The Difference Between Business and Busyness

May 08, 2019

Floyd taught us that one thing separates consistent top producers (about 7% of the agent population) from everyone else. Consistent top producers work high priority activities. In other words, they take care of business. And they take care of business before everything else.


Working high priority activities is nothing more or less than a habit. Habits begin with a mind-set, applied to a process, and that becomes a discipline. Once the habit is in place, decisions become easier, focus is restored and productivity soars.



Mind-set is really a decision, like the decision to be happy instead of miserable. Yes, we are all irrational and illogical beings, tossed around at the mercy of the lizard brain, because we are human. But we are also adults with the ability to function on a higher level. The lizard brain is where you react to situations with fight-flight-freeze or faint. Natural instincts. Without a pause, the stimulus automatically becomes one of those responses.


Before you embark on a day, or a week, or a project, pause first. What do I want? What are my goals? What's important to me, to my family, to my work?


It's the pause that makes all the difference. It's the pause that allows for a considered response vs. an animalistic response. The animal response is very useful when confronted with danger. Survival becomes the priority. Is this life-threatening? If not, pause.



Sit. Think. Make a list of things to do. If you already have your list, think some more. What is the number one thing will get me closer to my goals today? Write it down and label it #1. Write out your Top 5 Things To Do in order of priority, and once you are ready to get down to business, work on #1 until it is done. The go to #2, and so on.


If you do not find all the time you need to do what's important using this process, there is no other process that will find you more time. And this process almost always gives you a surplus of time to do the less important things, those things that make you look busy but don't really take care of business.


That's the difference between busyness and business.



Follow this process every day, first thing in the morning as part of your routine. Some people prefer to write their list the night before to finish the day. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

The key principle is to decide and list what's important before you start doing anything.


Once you commit to what is important, all the other decisions about what else to do become simple to make. Is it a high priority? OK, say yes. Otherwise, say, "Love to. Can't now."


Once you commit to what is important, the clarity focuses your attention, and restores your ability to stay on task and follow through until completion.


Once you commit to what is important, you find the motivation and willingness to repeat the process every day until it becomes part of your discipline.



This week is Master Sales Academy week. The dates have been set in stone for a year. The notices have been sent out, and everyone who was invited has had all the time in the world to make travel arrangements, rooms reservations and sufficient plans to be away from their business for two or three days.


And yet, at the last minute, I receive a text or email saying something like, "I just can't make it because I'm too busy." It is invariably from someone who is not in the top 7% of agents. I can't remember ever hearing, "I'm too busy for Master Sales Academy," from a consistent top producer. Ever. And what does that tell you?


I am so grateful to all the people who willingly and happily set aside two days twice a year for our events. I love the people who show up. These people are without a doubt the most incredible people I know. Generous, caring, hungry to better themselves, eager to share. These events are the highlights of my year every year. 


I also love the people who don't show up, sometimes due to a last minute family emergency. They are just a fact of life. But I fear for the people who use "busyness" as an excuse. If you know someone who continually falls into this trap, nudge them back into working high priorities, and maybe we will get to see them next time.


The Floyd Wickman Team blog by Mike Pallin


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