You can’t really manage time – it marches on for everyone. Time is a constant that doesn’t change. The most successful salespeople operate by the same clock as those who just struggle through. They’ve learned that there’s no such thing as time management, but you can manage behaviours, habits, actions and ultimately results.
What do they do differently?
- Goals are clearly defined. Individuals with deadlines to meet, benefits to gain, losses to avoid and good reasons for getting things done, move faster, are more efficiently, and are less distracted.
- Write daily to-do lists that align with their goals. They prioritize their lists. When other issues or opportunities arise, they compare them to their list of priorities and intentionally decide which is more important.
- Move with energy and purpose. They do not dawdle.
- Block out time for priorities. They schedule appointments with themselves for planning, exercise, learning, contacting customers, and prospecting – all the activities that, when accomplished, will help them reach their goals.
- Track their activities to measure progress. This enables them to analyze what’s working, what’s not and when they are deviating from their plan. (For a free tracking tool that will help increase your sales click here.)
- Remove distractions so they can focus. They turn off the annoying beep of email or text messages when they need to focus, and minimize interruptions by developing “friendly” strategies that discourage gossip at work. They close tabs, files or programs on their computers that compete for their attention.
- Give themselves realistic deadlines. Enough time to do it well but with a certain level of tension to maintain a positive pressure.
- Consciously develop habits that will lead to success.
- Arrive on time for meetings by planning ahead and leaving as early as necessary to avoid having to rush or make excuses for being late.
- Recognize and respect their prime time – the times when they can be most productive and effective. This time includes the hours when they are energetic, sharp and able to concentrate. It includes the best time to talk with customers. They resist doing unimportant activities during prime time.
Time management is a myth but self-management is something we can all improve upon.