We’ve all said it: “If ONLY there were more hours in a day!”
Those of us that work in sales are constantly distracted with calls, emails, phone alerts, other employees, you name it. Finishing one task that was meant to take 15 minutes can sometimes turn into a 2 hour project, meanwhile the to-do list on your desk continues to grow.
Time management is a learned task that takes practice. Top sales people and CEOs have mastered this process, but you can do the same by just implementing a few new strategies. Take a look at the 8 tips below to get started. You can start with a couple and add on as you get better.
1. Schedule tasks.
Your calendar shouldn’t be used solely for meetings. Instead of creating a never ending to-do list, actually block out time on your calendar to complete important tasks. Don’t expect yourself to remember things – always write them down and make time. This will give you a better idea what you actually have time for.
2. Plan your day.
Take a few minutes at the beginning of each day to look at your calendar and make a plan. Expect interruptions, and give yourself a little bit of time in between tasks and appointments to compensate. Prioritize your daily tasks that are not scheduled so you can attack the more important items first.
3. Record your process.
Mark appointments or tasks off the list as you go. When you visually see that things are being completed, it provides motivation to keep going.
4. Time yourself.
Tasks don’t always take as long as your think, and can make them seem more daunting. People commonly estimate small tasks to take 30 minutes when they actually take 10. Time yourself and find out! Know how long you take to do things, and this will help you better plan out your days. This can also be helpful to determine what time of the day you are the most productive.
5. Don’t multitask.
Is the ability to multitask good? Of course! Does multitasking save you time? Absolutely not. Every time you switch gears, you need to take time to refocus and this decreases productivity.
6. Simplify projects.
The hardest part of completing a task is getting started. Break projects down into doable sections and tackle them one at a time. This will make them seem less overwhelming, allowing you to dive right in. Bonus: you have the satisfaction of completing several tasks instead of just one large one!
7. Take a break.
Plan a break every day. You need to refresh your brain to remain productive, plus this gives you something to look forward to each day.
Sleep deprivation causes not only loss of productivity, but stress and creativity. Go to bed at the same time every night for best results.