Time is the great leveller for ANYONE in business. Whether you are Elon Musk or Linda Yaccarino (Twitter’s new CEO, smart move Elon!), we all have the same amount of time in the day.
The difference between those who succeed and those who dream of succeeding is how you spend that time. Some of us need more sleep than others, but whether you need 6 or 8 hours, you are still left with 2/3rds of a day to use as you wish!
Making effective use of your time is critical if you want to achieve the goals and plans that you have. But it’s so difficult to be disciplined with this precious commodity, isn’t it?
Ensuring that we remove the temptation to procrastinate and put tasks off that need to be done but which we can’t bring ourselves to do is vital.
Putting diary time aside to do a task or get a piece of work done and remove other distractions is always a key challenge.
Attending meetings and having chit-chat conversations which are nice but which have no purpose and which won’t help you achieve your goals is a daily threat to your business productivity.
Flitting between 3 different tasks in the vain hope we can multitask and then realising 1 hour on, we got nothing completed is a constant reminder to us of the need to protect time at all costs!
The challenge we have as business owners and sales professionals is fending off these ‘Time Threats’ and truly OWNING OUR DIARIES!
How can we do this?
Here is a simple 6-step technique to try next week which can protect your time and allow you to be productive and focused. In fact, let’s do this together. I will commit alongside you to following this technique and I will share with you next week, what I focused on and what I got achieved. Are you up for sharing with me how you got on?
What you choose to spend the time doing is up to you but Sales is King in any business and without it, you go out of business. So my view is – make time for sales next week and enjoy the rewards and benefits a ‘focus on sales activity’ will bring you.
1. PLAN THE TASK
- Define 10 tasks that are critical to your business/career for next week that you want to get achieved.
- Split them into 2 per day.
If you have a bigger task that needs breaking down into smaller chunks then that’s fine but we ideally want 10 in total so that we have 2 per day. Or if you would prefer each evening (starting on Sunday) to identify 2 tasks for the following day, that’s also fine.
The tasks could be creating a proposal, creating a new piece of content to share, reaching out to 10 new prospects, following up with 10 new leads, defining a new service offering, whatever! The choice is yours.
All I would say is ensure that whatever these tasks are, will link to the ultimate goals and plans you have. Ie – If your number 1 goal in 2023 was to achieve revenue of £100,000 a year then make sure the tasks above link to this overall aim.
2. BLOCK THE TIME
- Get your diary out now and put in 10 x 45-minute slots within your diary. 2 per day.
- Mark them in, highlight them in red, indicate to others they are ‘reserved time’ and give yourself enough time around these slots to allow you to make them happen.
I.e. if you take the kids to school and don’t get back until 915, don’t start a 45-minute slot in the diary until 930. It gives you time to for a loo run, to make a coffee, check your notifications and then start the time slot.
3. REMOVE DISTRACTIONS
- Put your phone on airplane mode and shut down other apps, including What’s App Web, Slack, Teams and any other app which loves to ping at you relentlessly and which just always seems to grab your attention!
Yes, for just 45 minutes, you are going to be incommunicado. Unless your loved one is due to give birth at any time, we can all commit to putting 45-minutes in our diary and focusing without other distractions. The world WILL get on ok without us, I promise.
4. REFOCUS ON YOUR 'WHY'
Before we get into doing the task, take a moment to remind yourself why this task is so important.
- Why is it critical to your business or plans in the coming days and weeks?
- What will completing this task allow you to do or help you achieve?
- What could putting this in place give you that you don’t have now? Spend a moment ahead of doing the task, reinforcing in your own brain, why it matters to you.
5. SET UP A TIMER
- I want you to set a timer up, on your phone is fine if it’s on flight mode and set it for 45 mins. You can do it for longer if you want but 45 mins is a good starting point.
- You are now going to be stuck to this chair until the 45 mins are up and you are going to focus on one of the tasks.
Nothing else matters for this short period of time. Just this task. Be realistic but write down, what you want to get achieved in this short time period.
6. COMPLETE THE TASK
Now it’s time to complete the 45 minutes and do the task.
What I want you to do afterwards is write down how it felt at the end of the 45 minutes, to get what you wanted completed.
How did it feel to be disciplined for that short period of time? My guess is that it will feel good and you will feel like you have achieved something and so let’s bottle that feeling, go and grab a coffee, have a look at your phone if you want (you’ve earned it! 🙂) and remember we have one other 45 min focused slot to complete that day!
As a final help towards you using your time effectively, one other simple recommendation is to try and Focus on Winning 2 Resistance Battles per day as a minimum.
What is a Resistance Battle?
It’s when you know you need to do something important but the ‘short-term gratification gremlin’ is on your shoulder saying ‘Hey, don’t worry about that, have a look to see if XX messaged you back or have a look at another Instagram reel’.
These small battles are ones we have to win if we want to utilise our time effectively! When you get that urge to stop doing something, breathe and tell yourself ‘No I can win this resistance battle’. You may continue to get the urge and you may need to win 3 or 4 battles in 10 minutes but don’t give in! Note down how many battles you won and reward yourself at the end (nice biscuit with the coffee maybe?) for fighting that gratification gremlin!
Once you have done your 2 x 45-minute slots for the day, review how it went and then create 2 more for the next day. Then follow the same process even if it’s at different times. Start to build a chain of ‘Productive Days’ and when you start to see how the tasks are being ticked off to help you succeed, it will encourage you to make this simple technique a continual habit.