Are you a sales leader looking to better manage your time? Check out these game-changing time management tips to get yourself on track for sales success.
The leaves are turning, the weather is getting cooler, and stores across the country are already putting their Christmas decorations on display. Can you give us all a minute, please?
It’s at this point of the year that we usually ask ourselves: have I accomplished everything that I wanted to so far? Did I stick to those resolutions that I made back in January?
Time is ticking.
Although we can try to justify our lack of dedication by claiming we’re too busy, that’s just avoiding the elephant in the room.
The question is whether we’re really working towards our goals or simply working.
At the crux of disciplined, consistent action is motivation; the fuel that powers you throughout the day.
But it’s easy to get distracted and de-motivated – especially when you’re overwhelmed with trying to save your “task ship” from sinking!
The following are some effective time management tips. Not only will they help you get more organized right now – they will also help realign your goals with your work and reignite that inner drive.
4 Game-Changing Time Management Tips for Sales Success
1. Start Using a Time Table
First, you need to figure out what you do with your time. This probably sounds obvious, but you might be letting useful time pass you by during your commute or during your daily “scroll-sesh” on Facebook.
Start with an experiment: log your time for a full week. Make a quick note of what distracts you, what you accomplished and what you failed to accomplish. You can use apps like TimeCamp or simply draw out a grid on a piece of paper.
Use the data as a point of reference when figuring out what you need to start doing to maximize your time.
One way is to implement the widely praised Pomodoro technique: use a timer to break down your work into intervals, 25 minutes per session for starters. Only work on that task for the time you allot.
2. Create a “Brain Dump”
One of the best ways to wrangle your tasks is to first lay them all out before you.
A “brain dump” is a list of everything that you have lingering in your mind, from networking events to meetings, to errands and projects.
Now, you’re fully aware of your current tasks and can prioritize accordingly.
3. Create a Master List
Out of our “brain dump” list, we can easily choose what to prioritize for the next week or next month.
My rule is to limit your areas of focus (per month) to 3 or 4 categories. For instance, mine may be hobbies, work, and my blog. This increases your likelihood of success.
I also create a section for miscellaneous, less important tasks (like errands) at the bottom of the page. Remember to try to categorize as much as you can, so that you prevent yourself from getting distracted by “errand-overload”.
4. Create a Weekly or Daily Plan
I like to create a “weekly spread” so that I can allocate certain tasks to certain days and time block my schedule.
The key here is to ensure you’re working towards all your categories of focus, every week.
Perhaps a daily to-do list is better suited for you – that’s perfectly fine! Still try to utilize the time table to maximize efficiency.
Learn to say no (sometimes)
Often, we get distracted by an email or co-worker that needs our attention. For these situations, it’s crucial that we sometimes say no or “not now, later”.
Set a specific time to check your emails rather than on and off throughout the day. When someone needs your attention, allot a time to meet with them later so that you can accomplish your tasks first – then offer them your full, undivided attention.
Keep a notepad handy
Don’t let your ideas escape you, they’re brilliant!
Keep a notebook by your desk so that you can quickly write down a thought and revisit it when you have time.
Keep a habit tracker or project planner
Be it for personal goals (habit trackers) or work (project planners), these tools help ensure you’re making progress towards your goals, every day.
Remember to pivot.
If something isn’t working – change it. Our planning systems are not an easy thing to perfect, nor will they become ideal overnight. Pivot according to your needs and lifestyle, but make sure that you’re not letting “busy” become an excuse for poor time management.
Do you have any time management tips that you can share with us? Let us know in the comments!
“It is not enough to be busy. The question is: what are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau
Laura Marchoff is the Marketing and Sales Assistant at Criteria for Success. Connect with her on LinkedIn.