Time Management and Productivity

Checking your work emails over dinner? Time starved? These ideas are for you

“The way we measure productivity is flawed. People checking their phone over dinner is not the measure of productivity” – Timothy Ferris

One of the most challenging areas for sales leadership teams is creating a culture of effective team scheduling which addresses the balancing act of a wellbeing strategy without impacting productivity and results.

Although remote working has resulted in a better work life balance for many (72.5% in our sales profession survey reported a better work life balance) it has blurred the lines for some between work and home life, with the two being often muddled. It has become too easy to start earlier, work later, work through lunch and for many not even take well needed annual leave quota because of travel abroad still being restricted.Chilli Image

We’ve spent time with leaders and sales teams to work on the ever-increasing virtual fatigue and time famine.

One contributing factor to this fatigue is scheduling back-to-back items in your calendar. By doing this you don’t account for the unexpected…and there will always be the unexpected! If your calendar is packed too tightly, you won’t have the flexibility to handle even a small crisis or “fire fight” without completely restructuring your calendar.

Plan blank space in your calendar. Having flexibility is particularly true for sales leaders and teams who need quiet times to reflect, think, process information, or just do nothing for ten minutes to re- calibrate and re-energise ready for the next sales meeting. There will always be those meetings that run over the scheduled time or the client who wanted everything yesterday! It may sound too good to be true to schedule blank space in the diary, but it can help you to become more productive. Productive people can produce a higher output in less hours by not over planning activity. The result? More free time for much needed fun or recharge and less need to pick up calls and emails on your phone over dinner with the family.

There is a link between time scarcity and undesirable outcomes, from insomnia to worsening physical health to attrition and sickness. 54% of respondents in a Gallup survey who do not have enough spare time say they frequently experience stress. This is twice the percentage of those who do have sufficient time to attend to their matters.

No business wants to deal with an unfit workforce, so looking at preventative measures and strategic plans with a different lens is crucial:

Pay closer attention to how you plan and structure your days and meetings and the volume of meetings you have. It is energy and time consuming.

Pay attention to your energy levels and when they dip through the day; structure your meetings and deep-thinking time around this.

Does every conversation need to be an on-screen call? Ask yourself this question when someone asks for a call. Not everything needs a scheduled zoom meeting. Can you have a phone conversation instead or exchange emails/messages?

Is the length of your meeting dictated by Outlook which time blocks in 30 minute or hour chunks?  Diarise 15 minutes if 15 minutes is what it takes – your customer or colleague will be grateful!

Google “Time Management” and you will get “About 19,140,000,000 results (0.51 seconds)”. We are not short on ideas, apps, common sense or good advice when it comes to productivity and managing our time. Yet we rarely step back off the hamster’s wheel of work to reflect, review, then do differently before we step back on.

Your time is precious, so treat it that way.

Want to talk more about helping your sales teams be more productive? Then get in touch here.

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