Friday, 9 June
Today's Topic
Time Management

Skill

It’s unhealthy to regularly announce, "I’m so busy, I’m so swamped." (And lame.) It’s an admission you’re losing the battle to control your calendar. It’s high time you regain control of time.

Usually, the phrase time management makes the mice scurry for the cracks! ("Don’t you start judging how I spend my time!!) Drop the gloves…open your mind: TM is not a judgment game, it’s a productivity game.

The TOP 10% know the key to maximize time is based on three principles: understand where you spend your time, build a disciplined scheduling system, and set and manage goals. If your time spent is not aligned with specific goals, you’ll continue feeling pushed and pulled and, ultimately, a time martyr! Learning where your time goes informs future decisions about how you spend it. This is why you’ll work on controlling your time today and the next two Fridays.

What better day than Friday to discuss how you generally spend your time? The conditions are perfect: you’re exhausted and have seventy-nine things to do before 6 pm when you promised your sib you’d go shopping for clown suits for your nephew’s 7th birthday party.

But hold on, Fridays are best for TM work because you’re more apt to remember what you did during the week.

You know the clock – and not competitors – represents your biggest challenge. The ideal state is to get to where you function in a highly productive mode…and feel productive too! This is why you must buy into a TM protocol to understand where you’re spending your time.

Tough love warning: don’t adopt the bad habit of blaming the violent whiplashes of your week for making you feel out of control and unproductive. (Martyrdom doesn’t belong here.)

Yes, your job violently spins you around like the Big Dipper (the roller coaster with four overhead swirls and two 300-foot drops). Get in line. You’ll never hit your numbers and score those big commish checks you want if you don’t manage your time; the first hurdle you face is to bypass the feeling of being judged.

Every seller on the planet has an upside regarding productivity and efficiency. The difference is you’re doing something about it by opening your calendar and mind to an appraisal process that will lead to productivity gains.

Wouldn’t it be great to arrive 20 minutes early to meet your sib later this afternoon instead of 20 minutes late? Where are those 40 minutes going to come from?

Do

Nobody enjoys punching the clock, eh? But if you don’t track your time, you’ll never understand how to regain control of your calendar. Or, keep losing the battle and feel time-starved.

Create a personal time tracker that summarizes where you spent your time this past week.

Open a new sheet, and in the A column, write category names like "prospecting," "client meetings," "internal meetings," "proposal building," etc. List as many categories – or time buckets – that generally represent your time spent.

Next, review your calendar from the week and insert your time spent in the B column next to the bucket names. For example, prospecting: 5%; internal meetings: 12%. (Use percentages and not hours – there’s no pride in being able to shout, "I worked 80 hours this week!") Focus on allocations, not aggregate hours. Nail this step, and we’ll build on it next Friday.

What’s that? …today you want to clean your sock drawer because you know it’s more fun than working on time management? HA….good one. Do you have time to work on your socks? (Touche…eh?)

Today, make sure you have some clean socks on because you’ll put your foot down to no more unproductive feelings at week’s end. (Ugh. Bad one.)

Working on your time tracker is a gift to yourself…the revelations will astound you and may hurt too. ("I spent how much time doing THAT this week?"). Make sure the time buckets – categories – are running down your A column, recheck once more to make sure you’ve generally captured all you worked at this week. List as many time buckets you can think of, from "prospecting" to "pitch meetings" and even "administrative." Don’t worry too much about the titles of the categories – you will edit them going forward as you learn more about where your time is going.

The hardest part of the exercise is next because you’ll need to add categories for activities you deem UNproductive. "Social distractions" might be a category you use, or "black holes,"…which describes when you wander from a serious work project and find that you just bought new patio furniture on eBay. (Again, don’t fret, it happens to everyone.)

Today’s work dynamic means we don’t work in a linear way; sometimes we break off at 4pm and then start it up again at 8pm working into the night when the house is quiet. Be honest about the time you spend on non-work tasks when you’re supposed to be working. Keep staring in the mirror and being honest as you continue to complete your tracker… honesty is what you’re after.

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.

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June 17

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

Read More

"The shorter way to do many things is to only do one thing at a time." – Mozart

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