As we near the end of the year, things are only going to get MORE hectic and time management a little more on the ‘must’ side. Sales pros who are already navigating personal, professional and family time will now be faced with holiday parties, winter concerts and additional commitments.
I dedicated this article to those who want to live a more balanced life because for most people I know – that’s right up there on the top of the to-do list. But there are some who seem to thrive on living unbalanced. Who go a million miles an hour – always in one direction. And I say if that works for you - -great! God bless you. For the rest of us who need both up time and down time – and this is for all of you!
I wanted to share a little bit about why we developed the SMART week for our students. One, it works because of the beautiful simplicity and purpose of it. If it’s used consistently, it creates absolute balance in a person’s week. It also has the ability to increase the effectiveness of your time – regardless of whether that’s time spent with family, on your own, making sales or meeting prospects. Time is time.
The concept of using our smart week is based on this: I believe you can only manage yourself or have absolute control over your time -- one week at a time in the sales industry. We’re talking “YOU, Inc.” Where YOU get to decide what to do with your time, how to schedule it in advance, compartmentalize it and even pre-plan flex time to handle all those little things that have a habit of cropping up! You with me?
Here’s how it works for those of you who haven’t taken my program.
Step one: get a week-at-a-glance book. I recommend the one that has 8am-9pm – (that’s a salesperson’s day-right?)
Step two: Think in terms of blocking out start & stop times for anything you plan on doing this week. First – block what is already pre-scheduled for the next 7 days such as closings, birthday parties, time at the fitness center, prospecting time, dentist appointments, etc. Now, make sure there is a definite START time and STOP time. Then draw a box around each one. That box represents a wall. During that time the only thing you concentrate on is what was prescheduled – leave the rest of the world out.
Step three: Block out the time for your high priority activities (prospecting, presenting, calling for referrals and social media, etc.) Again, make sure they all have a definite stop and start time, then wall them in with a box – and leave the rest of the world out.
Step Four: Next add all your other activities that you are responsible for during the week. Time with the kids, game night, date night, yoga, worship, housekeeping, car maintenance, paperwork, database management – whatever they are – and block time for those as well.
The rest of the time leave blank – that becomes your ‘flex-time.’
Step Five: Each day when you start your day – look for the top five things you want to get done every day. Now it’s time to highlight!
- Anything to do with talking to prospects – (or making money) – highlight in green
- Anything other than talking to prospects – but is business related (taking a class, attending a networking function, social media, paperwork) - highlight in yellow.
- Anything that’s personal to you – (time to yourself, family time, spiritual time) - highlight in pink.
This way you can see at a glance what your day and week will be like.
By the way, when your yellows outweigh your greens – you’re in trouble. If your greens and yellows are out of proportion – then you’re not focusing enough on money-making activities that can drive revenue (talking to customers!).
And always make sure there is enough pink in your schedule so you have a life – not just a business. Taking care of yourself and your family is just as important.
Step Six: Commit to it! Whatever is in that cell of time – commit to it and leave the rest of the world be until that time is over – guilt free. Example: This is the time for the kids. This is the time I’m going to pick up the phone and call all my past clients to ask for a referral.
What’s terrific about today’s technology is that you can in a couple punches of button and change your message on your phone in a matter of minutes. “Hi, this is Floyd. I’m not available right now, but will be returning calls between 3-6pm. Leave a message and I’ll be sure to call you back!” See how easy that is? And guess what – in today’s world no one expects you to answer anyway!
And when things come up -- and they always do -- it’s ok. There’s very little that can’t wait until your next block of flex time. Short of a dire emergency – dig in – and commit. The world will wait an hour, trust me.
I had a fellow once that I was coaching who had a tough time with this. He’d schedule it all out then not follow it. Schedule it, then not follow. And it made him feel BAD every day about what he was doing. He’d say, “This came up or that came up.” So I just said to him, “Look, I’m going to give you a piece of advice. Get over it. Don’t kid yourself into thinking something knocked you off track. Commit – not for a year, not for a month. Just for ONE WEEK, that’s all I’m asking. Just ONE WEEK – that’s it. Can you commit – or not?”
And he did. And you know what? He found out that wow – that was pretty easy. He got a lot done that week. Got closer to his goals. (Go figure-right?) So I had him commit for another week. And after that for another week. Then you know – it got to be a HABIT (the good kind) – now he can’t imagine NOT having a SMART week.
You know, like with everything, you’ve got to start somewhere. One step at a time. If you’ve always had trouble controlling your time – forget about the rest of your life. Just do it for one week.
If you want to live a more balanced and happy life, I invite you to try my SMART week system. Be sure to check back in and let me know how it’s working for you!
If you want to learn more about my program, visit www.floydwickman.com. We’re here to help! Happy Holiday Season!