I imagine that 99% of you that are listening to this often set goals, have ambitions, and have things that you are working towards, things that you want to add into your lives. I know that I certainly do.
I love learning new things. So, for example, I speak Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin, which I continue to study. I saw on Duolingo three days ago that they launched an Arabic course. I was like, “Great! I have to add that to my list of things that I want to learn.” Then I saw that there were some courses on neurolinguistic programming. There was an opportunity for me to get my online MBA last year. I signed up, I was able to get a scholarship, and added that into my schedule. I want to achieve a sub five-hour Half Ironman race that I’m doing in a couple of weeks so I’ve been training intensely. I have that as part of my schedule.
I know that there are so many different things that I’ll continue to add, and if you’re like me (which I know a lot of you are), there are things that you want to do. There are things that you want to add to your schedule. There are things that you want to accomplish and learn. A long time ago I realized that I spend so much time adding things that I never take time to look and see what are the things that are negatively impacting me in my life and how I can eliminate them.
For example (and this is one of the things that I’ll continue to talk about in my book The Living Sales Manual), one of the biggest things that I noticed that was causing me stress in my life, as crazy as this sounds, was following a really rigorous task management system. Everybody has something that works well for them…some people need a rigorous approach like Getting Things Done, where you have a full project list, a waiting on list, a next action list. You keep track of how long each task is going to take, and it creates a very, very detailed project management workflow.
There are other methodologies like the Pomodoro Technique where you time yourself on doing different tasks. There are so many approaches to task management. I remember several years ago I was trying to follow the Getting Things Done methodology with rigor, and actually what I found is that by the end of the day, I was feeling so overwhelmed because I wasn’t getting work done. I wasn’t getting the things done that I needed to get done. I realized I was spending so much time planning, building projects and managing my task lists that I actually was getting less done. I was actually less productive. It was causing me to feel stressed out and overwhelmed.
I realized that I needed to eliminate this from my life. It didn’t function the way that my brain works. I decided that I was going to remove that stressor from my life and do something that worked for me.
The point of this post is not to go through a task management protocol, so I’ll leave what I did for another time. But the reason I give that example is because I saw something that was stressing me out. Even though it looked like it was important and belonged in my daily workflow, I took it out because it was overwhelming me. I was feeling stressed, and it was preventing me from being productive. It was actually hampering my success.
I’ll give you an example. My wife and I are triathletes. One of the things that I very quickly realized about myself in training over the past year or so is that I actually perform better eating vegetarian. I know a lot of people may argue with me on that, but my wife has always been vegetarian, and I changed to be a vegetarian not too long ago. I actually noticed that my endurance increased , I lost weight, and have more muscle definition. My running speed has increased as a result, and I’ve actually noticed that I’ve been performing even better.
I eliminated something from my life (in this case, meats) so that I could accomplish what I wanted because that’s what was most important to me. Even though so many people say, “No, you need to eat meat. You’re not going to be as healthy.” You know what? I’m not doing it because of any ethical reasons. I’m doing it because I actually noticed that by not eating meat, I feel better. Therefore, it’s the right choice for me.
There are so many things, so many examples that I could continue to give that talk about or that can help you see what I mean by the importance of eliminating stressors from your life. Here are some things that I think are really useful to do.
Write Down Your Stressors
A couple of days ago, I said I want everybody to start writing down, every day, what the things are that stress you out. If you did that, I want you to look at that list now. If you haven’t, take some time just to think about the things that stressed you out this week. What are the things that got you overwhelmed and got in the way of your goals?
Find Commonalities Among Your Stressors
Once you have that list, I want you to look back at these things and see if there are any commonalities. For me, a lot of the things that stress me out are things that take up too much time, and leave me with less time to do the things that I need to get done. That causes me to feel anxious. By removing those things, I eliminated that stress. What are the things that have stressed you out? Find that commonality and start thinking about why exactly it stressed you out. I’m sure everybody has those specific reasons.
Now that you know what the things are that really, regularly have stressed you out and I’m not talking about just one of the things that has caused you anxiety, it’s important for you to figure out how you can remove them from your life and from your practices. I think that once you identify what those stressors are, you will see how easy it is to actually remove whatever it is that is stressing you out.
It’s really not that big of a deal to take something out of your life that’s stressing you out, because it’s not important to you. Obviously, things that stress you out are unimportant, so you should be able to remove them easily. Maybe it’s something with work.
Eliminate the Stressor and Find a Solution
For example, your boss stresses you out because you’re being micromanaged and he or she is asking you for all kinds of reports, and filling out Excel spreadsheets or giving detailed sales reports. Well, have you talked to your boss and told him, “These are the things that I’m struggling with. It’s taking up my time. It’s affecting my performance as a salesperson. How can we fix it?” Maybe you go to that boss and you give him a solution. I’m sure you’ve heard my story, and if not, you’ll hear it soon. Years ago, when I was feeling overwhelmed and overworked in my life as a sales rep, I developed this whole new system which eventually now has become The Living Sales Manual. A lot of the people around me, especially the management in my company, were very doubtful of what I was doing because I was doing things differently than everybody else.
Instead of just giving in and going back to that old way of doing things, I wrote up a little book which back then was called The Alive Sales Rep. I did a PowerPoint presentation, gave these little books to the management team, was invited to come and speak, spoke at a meeting, and presented all of my ideas. They actually realized how what I was presenting worked. I ended up getting books to give to the entire sales team, and trained the entire salesforce on my methodologies. I eventually became a sales manager and sales director at that company.
You can do the same. Remember, if you find things that are stressing you out, you don’t need to give in to those pressures. You need to come up with a way to fix it. If it’s a boss or if it’s somebody external that’s putting pressure on you, come to them with a solution and tell them, “This is what I’m going to do differently, and this is why.” You want to make sure you still are successful.
Again, you’ve identified what those stressors are. You figured out how you’re going to remove them from your life. Then you have to take action to remove them. Once you remove those things from your life, you’re going to probably feel strange because they have been part of your life, integrated into your life. But once you can realize that it’s possible to escape from those things so that you can be more successful and focus on the things that matter, especially focusing on sales, then you’ll notice that the process of removing stressors from your life gets addictive.
Over this weekend, take some time to think about it. What are the things that cause you stress? And how can you remove them? Then next week set off on the mission to remove them, and you’ll notice your sales success skyrocket.
In just a couple of weeks the new book, The Living Sales Manual, will be released and you’ll have a manual that you’ll be able to use to really take on a lot of these stressors.
“); background-size: 1px 1px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px); background-repeat: repeat no-repeat”>Would you like to stop wasting time making pointless sales calls? Get the FREE 10 Day Stress Free Prospecting Course HERE.