Don’t waste time. You will never get it back. When your target comes due, you will wish you had more of it.
When I ask sales leaders what type of training they think their teams need I often hear: “Time Management”. However, I am convinced that time management is a course title created by training companies to make money. I rarely find people with actual time management issues. What I have seen most often are people with priority management issues.
Most Sales Leaders I know set high, but reasonable targets for their teams. Most Salespeople I know accept their targets as attainable on Jan 1st. Assuming a couple weeks vacation and an average salaried employee work week, we all have the same amount of time to hit our targets each year. The problem begins when we look at our task list on Monday. Everything looks the same, no way to distinguish what is most important. Or worse yet, we have no task list. We operate by the seat of our pants. Our priorities are not clear. That is a huge risk and our biggest time waster.
If we started with a plan to categorize priorities as A, B, & C or Top, Middle, Low we would naturally be drawn to the highest priority. We would feel more compelled to get it done. I personally use a system of Big Rocks, Little Rocks, and pebbles.
Think of it this way- We are at a lake and we each have a pile of Big rocks, small rocks, and pebbles. The goal is to toss in your peices and create ripples that extend to the other side of the lake. What would you grab first? Of course the big rocks! They are best chance of hitting the other side with ripples. In fact, you might not ever throw the pebbles knowing the lack of impact they will have.
What are your big rocks for this year? For Q1? For this week? Can you take a minute and prioritize your list? Do it now!
Here is your resolution: Focus on my big rocks first.
Here are some ways to make that happen:
- Write your big rocks down and carry them or post them.
- Go to Outlook now and add time to your calendar for your big rocks. Block off time to work them, block off time times for appointments, block off time for key customer visits. You can add TBD for now and fill in the details later. Set time for priorities now.
- Align your big rocks with your sales leaders early. If you aren’t in alignment you’ll want to know now, not Q2.
- Scale the size of your rocks to your target. Trying to push a boulder into the lake will likely not get you the ripples you want and will leave you exhausted on the shore.
- Begin working on one of your big rocks right now, immediately after reading this!
Dont let anyone trick you into believing you have a time management problem, not this year. It’s a myth. Get your big rocks ready, make them the priority, and get ready to create some ripples.