Friday, 23 June
Today's Topic
Time Management

Skill

Never be that person at a cocktail party who proudly spouts that you’re working like a dog (sorry, dogs). Whoever said, "Work smart, not hard," got it right. Be that person…the smart worker.

This is your third straight Friday working on time management, so it’s appropriate to acknowledge the growling lion in the room: TM exercises can be jarring. The revelation of where you spend time can cause any seller to roll up in a ball and head to a corner. "I’m selling…I’m successful, but my productivity is lame-o."

But think of how much more productive you can be! The TOP 10% enthusiastically engage in TM exercises because they know the ultimate competition is time. Throughout the day, you must constantly ask yourself, "Do I need to be doing this right now?" (and, "Do I need to be doing this at all…ever?")

The ultimate question is, "What is the best use of my time?"

Over the last two Fridays, you’ve been charting time to create an accurate view of your time spent. Good! That’s the most crucial step in becoming more thoughtful about what you’re doing, day in and day out.

When tallying your time-spent numbers, convert the hours into percentages for each category bucket. Holding up a sheet declaring you’re working 90 hours a week is not something to be proud of, nor is it the point of this exercise. (Also, you don’t want to be someone at a cocktail party who sings that song. Just sayin’.) Percentages against time categories allow you to determine if you’re spending the right amount on functions that matter. For example, more than 2-3% or so of time spent on "administrative duties" probably means you need admin assistance. Yet, less than ~15-20% of your time against "prospecting" is too little for that important function of your role.

Ultimately, you’ll want to collaborate with your manager on what feels suitable for your time allocation. Functions may vary from week to week, of course, but you and your manager should be discussing trends and ways to become more efficient.

Do

The time management exercises you’re working on will get the best results when you confer with your manager. While you’ll soon emerge a TM expert, your manager may also have some good ideas for you.

The devil lives in the details, so today, review your time-tracker data (again). Before you physically change how you spend time, you must understand what needs changing the most.

You’ve worked on your time tracker a lot, but a thorough review is needed to ensure you’ll benefit from your investment. First, review the categories. Are they labeled correctly and accurately cluster the large buckets of where you spend your time? Next, do the time percentages in each bucket look somewhat accurate? Finally, have you correctly allocated each bucket into the "essential" and "non-essential" sections?

If all checks out, you can start making conclusions and changing behaviors.

You’ve thoroughly reviewed your time tracker, and you can see obvious ways you can change where your time goes. Excellent. So that means it’s now time to collaborate with your manager.

Most likely, you are now more intelligent about TM than your manager, but it’s always wise to get them on board when you’re about to refocus attention. TM exercises don’t just yield personal efficiency rewards; they create tighter communication bonds that pull you and your manager together. By sharing your time tracker work and conclusions with your manager, s/he is forced to become more supportive of you and your new time strategy.

Most managers don’t coach their sellers through your TM exercises, but they can help you become more efficient. How will your manager know you’re wrestling with your CRM for 12 hours a week unless you share that info? Like you, your manager wants you out on the street seeing customers, not stuck behind your screen bogged down with data entry tasks.

If your manager is worth their weight, they’ll be the first to say at 5.15 pm, "Hey, isn’t there a yoga class you want to attend soon?" So they know you’ll be back taking care of business after those cathartic warrior poses!

Tomorrow - June 20

"Buyer, I object to your stupid objection."

Today - June 19

Didn't we JUST have a weekly sales meeting last week???

Read More

June 18

Q2 account reviews that make your mgr smile.

Read More

June 17

Whadya mean, you're not killing it right now?

Read More

"It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?" Henry David Thoreau

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