Planning Time Planning

Yes, I meant to title this post “Planning Time Planning.” For many, planning their time is a task that “sort of happens” throughout the day. As things come up, they get added to the calendar. That is called “scheduling.” Creating time in your daily routine to plan your time is something different.

Make Time to Plan Time

A common complaint from salespeople who do not practice effective time-management is that they do not have time to plan their time. You often hear, “How can I take that time out of my busy day to plan, when I never have a spare moment?”

I’m here to tell you if you don’t make time for planning and self-improvement, you might as well plan to earn the same income you earn today for the rest of your life. Is that what you really want?  I don’t think so.

It is a proven fact that by taking the time to plan, you will save 20-30 times the time expended in the planning process. Let me illustrate what I mean. A study was done on how managers planned their time. They found that managers who invested only 5 minutes planning a specif­ic task, would spend 55 minutes to complete it. Those managers who invested 15 minutes on the planning process, spent only 30 minutes completing it. Look at the time saved! I would say that the time invested planning was well worth it, wouldn’t you? When you make a committed effort to allow time for planning each day, the week, the month, and the year, you will achieve much more than if you just plan one day at a time… and you’ll live a more rewarding life.

When you begin each month reviewing your commitments to loved ones, those commitments will be top of mind when there are options for when to conduct business. When you have your personal, family, and career goals mapped out for 20 years, 10 years, 5 years, and this year, it’s much easier to decide how to invest your time this month, this week, and tomorrow.

 

Types of Activities to Consider

I like to keep things simple. I like charts and graphs and lists. They make my life so much easier to manage. When planning, I break my activities down into categories as follows:

Immediate Activities – These are only those things that MUST be completed today–by you. When you prioritize what’s really important, it’s easier to stay focused. How do you know which things are immediate activities, and which ones can be put aside? Ask yourself these questions:

  1. If I could achieve only two or three of these activities today, which ones would they be?
  2. Which activities will yield the highest pay-off or reward?
  3. Which of these activities would complicate my tomorrow if they were not achieved today?
  4. Which of  these  activities could be delegated to someone else, thereby, leaving me more time to generate more business or enhance my personal relationships?
  5. Which activities, if postponed, would damage my relationship with loved ones, clients, or business associates?

Have your immediate activities in front of you at all times. If you can’t see what needs to be accomplished today because you have buried yourself under other less important work, it could get lost in the shuffle, and so could your business.

Secondary Activities – It is usually a little easier to determine this group of activities. They are important and will bring a sense of accomplishment. They are likely to become immediate activities in the near future, but aren’t today. If, after completing your immediate tasks, you have extra time, it’s wise to give these activities some attention (aka getting a jump on tomorrow). It’s important that you place information for these secondary items in their designated locations. By that I mean not on the top of your desk where they can distract you. Don’t allow yourself to become preoccupied with piles of paperwork. This will only cause you stress and confuse you as to what needs immediate attention.

Relatively Unimportant Activities – You will be surprised how hard this list of activities is to determine at first. We tend to think everything needs our attention, or it wouldn’t come our way. This is simply not true. There are many unimportant activities that others pass to you or ones that will have a way of working themselves out if given a little time. By putting them in your relatively unimportant category, you may never have to spend time on these things when you should be investing time on your immediate activities. Or, they may be something you can accomplish during a break in the action of your Immediate or Secondary activities.

When we don’t plan time planning, we allow the daily demands of our lives to take over and run us. That’s not the way things are supposed to be.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

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How to Guarantee You’ll Never Meet Your Quota

Beat your quotaLet me show you how to guarantee you’ll never meet your quota. It’s really easy. When you organize yourself to just meet it, you’re not very likely to achieve it. By operating that way you’re setting yourself up to generate less revenue for your company and fewer dollars for yourself. It’s actually why so many people never meet quota. All they do is set their sights on meeting it.

How’s that again?

What I’m saying is this: If all you try to do is meet the quota, you’ll never do it.

Why not?

Because you’ll organize your activity to hit the mark—which means barely meeting it–usually on the last day of the month. In the normal course of business, something will almost always go wrong with part of your plan, resulting in at least a small shortfall. Don’t be the salesperson who ends the month saying, “Had it in the bag. Then Jasper Jones fell apart on me. If it wasn’t for that, I’d have hit the mark.” That’s what happens when you aim to be average. In order to meet your quota every month, quarter, or year, you need a different strategy.

Begin by organizing your activity so you can double your quota. What will it take to make that happen? It’s easy to figure out. Just do the math. You must know what it takes to hit the mark. Double it to picture what has to happen to go beyond. Then, plan your activity as if this doubled amount is your actual quota. This way, when Sara asks for different terms, Kyle cancels an order, and your big client committee delays a decision, you’ll still do well with the other sales you’ve closed. When you do start hitting 200% of quota because of your increased activity, bump your goal to 300%. It can and has been done by students of my training. They implemented different strategies. They detailed out their activity plans. Those past graduates of my training followed through…and doubled and tripled their incomes.

Don’t meet any quota that’s set for ordinary people. Change your mindset and demolish it!

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

Excerpted from my book, The Official Guide to Success.

Pay Attention to What You’re Thinking About

Rarely do people choose the details of their futures. They choose their daily habits and those daily habits dictate their futures. Re-read those first two sentences several times. Then, think about your daily habits. How are they dictating your life?

  • Are you often rushing in the morning because you oversleep?
  • Is it a part of your routine to search for your mobile phone or keys every time you leave the house?
  • Do you travel through rush hour traffic every day with a sour attitude?
  • During time you plan to work, are you daydreaming about what you’d rather be doing?
  • Do you grab just anything for lunch?
  • Do you catch yourself watching the clock the last 5 to 20 minutes of your work day?
  • How do you spend your evenings?
  • How well do you sleep?

Those basic aspects are part of everyone’s day. It’s easy to fall into habits that may not be good for us. Why is that? [Read more…]