Effective time management will make a difference in almost any job. As a salesperson I would credit time management with playing a huge factor in any success that I had.
Good time management will focus you on the most important tasks, prioritise your time, eliminate time wasters and make you your most productive.
The use of “To Do lists”, effective calendar use, a strong focus on prioritization of tasks, eradication of the dreaded procrastination and a strong work ethic will work wonders.
“The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: “I did not have time.” Franklin Field
Today I want to focus on one particular aspect of time management that people seem to have trouble with. It is about plugging time into your calendar for high return activities, especially when you are already busy.
In the staffing business that might mean recruiters finding time to interview great people, who might not be a fit for the jobs they are currently working on. It is difficult to take time away from a current search that seems to be the top priority and spending time being proactive with other candidates. The lifeblood of any good staffing company is access to a pool of great people who are ready or almost ready for their next assignment. If you don’t keep that pool fresh you will see declining results. This is a critical activity!
The same kind of situation holds true for a salesperson who needs to find time to meet new prospective clients when they are already busy servicing their existing clients. If a salesperson relies solely on their existing clients and does not keep growing, then ultimately, and sometimes very quickly, the situation can change. Key contacts leave or change jobs, a contract might be lost, the client may compete the business or the supplier company loses the good graces of a particular client. Any of these situations might leave the salesperson with a dilemma, a reduced income stream and no way to replace it. A good salesperson knows that looking for new clients and contacts is a critical activity.
“The essence of self-discipline is to do the important thing rather than the urgent thing.” Barry Werner
There are many such situations in all professions, where even though the impact is not immediate, the task is still critical. Find time to do those tasks. Let everything else fill in around those time slots, but treat those activities like gold.
If you have heard the parable of filling the jar with big rocks, small stones, sand and water (or coffee) then consider these tasks to be big rocks. Get them into your calendar first or the calendar will fill up with all those other things (sand, small stones) leaving no room for your most important activities!
Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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