I don’t believe in multitasking. It’s a myth and it’s a lie. If you are going to do something, doing it as well as you possibly can requires your full attention and focus.
But there are some things you do that require none of your attention, allowing you to invest your focus elsewhere. These are things that you do so often and so repetitively that they no longer require any of your conscious thought. It makes sense to leverage this time to do something that will improve your effectiveness.
And I Am Reading a Book
Taking a shower, driving to work, exercising, or taking care of your lawn makes no demand on your conscious, allowing you to invest your attention elsewhere. You can very easily listen to an audio book, a training program, or personal development program while you are doing any one of these tasks. That time is an investment in your effectiveness as a salesperson, and it almost doesn’t matter what you listen to.
An unabridged audio book can be 14 hours long or more. But listening while you get ready for work in the morning means that you can easily complete at least one audio book every month. That’s 12 additional books per year. If you use your half hour drive to and from work to listen, you can easily complete and a book every two weeks. That’s an additional 26 books per year.
Listening to an additional two-dozen books a year is just as good as having read them. And you very easily have the time to do so with no cost to your productivity.
Always Ready to Make a Call
There are lots of ways that you can access your call list now. If your sales force automation is in the cloud, you can access it from your cellular phone, your laptop, or your tablet. Wherever you happen to be, having your call list with you is a serious time multiplier.
If you arrive at an appointment early (you do arrive early, but not too early, right?), you have the names and numbers of your clients and dream clients so you can be productive and make your calls. If your appointment cancels, you end earlier than expected, or you find a spare 20 minutes, having your call list is the difference between wasted time and a serious investment in your effectiveness.
You might be tempted to clean up your email, and that might be the right thing to do. But more often than not, we invest too little time in prospecting, and a diligent, disciplined effort to make a few calls while you are out of the office and sitting in your car can amount to hundreds of additional calls per year. A client and dream client list is especially valuable if you call them when you are close enough to ask for their time while you are in the neighborhood—you’ll be surprised at how well this works.
To make either of these ideas work, you have to turn off the radio or television, and you have to have something that will improve your effectiveness on hand, be it an audio book or a call list. You have to be willing to invest in your personal development, or invest time prospecting instead of choosing to be entertained. Making these investments of time cost you nothing and multiply your effectiveness.
What opportunities do you have to do something that will help you to be more effective and to produce better results?
What tasks do you perform so routinely that you could easily listen to an audio book or a personal development program?
What tools do you have available that will allow you to produce real sales outcomes wherever you are? (Most emails don’t fall into this category, by the way)
On what are you spending your time when you should be investing it in personal improvement? Are you willing to stop spending time and invest it in yourself?