Running a department, community, or business is tough. Mainly because of one very simple thing that we all say we don’t have enough of – time!
Time is a resource we feel like we can’t buy, create, or keep hold of. But when you think about it, you’re in control of your own time.
“If only I had more time, I’d get more done!”.
We’re all guilty of saying that, aren’t we?
Well it’s time to quash that rumour and show you how to make time and how time is actually coming from you. You make time. It must be true – Einstein told us – although he went into far greater detail than we need to here.
Know this: You make time and you’re in control of it. You only have to look at your iPhone’s Screen Time app to see how much time you made for your favourite apps and websites!
Let’s give you seven ways to make more time and get more done. After all, that’ll give you more time to get those actions done to follow-up your sales leads and get into using your CRM more!
1. Turn off your notifications
Simply put: we’re all distracted and very easily so. That notification ‘bing’ is the main culprit, and it’s not only your social media that’s at it now. From reminders to updates from shopping sites, emails, messages, and calls; you’re inundated with distraction and it’s worse than you think it is.
Each time you’re distracted from a task it can take you up to 23 minutes to get back on track! So that innocent reply to a message or that quick check of your Facebook notifications could be costing you not just hours but days over time.
Turn them off! Make them silent, schedule downtime, and update your email and voicemail to explain that you rarely respond right away. You’ll train your connections to respect your time and if they’re your clients, they’ll see your focus as a bonus!
Go on… turn them off. And get rid of those little red badges on your phone too.
2. Weekly planning
Failing to plan is planning to…? We all know this but we’re still losing time. One of the best ways to ‘get stuff done’ is to plan your week in advance and look at each day the night before. It’s been said by many an expert that writing down your goals for the next day just before you go to bed is a great way to ensure they get done. It’s like a subliminal goal setting meditation. But make it realistic so you don’t get disheartened.
Weekly planning is great too and we shared loads of tips on our blog a while back so for more weekly planning tips head over here.
Set the intention and plan your days and weeks and then audit them. Did you get all that you wanted to achieve, completed? If not, why not? And how could you improve things tomorrow?
3. Make a list, but prioritise
Planning is great, but what you need next is a list of the actions and tasks that you need to complete. To do lists or ‘must do lists’ are great for this and you can use any method that suits you from apps to whiteboards to journals, diaries and desk pads – whatever works for you!
The key to any list though is to set the intention and then set the priority. List it all and then put the big stuff right at the top. Those urgent and important tasks you really need to get done need to be given more focus.
List them all, and prioritise the main ones. What can you delegate to others to do?
4. Eat that frog!
Eating the frog was introduced to us in 2001 by author Brian Tracey. In his book Eat That Frog, Brian shared the idea that when you have a load of things to do you need to do that really big, horrible, hard, ugly task… first!
Eat that frog!
When it comes to tasks, this really works as you’ll get rid of that task you’re dreading (and usually making feel worse than it actually is) and then all your other tasks will feel like a breeze!
Brian Tracey told us that, “Successful people don’t try to do everything. They learn to focus on the most important tasks and make sure they get done”. How right he was. Eat that frog, get those big things done, and make sure your ugly and unpalatable frog is right at the top of your to do list.
Maybe we should start calling it a ‘to eat’ list?
5. Automate repeating tasks
Thinking about your tasks (and putting our software development and automation hat on), you should really automate routine tasks that have to be completed. From emails to reports to accounting and more, we all have the ability to automate using tools like the cloud and clever plugins like Zapier.
Automating your business could take a load of tasks off your hands right now. Wouldn’t that feel great?
Take SalesRadar for example.
We’ve built the audiences for you so you can simply add them to your contacts to give you a set of tasks for them automatically. You can even do this right from scanning their business card into our app. You see? Automation saves you time and a lot of headspace.
Where else can you save time with automation? Pretty much everywhere!
6. Use the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is incredibly powerful. The idea is simple: Work for 25 minutes (usually) and then take a short break.
Our brains might be very powerful, but they’re not designed to stay on one task for long periods of time, so use the Pomodoro technique and give it a break.
The technique is named ‘Pomodoro’ because it’s Italian for tomato and the timer used during the creation of the idea was shaped like a tomato. Get yourself a timer and set it at the beginning of your task and then stop when it goes off. Take a comfort break, make a coffee, and then come back to your work. Try it. (But don’t open Facebook. We all know you’ll be stuck there for eternity!)
7. Parkinson’s Law
One of the reasons the Pomodoro Technique works is because of Parkinson’s Law. Derived by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in 1955, the law simply stipulates that the task will take as long as the time you give it.
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
You see? It’s you, your time management, and the lack of short sharp bursts of work that are making those tasks take so long.
Set a timer, eat that frog, and watch your big tasks get completed.
This is all backed-up by science and well-established authors and experts in their field. It’s worth a go, isn’t it?
8. Make and create time; don’t wish for it
At SalesRadar we’re all about making your sales follow-ups easier and more trackable and predictable, but as we’ve shared before – you’ve got to use your CRM to get the value from it.
Making time to get your CRM tasks done is essential and if you’re ever going to get through that list each week then you need to build in some strategy to help you.
So, try this:
- Turn off your notifications
- Plan your weeks/days
- Make a list, and prioritise it
- Eat that frog!
- Automate repeating tasks
- Use the Pomodoro Technique
- And be mindful of Parkinson’s Law!
We hope that helps.
If you’re not yet using SalesRadar to follow-up and automate your sales process and conversation then you can get a free version of our CRM right here.