I’m an active sales coach & traveling sales consultant, but I still have to make time to prospect and sell my own services. I write often to share the time management tips and techniques I’ve used to master my calendar.
I believe that once you learn to manage your day with purpose, on purpose, the better you’ll be in all other areas of your life.
There are plenty of everyday tasks you do for your business that are important. But does every single thing you do actually generate income? Of course not. Learning to distinguish between what actually makes you money – your Income Producing Activities – and what doesn’t is key to maximizing your earning potential.
Income Producing Activities (IPAs) can fall into one of three levels.
A few years ago, Shane and I started living a more minimalistic lifestyle. While it started with our home life, I’ve been able to see huge improvements at work, too. It’s amazing how much you can boost your productivity and simplify your workday when you eliminate non-essentials and create no-brainers.
A no-brainer is a decision that’s so easy and automatic you don’t waste any time thinking about it. You just do it. We create no-brainers when we set up simple systems or delegate tasks to make our day easier.
Here’s a few no-brainers I’ve implemented to boost my own productivity:
I’ve found that a rock solid morning routine can be the first and most important ingredient for daily success. Looking back to my teenage years, my mother (and my 16-year-old self) would be shocked to know that the 40-year-old me is such a morning person (actually, I like to refer to myself as an “all day person”)!
The more structured my morning is, the better I feel throughout the day, and that means I get more work done and close more sales.
My clients ask me a lot of questions about my personal habits, so here’s a little snapshot of my morning routine:
Oftentimes, self discipline boils down to what you do when no one’s looking. Want to see what real self discipline looks like? Check out this recent Under Armour ad:
Even though I’ve never been a competitive athlete, I’ve come to realize that many of the best motivational videos are centered around elite athletes. I get it. I admire the motivation and self discipline it takes to be an athletic champion, because it takes a lot of those same qualities to have an elite career in sales.
Whenever I discuss time management issues with my clients, sooner or later we always get to their to do list. They feel overwhelmed, they don’t know where to begin, and they never know how to prioritize when their to do list has become “a mile long”.
I’ll never forget the day I was working with Vic on his to do list. Part of his career plan was moving from his farm back to the city. But as he thought about getting his farm ready to sell, his to do list was so daunting that it had him almost paralyzed.
Dew: I get so much done when I work on Saturday and Sunday, but then I feel guilty. If I’m working everyday, is that too much work? -Nigel
Nigel, I would guess that if you feel guilty for working on the weekend it’s because you’re not setting proper expectations with your family or you’re not holding yourself true to honoring your time during the week. This can lead to you needing the weekend to “catch up.”
Brent is one of my great friends and a former colleague and he loves to dial. He wakes up every morning and literally can’t wait to hit the phones. But most of us are not like Brent; we have to get creative with overcoming call reluctance.