Are you getting the important things done? Are you growing personally and accomplishing what you want to accomplish on a daily basis or does that sound like a fairy tale to you? Do you feel like you are constantly “busy” making people happy but you are not really increasing your influence with them? I think this article will be a help to you, let me encourage you to read it all the way through.
Let’s start with the common myth of “Multi-Tasking. In our world of technology and information, it is easy to think that you can do two or three things at once but the reality is, you can’t.
There is no such thing as “multi-tasking,” only something called “switch tasking” in other words, let’s say you are reading your emails while talking on the phone. You are not really doing both, you just keep switching your focus back and forth. The problem with this strategy is that studies have shown this is not effective and is actually very damaging to both your schedule and the way you engage with others. To sum up the findings,
if you try to do two things at once, you will do them both slower and at a lower quality level than if you did them one at a time with your full focus.
So the next time your client or prospect calls you while you are looking at your emails, you would be well advised to shut your laptop. The next time you walk into a business for prospecting, turn your phone on silent and not vibrate so you can truly focus. It is amazing what we now classify as an emergency or even as urgent.
Keep in mind that 50 years ago, people didn’t have smart phones and didn’t check their email all day or send text messages. When something happened, they found out about it later and life went on just fine!
I have found that the real trick to getting things done is to do them. I know, this is a novel idea right? Unfortunately today, we have come up with all sorts of reasons that we can’t get important things done. “I am too busy to prospect for 4 hours per day.” Or, “I meant to go out and take care of my client but I got caught up in something else.” We make decisions without fully accepting consequences. We let time slip by without accomplishing anything meaningful. At the end of the day, we ask ourselves, “Why didn’t a get that important thing done today?” the answer is simple, “Because you chose not to do it.” You chose something else, something less important and did that instead.
When you made that choice, you lied to yourself and said, “I can get both these things done.”
So, how do you know if you are avoiding the traps of “multi-tasking” or “switch-tasking?” S
ee if you can answer “Yes” to all of the questions below:
#1 – Did you spend at least 3 hours yesterday working on a long term, planned project that is important to your future. If you are in sales, this would be prospecting new business owners, attending a sales seminar or some other activity with long term impact that you planned to do.
#2 – Do you complete important tasks each day? Do you avoid the trap of working for 5 minutes on 20 different things, finishing non of them?
#3 – Are you able to shut out distractions when working on important projects without feeling guilty.
#4 – Has your phone been on silent while you were awake, for at least 1 hour, anytime during the last week?
#5 – Do you envision the person you will become in 1, 3 and 5 years and are you making progress towards becoming that person?
If you answered “Yes” to all of these questions, the odds are that you are not doing too much “multi-tasking” or “switch-tasking” which is good news!
If you answered “No” to any of these 5 questions you need to think seriously about slowing down your life so you can get more done. The fastest way to get things done is to stop working for a minute and think about what you are trying to accomplish, eliminate distractions by choosing not to focus on them as much as possible and then focus on that task at hand, until it is complete. The reason you can’t get things done is simple. It is because you are not doing them. The reason you are not doing them or not doing them well is that you are trying to do 10 things at once instead of focusing all your mental and emotional energy on a single task until it is completed.
This strategy includes making the tough choices to not do other, less important things. I have found in my own life that although, in the moment, small urgent tasks seem to matter to those in your life, in the long run they don’t matter as much as the important and largely non-urgent tasks. Your spouse will probably never be upset with you for not taking time to read books, think about your path in life, or engage in personal growth activities but, in the long run your relationship will be better if you are growing, learning and feeling fulfilled. Your clients will never be mad at you for not taking an hour each week to think through your schedule but they will cancel when you don’t think to stop by for 3 or 4 months and a competitor walks in. Your kids will never pull you over to a computer and ask you to organize your finances and think through how you can increase your income but, they will love it when you save up for a trip to Disney World. The important things in life do matter more than the unimportant things by definition.
The problem is that the important tasks are not urgent, no one is upset when you neglect them and when you finally sit down to work on them, 10 other things will clamor for your attention.
I hope this short post will help you better manage your sales routine and maybe even your life,
Make it a great day!
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