You came here
for learning time management skills, here is how to effectively manage
your time in sales.
need more than just time management techniques, or time management
tools. Learning time management skills will incorporate both.
this page you will receive extensive instruction on learning time
management skills. If you are simply looking for quick and
easy tips on time
click here,or far a way to delegate effectivley click
suffering from A-D-D, the
single most important thing we need to do for effective time management
to get our list of tasks-to-do out of our heads and
As a salesperson, we have over-active minds. Our over-active
minds keep a list of all the things we need to do, and then bombards us
will requests all day long.
Your mental to-do list is
stored in your subconscious mind, and your subconscious mind has no
logic (logic is a function on the conscious mind.) It also
has no concept of time, time management techniques, or learning time
insignificant the item is, our subconscious minds don’t care, they
continue to send reminders to our conscious brain.
Mind: “Hey, hey, hey!! Remember, you need to buy
wart remover for the wart on your pinky toe!”
Mind: “Who give a crap, I am preparing for a big
Mind: “Right, okay, but hey, remember the wart
are to blame. Consciously, we saw a wart on our pinky toe,
told ourselves to remember to buy wart remover. The
subconscious mind went to work reminding us.
Theses constant reminders effect our time management techniques,
because they are distracting, and are why we find ourselves doing
menial, meaningless tasks, and wondering why things aren’t getting done.
Distractions from learning time management skills
cure this, we have got to learning time mangement skills to
calm the fears of the worry-wart (no pun
intended) subconscious mind. One of the time management tools
we use to do this is to put all
the things we need to do on
That way we don’t need to
“remember” them, and the subconscious mind isn’t worried that we will
forget to do them.
Step 1 in
learning time management skills
The first step in learning time management skills is to write down
every single thing that you can think of that you need to do.
From getting an oil change, to clipping your
finger nails, to taking the trash to the curb, to planning a vacation,
to sending thank you notes, to asking for a raise, and re-working your
sales presentation, to applying for a patent on an idea you
Use some time management techniques, and lock yourself in a room
undisturbed for an hour of
uninterrupted concentration. Write down all those
things-to-do that have been bouncing around in your head. You
will be amazed how many will come pouring
out. No matter how obscure, write it down. This is
the foundation for learning time mangement skills.
Step 2 in
learning time management skills
Okay, now you have a big hodge-podge list of everything under the sun
that you need to do. Wow!!! Do not feel stressed at
long list, let it be okay that you have 125 things or more to do. These
are the steps you need to take in learning time
And, you will only have to do this once in your entire life!!!
Step 3, 4, and
5 in learning time management skills
3, 4, and 5: Most business software systems have a Task
function which is one of the time management tools we are going to
use. Here is where you
are going to input all your tasks that
created (Step 3) with their Next Action Step (step 4). Your
software should also allow you to create
categorize your tasks (Step 5), and also apply deadlines and reminders
task (Step 6).
can all be done together
Steps 3, 4, 5, can all be done at the same time to save you
is best if you read through this section once before starting to input
tasks using these time management tools.
Step 3 in
learning time management skills
Input all your tasks-to-do into the task function of your business
Step 4 in
learning time management skills:
Next Action Steps
the Next Action Step
you need to take in order to complete the Individual tasks that you
just input to the Task funtion. The Next
Action Step is critical in learning time management skills.
examples for what a Next Action Step is, let’s look at some possible
tasks you might have on your list:
Connect with Prospect One, Connect with Prospect Two, and Connect with
Prospect Three. It might look something like
Task: Connect with Prospect One
Next Action Step: Pick up the phone and dial 567-555-2323.
Task: Connect with Prospect Two
Next Action Step: Call information and get their number.
Task: Connect with Prospect Three
Next Action Step: Research LinkedIn for possible connections.
Some Next Action Steps are pretty simple and intuitive like the one for
Connect with Prospect
One. In other cases there is something you need to do first
to complete the task.
might have the task: Delegate PowerPoint presentation for XYZ
corp to my assistant. The Next Action Step for this task might
be: Sketch out an outline for
see, you have to sketch an outline of the presentation before you can
delegate it to him or her. Without this Next Action Step
spelled out to you, you
look at the task, wonder where to start, decide it is too big of task
to do at the time, and procrastinate it.
It is simple
time management skills like the Next Action Step, and even
Step 5 in
learning time management skills: categorize
Now you need to categorize the list. Not prioritize the
list!!! Once you have a task
and Next Action Step then file it under the appropriate category in
your task folder.
Here are the categories I use in my task folder. You might
have others, feel free to add to or delete mine. You are
learning time management skills for you, and these time management
techiques should be customized to your needs.
These are calls that I need to make. These are not phone
appointments that have been scheduled (those go on your
calendar). Ex: Call the doctor, call the
base with Mark, Connect with Prospect One, Connect with Prospect Two,
Connect with Prospect Three.
These are all the things I need to do on my computer that does not
require connectivity. So if I am travelling and on a plane
don’t have internet access, I do these things.
Write presentation for XYZ. Prepare proposal for
Review PowerPoint for sales meeting.
These are all the things I need to do that require an internet
connection: Buy and send wife a present, download sales
research competition, send email blast…
to talk to my boss about:
(I use his name as the label to the category.) Here I put all
things that I need to tell my boss or talk to my boss about.
way if he or she calls, I can pull up my list of tasks, and cover them
then, instead of playing phone tag for each item as it pops in my
head. Example: I put Billy on notice, marketing
providing the needed support for presentation, topics for the next
sales meeting, award nominees...
to talk to my subordinates about:
This is what I need to tell all of my people about.
Example: Tentative training dates, stuff corporate is doing
remedy a problem, updates sales forecasts.
(a subordinate): Things I need to address or talk
specifically to Dan about.
(a subordinate): Things I need to address or talk
specifically to Dave about.
to talk to my assistant about:
These are things I need to tell or delegate to my assistant.
Example: Prepare PowerPoint presentation for XYZ corp.
on other people:
These are all the things that I have delegated and requested from other
people. Things other people owe me. So, if I
prepare a PowerPoint presentation for XYZ corp to my assistant, then I
move that item from “things to talk to my assistant about” to the
“waiting on other people” category. (In Outlook you can
different categories to the same tasks. So maybe "prepare a
PowerPoint presentation for XYZ corp" is under both the “Waiting on
other people” category and the “things to talk to my assistant about”
category. This is personal preference to using these time
management tools. The only
remember is that when the task is complete, you have to delete it from
I use this folder only for prospects that I have not ever
contacted. So, if I am at a networking event, and someone
me that I should talk to Julie at Amcor, I put that in this
category. Prospects who you have made contact with should be
another category (at Phone or at Computer).
This is all the stuff I need to do at home. AKA, my honey-do
list. Example: rake the yard, paint the fence, clean the
pay the electric bill…
out and about town:
These are both work and personal items I need to do when I am in
town. Example: Pick up dry-cleaning, buy protein bars, get
change, buy printer paper, buy relish, tooth paste…
These are all the things that I have to do at the office that does not
require a computer, or the phone. Examples: Visit
Betty in accounting, Clean and organize my desk, fix squeak in office
chair, write hand-written thank you card to Jerry…
to do with the kids:
Here I capture ideas of things to do with my kids that are good ideas
and I don’t want to forget. Detroit Lions game (tickets are
cheap!), Greenfield Village, slot car racing…
And lastly the infamous, all-encompassing, catchall...
maybe: This is the list for all those great
ideas that you
that you want to do someday, that you want to “remember”, but aren’t a
priority. Example: Get a patent on my new mouse
travel to Barbados, buy a complete set of Craftsman Tools, read Selling
the Invisible, update my passport in case I travel, put photos in photo
album, buy a new garden shed, continue learning time management skills,
set up google doc account, find my army
buddy Rob, investigate prices on woodworking lathes...
No matter how grandiose or in the future the item may be, get it out of
your head and put it in this category. Remember, getting everything out
of your head is a key factor for these time management techniques.
Remember, you only have to set up a category once. The next
task you have to place under that category, you will simply have to
that category (At Phone). If you choose you can set up all
categories before adding your tasks when implementing these time
Feeling better? You are learning time management
skills. Stick with me…
Step 6 in
learning time management skills: Prioritize
Now we can prioritize all your tasks. Don’t worry,
won’t have to prioritize a list of 125 things that you need to
do. That is not time management, that's torcher.
You are only going to have two lists to work from for the
rest of your life.
The first list is the Highest
Revenue or Highest Impact Tasks that you
can do. We are in sales. In order to make any
must sell, or be moving toward a sale. This list is our life
We will do
the things on this list before we do
others. In fact, we are learning time mangement
skills in order to get these tasks done in the first place!
The second list is your Everything-Else
Master Task List that you just created. This
list contains all the other tasks that you have to do, less the Highest
Revenue or Highest Impact tasks.
This is the
single most important section for learning time management skills.
you don't do anything else mentioned on this webpage because you don't
have the time to (which is why you need to continue learning time
mangement skills on this web
page), at a minimum do the following. If you learn this
time management skill,
you can stop learning time management skills forever.
The last 15
minutes of each work day, will be spent preparing your Highest Revenue
and Highest Impact List with their Next Action Steps. You
pull this Highest Revenue or Highest Impact List from your
Everything-Else Master List that you just created in Step 1.
your Everything-Else Master List, and select the six Highest Revenue
and Highest Impact tasks. You should only have 6 (maximum 8)
Highest Revenue or Highest Impact items on this list any given
Once this is done, go home. Then review your
list for a few minutes before you go to bed. Looking at the list before
you go to bed is a great time management technique. It helps
your subconscious mind to rest because it knows that those things will
be taken care of.
When the subconscious mind is at rest,
it allows you to rest so you are not tossing and turning worrying about
things. Also, when you do this, it gives your subconscious
hours to start working on the best way to complete the tasks.
Now our subconscious mind is helping with our time management
techniques instead of hurting it.
The next morning you
get up, go to work, and you immediately start on the Next Action Step
required for each Highest Revenue and Highest Impact activity. See,
time management techniques are easy!!
doing anything else.
check your email, don’t peek at your blackberry, don’t talk to a
co-worker, don’t take any calls, don’t go to the bathroom, don’t allow
interruptions, until the first action step of each Highest Revenue and
Highest Impact activity is completed.
(The only exception to
is your subconscious mind brings up something that you need to do that
you haven’t written down. Quickly write it down to shut the
subconscious mind up, and continue on your list).
completing an action step, write the Next Action Step it will take to
complete the task, and do that Next Action Step. Do this
the task is complete, or you are pulled away.
When it is time to get back to work on that task, you
will know exactly what to do next without having to think
example: If you call Prospect One and you get voice mail, can
take it off your list? No, the task was "to connect" with
Prospect One. So the task stays on the list and
the Next Action Step is “call back” Prospect One.
If you did make
contact with Prospect One, then that task is complete and you can
delete it (a great feeling). But, that may have
Task: Send follow up email to Prospect One.
Next Action Step: Write the follow up email.
Once your Highest Revenue or Highest Impact items are done for the day,
do you know what you do next? Whatever you feel like doing,
or are in a position to do. This is the beauty of these time
If you are driving in your car, do the items on the “At Phone”
If you are stuck in the airport without connectivity, do items on the
“At Computer” list.
If you are in your office at your phone with a computer and
connectivity then do whatever you feel like.
you are on-fire, motivated, and in a great selling mood, maybe you go
to your Potential Prospect list and start the Next Action Steps
If a deal just blew-up, and you hate everyone, then go to your “At
Office” list and maybe start cleaning up your desk.
you are stuck in traffic, you could pull off and go to your “Errands
Around Town” list, or pull up the “waiting on others” list and call
those people to follow up.
Do you see how incredibly flexible
and product these time management techniques are? Where ever
you are, whatever
circumstance, you are poised for action.
These time management techniques and time management tools build
flexibility into your schedule, your moods, and location, and result
in a highly focused and productive day. Do you see why you
invested time in learning time management skills?
Step 7 in
learning time management skills: Dealines
we finish learning time management skills, we have to talk about time
management techniques for deadlines. Let's say on
the CEO tasks you with compiling an erroneous,
non-revenue producing, pain-in-the-ass, report that he needs
a Highest Revenue task? No. Is it a High Impact
activity? When he calls you the following Monday and asks for
report that was due last week, it might be!!! Not very good
So, how do you keep track of that deadline? Do you put it on
calendar is only used for when you have to be somewhere, or on the
phone at a certain time on a certain date (Birthdays, anniversaries,
and other such items can also go on your calendar). It is not
place where you keep your list of things to do.
Monday when the CEO tasked you for a report due on Friday, it wasn’t a
High Impact task. On Thursday, when the task-reminder goes
and informs you that your report is due to the CEO tomorrow, that task
suddenly becomes a High Impact task.
There is a chapter entirely about planning in my book, Corporate
Infantry: Everything I know about Corportate Sales I learned
in Combat. It will help you plan, so you are not
waiting the day before something is due in order to do it. You can read an excerpt from my book
regarding planning by clicking here.
There are also time management tools built into your software that
allows you to assign a task with a suspense
date to someone else. These are great time
management tools. So once you write the outline for the
PowerPoint you want your assistant to create, you can assign her the
task with a suspense date, attach your outline, and send it to him or
her. Your time management techniques just became their time
Other great time management tools will allow you to turn email messages
into tasks. This is covered
in effective email
time management techniques.
You can synchronize your tasks onto your Blackberry, and take your
lists with you where ever you go. You crackberry users should
learning time management skills
typically will show your entire list of tasks in alphabetical
order. Most have a filter function that when you use it, it
filters out all the other categories, and then display only the
category (say At Phone) you selected.
Also, as you think of
tasks away from your computer, put the task in your blackberrry to
Do your best
and go home.
you don’t get all of your Highest Revenue or Highest Impact tasks
accomplished in the day, that’s fine. Just use your time management
techniques and make a new list that night
and include the unfinished tasks with its Next Action Step on your new
list. Start on them the next day.
If you couldn’t get those
tasks finished with these time management techniques, you definitely
wouldn’t have been able
to finish them without learning time management skills. So don’t feel
bad about what you
don’t get done. Focus on your tasks, their Next Action Steps,
use these time management techniques, and the results will take care of
Step 8 in
learning time management skills: constantly improve your time
Lastly, you can always and constantly improve by learning time
skills. Choose a couple of additioanl time
management techniques and tips to employ until they become
habit, and then
choose a couple more time management techniques and tips until they
Doesn't it feel good learning time management skills? Your
Next Action Step is
go and apply them!!!