I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “what
a waste of time” something was, such as a concert, a presentation, a sporting
event, or a meeting. It happens. We don’t have a crystal ball so we cannot
predict the future. When I ask the question “did you waste time this year”, I
am not referring to these minor happenings that are practically inevitable, my
question is much deeper. As 2017 draws to a close, looking at bigger picture
happenings in your sales career throughout the past 11 ½ months, did you waste
time by not being present in the moment? Did you waste time by ignoring market
conditions? Did you waste time by not reaching out to your customers more often?
Did you miss opportunities to advance your sales because you were off wasting
time when you should have been working?
I am not suggesting that you skip a
vacation or come into the office when feeling sick. All too often, especially
with ‘B’ and ‘C’ level sales people, they lie to themselves. There is a feeling
they are busy, the workload is pushing manageable, and sales are okay, when in
fact they are having their doors blown off by the ‘A’ level sales person. This
is about time management. It’s about prioritizing your life, making time for
your spouse, your kids, your hobbies, and still kicking ass in sales. It is
about always living in the moment and being aware of the world around you. It
is about NOT wasting time.
I developed my own time management
exercise years ago, blending different approaches and professional sales
trainer ideas, and I call it the quadrant. Weekends are mine. I have a wife
and three children. I have responsibilities to them, other family, my friends
and my faith. But, Monday through Friday is about my career choice as a sales
person. My quadrant begins at 5:00 AM on Monday morning and ends at 5:00 PM on
Friday evening. In each of the four categories – sales / management /
professional development / personal – I list my weekly activities and
responsibilities. Each and every week I evaluate my calendar, my hourly, daily
and weekly schedule, and I look for ways to engage and not waste an ounce of
energy or time.
During the holidays, this time of year,
many sales people are feeling stressed and anxious because of their
performance, or lack of performance, from the previous 11 ½ months. Many wait
until now to self-evaluate, ponder their performance, and plan for the new
year. However, this should be a regular (at least weekly) occurrence.
My challenge to my own team and to you
is this: have you wasted time this year? No, you cannot get it back, but you
can learn from this exercise. Identify those times where you feel you wasted
time, missed an opportunity, or did not work to your potential. Explore ways
you can avoid this happening again. Commit to better time management skills.
Exercise the quadrant to your advantage. Have a great holiday season and a