Mark Twain famously said “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
Ahh yes, that proverbial frog – now how do we identify what that frog is? First things first, when you start your business day I would suggest that you first tackle the most unwanted task you can think of for the day.
To help you with your productivity, whether it be in sales or elsewhere, take the time the evening before to break up your action list (I prefer this as opposed to the traditional to-do list) into four categories.
1. Things you don’t want to do, but actually need to do.
2. Things you want to do and actually need to do.
3. Things you want to do, but actually don’t need to do.
4. Things you don’t want to do, and actually don’t need to do.
My recommendation based on these categories is to tackle the things you don’t want to do, but actually need to do, right away! Eat that frog! Don’t procrastinate.
We tell ourselves we work better under pressure, but do we really? Instead of placing these proverbial frogs on the back-burner for weeks on end, face them immediately. You’ll be surprised that once you tackle these tasks how quickly they go. In fact, you probably spent longer procrastinating in doing the task, than the time it took to actually do the task.
The same thing goes for sales activities. Stop placing prospecting on the back-burner. If you want your business to survive you need to keep filling your sales funnel. It’s not going to fill itself. Referrals and word-of-mouth business will only last so long. And when that well dries up, what then? Then you don’t have a plan B to fall back on.
Productivity and sales activities are a daily thing. As it should become habitual for you to eat the frog first thing in the morning, so it should be to prospect daily.
Other great productivity tips.
- Say yes to the right things. Don’t feel obliged to say yes to everything, especially not to things you hate. Why do that to yourself? Choose your projects and clients carefully. Ask yourself, “Does this project align with my vision?” and “Do my clients share the same values as me?”
- Apply the 2-minute rule. There’s an easy to apply rule by David Allen, a time management consultant and bestselling author, which goes, if you can do the task within 2-minutes, do it right away! This will assist with your productivity, especially when responding to emails.
- Understanding purposeful procrastination. You only have so much time in any given day. Learn to deliberately put off low-value tasks so that you can focus on energising and completing tasks that really count. Identify when you best operate during the day and be sure to manage high-value tasks during these periods.
Bringing it together
It’s not always pleasant eating the frog first thing in the morning, it’s not meant to be. However, with practice you can quickly eliminate the not so fun tasks, so that the best part of your day is focused on doing the fun things that help grow and develop your business.
© Karen Wessels: Serial Business Woman. 2018