Sales experts get more done than everyone else. It almost seems as though they have more hours in the day. The truth is, they understand how to use the time they have in a more effective way. This article will help you understand the four types of activity taking up your time. It’s important you make a conscious choice and focus on the most important things with the time you have.
Do you struggle with time management?
Most sales professionals do.
Are you wondering how to get more done within the limited time you have each day?
Have you ever been so overwhelmed you didn’t know where to start?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, this episode of Four Minute Fixation is for you.
Today we focus on how you can and should set priorities for your day.
Illustrated on the whiteboard is the four-box matrix developed by Steven Covey. We walk you through meetings and tasks in each quadrant and how you can prioritize and manage your activity like the most effective sales leaders.
Here is the transcript of this episode:
How To Prioritize Your Schedule With The Time Management Matrix
Hi, I’m Dave Lorenzo. Welcome to another edition of The Four Minute Fixation. Today we’re focused on productivity and I’ve written on the board behind me the standard Stephen Covey four box matrix. This is the matrix that Stephen Covey used in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to determine how highly effective people spend most of their time. You’ll notice these four boxes are broken down into important and urgent, important and not urgent, not important and urgent, and not important and not urgent.
Where are you spending most of your time right now? Good chance you’re spending most of your time working on crises and putting out fires. That’s box number one here. If you’re spending any time at all in box number four these are things that are not urgent and not important. These type of things are ridiculous. You are spending time figuring out how to win brick breaker on your computer at work. You’re spending time fixing the copier machine or deciding which fax machine to buy for the office or determining what brand of coffee to serve in the office. These type of things you need to avoid. Anybody who does a pop-in or a drop-by, a salesperson who has an unscheduled meeting with you, those people are robbing you of your time.
The way you avoid meetings that are in quadrant number four, not urgent and not important, the way you avoid them is you think of the return on investment of your time. When you think of the return on investment of your time if you’re not receiving a return on investment you’re probably in quadrant number four. You need to avoid it completely. Quadrant number three is not important but urgent. What happens when you come across things that are not important but urgent, things that you could have prevented? What you need to do is think about how you can delegate things that are not important but urgent to your team members, so issues like getting a report together when all the data has been compiled, everything has been written, it just needs to be proofread, printed, bound, and put out the door. You develop a good team and you delegate things that are not important but urgent.
Things that are urgent and important, these are the big fires. These are the crises that come up in your business. This is where you’re probably spending most of your time. How do you handle these? What you want to do is you want to prevent them from happening in the first place. You want to do what’s called run a red team. You want somebody to come in with fresh eyes, maybe someone in your industry but not in your specific business, and look at what could potentially go wrong and create different scenarios. When you create those scenarios you can also create decision trees. The decision trees can be put in a booklet and it can be compiled by if this, then that scenarios. If this happens, here are two different decisions you can make. Here are the decision making criteria. This makes it easier for you when something comes up and it blows up in your face.
You also create standard operating procedures. What you do is you have a manual set up just like a pilot in an airplane. When there’s a crisis they have a checklist for every conceivable crisis because they’ve come through this before. You have to think through all the scenarios that could potentially blow up in your face and create checklists and standard operating procedures and if they’re really, really urgent run drills so that you know what to do and your team knows what to do when they happen. The key to dealing with quadrant number one, urgent and important situations, crisis, is to focus on prevention. Focusing on prevention makes life a lot easier.
Finally, quadrant number two, not urgent and important. This is where you need to live. You need to live in this zone because what’s in here? Planning, hiring, training, on-boarding new clients, on-boarding new team members, relationship development and client attraction. If you had to break down where you spend most of your time as a business leader you’re going to spend 10-20% of your time, probably less than 20% if you’re doing good prevention, in quadrant number one. You’re going to spend 50-70% of your time in quadrant number two. Then you’re going to spend the rest of the time delegating quadrant number three stuff and spend no time, no time, in quadrant number four. This is how you manage the Covey matrix in your life for your business productivity. I’m Dave Lorenzo and I’m fixated on you making a great living and living a great life.