We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again: Time is your greatest enemy. You could be the most successful agent in your market/state/country, but there’s still a finite amount of time on the clock with which to get your work done. What makes top producers as successful as they are is their utilization and optimization of time. Simply put: They plan their day and stick to it. And if you want to be successful, you will too.
Time-blocking in a nutshell
The secret to keeping your day organized and on point is time-blocking – assigning certain tasks to certain times of the day. This rigidity not only keeps you focused on the tasks you need to accomplish, but also works to deter distractions.
The premise is simple: you set your calendar for each day. This can be done with most mediums (Microsoft, Google, etc.), and is easy to implement. It doesn’t stop with implementation, however, and there are some best practices to follow.
So you’ve decided to block out your calendar and change time management as we know it forever. Good for you! Now take a step back, because there’s some planning to do beforehand.
The first thing you want to do is pay close attention to the next few days. What are the tasks you do every day? Focus on these over the course of a week, writing down not only the tasks themselves, but also how much time it takes you to complete them. Once the week is over, spend some time to look over what your week entailed, and plan your calendar accordingly.
It’s important to recognize your limits when time-blocking. We’re human after all, and while assigning too many tasks is admirable, it’s not typically attainable. The quote: “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry” applies well here. =)
Let’s get more specific. If you block out 3 hours for the “tough stuff” (the real time-consuming, thought-provoking tasks), knowing you’ll only really give them your undivided attention for 2 hours, you’ve just wasted an hour that could have been used toward another task.
Salespeople battle distractions all day. Phone calls, emails, texts, and social alerts attack you like an unstoppable, Darth Vader-driven force. No worries though, we have a solution: turn them off. Turn off all your notifications and send your phone to voicemail. You can look at email during the time you’ve assigned for it without worrying about the constant ding of your phone or computer. Distractions are going to happen no matter what you do, so an intervention is necessary to stay on track.
Leave time for you
This is the most important tip of all, and something we practice religiously here at Happy Grasshopper, so we’ll come out and say it:
While it’s important to complete tasks, make the sale, and build your empire, it’s equally important to make time for yourself and those that matter to you. We love money, and while we’re in the business of helping our customers make more of it, it’s not the end-all-and be-all of life. Make sure you’ve blocked personal time to have a little fun and stay loose. You’ll be thankful for it when the time comes. =)