The Dangers of a Flexible Schedule

Your flexibility could be costing you business.

Are you a salesperson with a flexible schedule? If so… do you mind running an errand for me?

In so many households, it’s the person in sales who gets to pick up deliveries, drop off dry cleaning, meet with the plumber, and run to Costco at lunch. They have a “flexible” schedule, and all these tasks fall to them—just because they don’t punch a time clock at work!

Sales Coach Dew Dangers of a Flexible Schedule

Sound familiar? You are probably wasting five to ten hours a week on tasks that do nothing to move your business forward. If your flexible schedule is working against you, try these three things:

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Just Say No to Notifications

We’re all trying to get more things done. But the technology that’s supposed to help us be more productive is actually getting in our way.

Has this happened to you? You’re trying to process paperwork, and suddenly your doorbell rings (in your house AND your phone), your watch dings and vibrates, and your dogs start barking.

Distracting email notifications on iPhone

You’re notified of a UPS package delivery by your email, your “smart home” app, your watch, AND your dogs!

Stop this madness!

There are SO MANY notifications that interrupt us all day long on our computers, phones, and smartwatches. These rings, dings, vibrations, and buzzes are impossible to ignore. It’s time to pick up your phone and put yourself back in charge! All you have to do:

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Drowning In To-Dos

Get Your To-Do List Done with the 10-10-30 Rule

How often do you get to work, dive right in to putting out fires, and come up for air around lunchtime only to realize you didn’t finish ANYTHING on your to-do list? Do you also have days where you don’t even know where to start?

Use the 10-10-30 rule to keep from drowning in your to-dos

One of the things my coaching clients struggle with most is sitting down at their desk in the morning and feeling like they have control over what to do first. An effective to-do list is just one piece of the puzzle; You also need to devote a little time every day to review and revise your to-do list and re-center your priorities. At Skillway, we created a simple method we call the 10-10-30 rule:

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Eliminate Distractions and Take Control of Your Time

I talk about distractions a lot! It’s because many people feel like they’re losing control of their time. If you’re working from home, you’re probably experiencing more distractions than ever! The number one way to regain control over your time is to get better at eliminating distractions.

Distracting email notifications on iPhone

One study from UC Irvine showed that we get interrupted every 11 minutes on average, and it takes an average of 25 minutes to get back on task. All those distractions can add up to hours every day! Studies have also shown that interruptions and distractions increase stress and mistakes.

If you want to be productive and effective, you need to stay focused (no multitasking!). Here are my tips for getting rid of common distractions that keep us from “deep work” and add stress to our day.

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Multitasking is Another Word for Half-Assing

Do you ever brag about all the things you can get done at once? Do you think “multitasking” is an impressive part of your skillset? I hate to be the one to break it to you, but “multitasking” is impossible.

Distracted multitasking salesperson can't get anything done

Sure, we can all do a simple task like washing the dishes while listening to the radio. But have you cut yourself in the kitchen while trying to have a conversation? Tripped up the stairs while you tried to balance something in your hands? Lost track during a Zoom call because an email popped up on your phone? It’s because we’re all human, and the human brain just isn’t great at paying attention to two things at once.

Trying to multitask is counterproductive, impolite, and inefficient. Here’s why:

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Begin with the End in Mind (in Sales)

Creating good time management habits can feel exhausting. If it’s something you’ve struggled with for a while, you may find it hard to know where to start.

Begin with the End in Mind in Sales

In Stephen Covey’s world-renowned book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he suggests using a powerful tip: Begin with the end in mind. What does this mean for a relationship-based salesperson, though? And how can you apply that principle to transform the way you think about your calendar and your tasks?

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Follow a Schedule? But I’m a Free Spirit!

You’ve probably noticed by now that talking and writing about time management is my jam. I love it! However, the reason I enjoy talking about it is that I’m living the benefits of its success.

Free Spirit

Unfortunately, that may not be the case for those of you who are fast-paced, type-A personalities (i.e., most salespeople). Instead, once the conversation leads to creating and sticking to a schedule, with most salespeople, I hear some variation of, “But Dew, I can’t live by a schedule all day, every day like you do; I’m a free spirit!”

To which I want to reply, “Hello?! Have you met me?”

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