So often we focus on adding goals and objectives, and things we want to do to our lives. But we forget the fact that we also need to think about what do we need to take out of our lives? What are the things that stress us out or that overwhelm us that we can get rid of or that we can streamline?
It’s important that we realize that there’s a difference between things that stress us out and things that we just don’t like to do that still need to get done. There may be many things as a salesperson that you don’t like to do, but probably, hopefully, you love to sell. You love to talk with clients. You love to get out and work with people. You love the thrill of the hunt, and getting new business.
But maybe you don’t like spending time on reports and administrative tasks or organization or writing long emails, whatever it might be. Chances are there are things that you don’t like to do, and those things probably stress you out. So what’s really important is that through this process where you’re determining what stressors you can remove from your life, you need to figure out whether or not those things can be removed or whether you just need to figure out a better way to do them.
Reverse Engineer Your Priorities
The first thing you need to do, at a higher level, is ask yourself, “What is the most important thing that I need to get done? What’s the number one priority every day?”
If you’re a salesperson listening to this, I can tell you right now, the most important thing for you to be doing is selling, calling customers, and making sales. That’s number one. No matter what kind of sales you do, if you’re not selling, you’re not doing the job, right? So that’s the most important thing.
If you’re not a salesperson, think of what else is the most important thing that you need to be doing? What are the top three important things that you need to be doing every day?
Come Up with Your List:
Hopefully you’ve come up with your list. If you haven’t, go back and listen to the podcast, or read the blog post from earlier this week, and you can find my thoughts on building that list of stressors and figuring out how to remove them.
You need to go back and look at that list now and think, “Out of all of these things, what can I remove, and what do I need to fix out of the things that need to stay?”
For example, one of the things as I mentioned before in previous posts that really stressed me out was creating long marketing emails and long marketing documents, and new presentations that constantly had to be changed with new information. Those things tended to overwhelm me and stress me out, but they’re essential to my job. I couldn’t just get rid of them.
But what I found happening as I mentioned before, was I would spend so much time on doing these things that it was eating into the time where I needed to do the things that are most important…which was sell, talk to customers and get new business. I was spending so much time on the support work that it was eating into the time to do what I absolutely needed to get done. I couldn’t just eliminate it, so I had to figure out how I was going to solve that problem.
What are the things that get in your way, stress you out, and take away from the time where you could be working on more important things?
Do those things make you feel stressed out or overwhelmed? Once you can figure those things out, determine, “Can I get rid of those things? Can I eliminate them and no longer do them? Or do I need to figure out a way to streamline those things, to make them easier to accomplish and not get in the way of the most important things?”
Now ask yourself, “What things do I do instead that are getting in the way of that most important task?”
Once you know whether or not you can eliminate those things or streamline them, take action.
Eliminate the things that you don’t want to do or that are overwhelming you so you can focus on things that are most important. But for the things that you need to keep in your life, the first solution is to batch them. Sit down with your calendar and set aside time, everyday, where you’re going to do specific tasks.
We focus so much on everything outside of ourselves without focusing on ourselves and what’s important to us. I’m certain that you are very meticulous with your calendar. You schedule appointments. You schedule phone calls, or whatever it is, but do you ever schedule your own time? Do you ever schedule time for you to do what you need to get done? When I realized the power of batching, it transformed my life. So my calendar looks the same almost every single day. I block out my schedule so I know exactly what I’m doing at any given time. I have appointments for email work, sales calls, phone calls, financial work, and more.
So let’s say that you need to spend time writing sales reports every single day. Instead of trying to squeeze them in, tell yourself, from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM everyday I’m writing sales reports. And then you don’t have to worry about not getting the other things done because you have it on your schedule. Also, by batching, your schedule will not get taken over by someone else. So if you say, “The only free slots I have during the day are 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00 for people to schedule phone calls with me, then if somebody asks you if you can talk at noon, you say, “No, my schedule is full.” So often we forget to prioritize ourselves in our schedule and what’s important to us in exchange for prioritizing someone else’s schedule and someone else’s important tasks. So batching, that’s a great solution.
The other option is to delegate. That has been the other powerful thing that I found myself getting more and more comfortable with doing. As an example, managing social media, managing lists, managing content, and managing things that are going on that I need to pay attention to can take up so much time that it takes away from the actual engagement work on social media. So instead of spending an hour every day doing that, I took about 20 minutes to write up a protocol for what I needed to be done on a regular basis on social media, and I used Upwork.comto hire someone who can do it for me. Now I don’t have to do that work, and it just gets done. You can also do the same thing.
What are some things in your life that you know you could outsource? Instead of spending an hour every day doing something you that isn’t a priority, could you spend 20 minutes today writing up a protocol and hiring somebody else to do it? You have to remember that your time is money. If you’re like, “Oh, I don’t want to spend money on that,” you have to think about what’s more important…spending an extra 50 bucks a week on hiring somebody to do something, or losing all the time that you have to do what’s important and what really matters.
As a recap, on Saturday we talked about identifying stressors. Today I wanted to bring up how you can either eliminate them or streamline them.
Let me know what successes you have with this methodology!