Productivity Pearls of Wisdom

My heart is for people who have fallen through the cracks.

~Beth Underwood

The person featured in this installment of the #ProductivitySuperheroes series is most assuredly productive, but soars even higher in the superhero department.  Meet Beth Underwood, President at Ancla Seguros y Servicios


Beth is an insurance professional who owned an Allstate business for 17 years.  When an opportunity arose to purchase an agency that specialized in Latino clients, Beth was inspired to create a company that could effectively address the unique needs of a multicultural clientele.   Ancla Seguros y Servicios provides education and guidance for non-English speaking people who need to navigate the waters of insurance.  It’s pretty cool what she does.


In addition to running a complex business, she is an active community volunteer and mother of two children she adopted at older ages.  She exercises regularly, attends church, and loves to hike.  The superhero part is starting to make more sense, huh?


So how does she do it?


Here are some productivity pearls of wisdom from Beth Underwood:
  • Show perseverance, diligence, and tenacity. Love what you do and believe in it fully even if no one else does.  You can never waiver.
  • Prioritize. This must be done daily.
  • Set goals. Make sure you have short-, medium-, and long-term goals in front of you at all times.  Get your goals out of your head and put them to paper.
  • Minimize distractions. Set aside time to process email, return phone calls, plan, and prioritize.  It’s okay to ask your team to help you remain uninterrupted.
  • Work email at certain times of the day. Work your email three times per day:  early morning, early afternoon, and once after the business closes.  Beth receives 200 emails per day.  Melissa’s note:  If Beth can do this, so can you, my friend.
  • Avoid multitasking. Although there is always a temptation to do many things at once, remain focused on the task in front of you.
  • Stay calm. Even in a hectic and high-energy environment, pause before speaking.  Inhale in for five seconds, hold your breath for five seconds, and breathe out for five seconds.  Beth calls this “sniper breathing.”  I’ll just leave that sniper statement out there for you to draw your own conclusions…
  • Keep things in perspective. Remember to ask two questions:  (1) “What is the very worst thing that could happen?” and (2) “What is the chance that it could actually happen?”
  • Avoid procrastination. The thing that you dread the most is the thing you should do first.  It is so much better to get it done.


Bravo Beth.  That’s really all I’ve got to say.

Well, not really.  You know me better than that.


It is important to note that Beth made it very clear to me during the interview that she does not do everything perfectly.  There are days she struggles with procrastinating time-consuming tasks and multitasking.  As I’ve said many times…


Perfection is not possible nor is it productive.  (tweet this)


But, Beth Underwood has mitigated a lot of entrepreneurial risk by being diligent with her productivity practices.    Her effectiveness is especially impressive considering the very first statement she made in our interview:  “Starting up a business from scratch has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life.”


So, here’s the takeaway:  Don’t give up.  Don’t give up on yourself, your current situation, or your future dreams.  Change your mindset where needed.  Learn new skills to help you achieve your goals, and hey, contact me if I can help.


This article is a part of my #ProductivitySuperheroes series where I profile people who are exceptional at managing their time, tasks, information and/or life in general.  Special thanks to Dory George of HR Biz Solutions for nominating Beth for this article.  If you’d like to nominate yourself or someone you admire, please email


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Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.


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