? If your machine was wiped, what would be the first things that you would install? 

The thing is, I have a busy personal life too. I’ve got two young kids, a puppy, and I’ve got a whole family to take care of. We work out of our home office even though we have this many employees because we have offices that are remote. I have to be at different time zones too. My ability to be efficient in my personal life is essential to my sanity. Otherwise, I don’t get downtime. I don’t get to read a book or do the things I love.

Sanity must be important to you because you do something about it, whereas for some people, not so much. 

It is important to me because if I don’t operate a top-level, my team will not have the resources that they need. I won’t be able to bring in capital and I won’t be able to do the things that are necessary to keep my company floating. Nothing sustainable in the process if I’m not. I look at that as a job. It’s important. It’s critical for me to separate my personal stuff in place. A lot of times, we let them go. We’re like, “I’ll skip it. I won’t read or do this.” We skip these things. I have a team but what I found over time is if I don’t read a lot of resources, if I don’t listen to a bunch of podcasts, go through all these things or check social media periodically myself I don’t understand what’s going on in the world.

Maximum Productivity | Tracy Hazzard | Take Back Time with Penny Zenker

Maximum Productivity: Productivity is the thing that gives you freedom on the other side that helps you do the things you love and not be burdened with the stress all the time.


I don’t understand what’s happening around me. How my families are doing, that I check in with my mom. I don’t see what’s going on. I got a phone call out of the blue from my aunt and I had been checking all over the place for her. I knew her husband was going into some extended care and with everything that’s going on, she found out that day that she couldn’t visit him. No outside visitors were going to be allowed in the care facilities. She was worried. I was grateful that she picked up the phone to call me because I couldn’t see that from what was going on social because she was posting nice little sweet things. Sometimes we have to read between the lines and check in on people and do things. I have a process by which I do that periodically.

I’m always checking in with family members over the course of a week and I rotate it. My grandmother did this, my Nan. She used to call me once a week. She always called. She would say, “It’s Nan. How are you doing? Okay, good,” and she’d hang up and I’d be like, “Nan, this phone call doesn’t cost like it used to anymore. I can talk to you for longer.” It was her efficient way to try and touch base to make sure you were okay. I got me into this place of where I felt like if I didn’t touch base with those types of family members, my mom, dad, sister, and all those people every single week, I wasn’t getting a real sense of how they’re about what’s going on in my family and my community.

That’s essential and that requires sometimes I text and sometimes I pick up the phone. It depends on what I’m getting back. I try to respond with the way that they want to be connected to. My sister is a busy executive. If I text her, touch base with her and she doesn’t send back a funny GIF or a video, pictures of her dog or something like that, I know something’s up. A day later, I’ll pick up the phone. I know something’s not going right. She’s stressed or something’s going on. That’s a process of connection that I’ve put into my day, even though it sounds like, “Why would you do that? That takes much extra time. If people don’t need you, wait until they call you.” That’s different but it’s intentional.

Watch the episode here:

Maximum Productivity | Tracy Hazzard | Take Back Time with Penny ZenkerTake Back Time
Penny Zenker