Improve Productivity and Focus with these 3 Lists

Does it ever seem like no matter how much you accomplish in a day, a week, or a month that your business always seems to require more of your time? Productivity and focus are the key to success when the list gets unbearably long.
In our current age of endless information and access we have reached a point where it is quite possible to never be done. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I went to bed with nothing left on the to-do list. As an entrepreneur and salesperson who thrives on getting things done this created a huge hurdle for me. Just being able to accept the fact that there will always be something left to do allowed me to start sleeping again.
Beyond just letting go of some of the tasks, however, there are some exercises we can use to focus our energy on the things that matter most. Creating the following three lists will make it easier to focus on the key areas that grow your business and increase productivity. Crushing these key areas, or top dollar producing activities, should create opportunities to hire leverage to complete more menial tasks that may be equally as important but not quite as significant.
3 lists to improve focus and productivity

Things to Keep Doing

The first list stems from celebrating our victories and rewarding the actions that we would like to see repeated. This list is a list of things to keep doing. The questions to answer here include things like: What am I currently doing that is driving the most new clients to my business? What am I doing that is moving my clients to refer me to their friends, family, or business associates? If I had to account for each dollar of revenue for the last 6 months, where did they come from and what did I do to help drive them?
Whatever you come up with for actions on this list you should take steps to ensure that there is enough time in your calendar for these activities on a daily or weekly basis. Remember, we just determined that these are currently the highest and best use of your time. Do not fill the whole calendar as we will have more to add in a moment. Also, set some measurable goals around these activities each day or week and create a reward system each time you hit your activity goal. This will solidify the habit by rewarding the proper activity.

Things to Start Doing

Lack of knowledge or education is not typically the issue for most people. Most people have attended training seminars, read books, listened to podcasts, paid for coaching, etc. All of these educational pieces play a critical role in one’s success. I urge you to ask yourself whether you have actually implemented the things you have learned. Many of us have extremely intelligent book shelves. We may have even read the books, but I find in most cases our level of implementation leaves something to be desired.
I have read countless books with great ideas or exercises that I couldn’t wait to try, but then life and business go in the way. Fires started popping up, and I ran to put them out. Maybe when I have a little more time I will implement some new strategies. Here’s the deal. You make the time. This list is a list of things you know you should be doing. You have heard experts talk about how this key step helped their business explode. You have read books on the topic. You know what to do or who to call. You just need to start. This list is about what you know you need to start doing, but just haven’t yet.

Things to Stop Doing

This is often the toughest. The final list should create the time for us to start implementing the new activities that we know we are supposed to be doing, but haven’t started. Often times we didn’t start because we just didn’t have the time. Well, I am calling BS. I know because I would make the same excuses in the past. I have 3 kids, coach Little League, a wife, a job, a business, and side hustle or two as well as friends and extended family. Even with all these areas vying for my attention, I still had opportunities to eliminate things from my calendar that were decreasing productivity.
For some this is as simple as not checking email or Facebook posts first thing in the morning. Imagine those first couple hours spent on something more productive, like writing this blog post, organizing your list of contacts for the day, practicing your scripts or presentation. It may be that going out for a beer to unwind with some friends on a Friday is perfectly acceptable and a reward for hitting your goals for the week. At the same time, closing the bar at 1 am is probably not increasing productivity for the week. Maybe it’s just getting sucked into the television that’s slowing you down. Whatever your vice, this is an area to find some much needed time to implement new high level activities to drive your business.

Keys to Productivity – Putting It All Together

These lists work together to create a road map to success in your business. Use the results of this exercise to develop a foundational calendar for a productive week. This time-blocking should incorporate all the success habits that are currently allowing your business to flourish as well as time to implement the new activities that are sure to take your business to the next level.
Review these lists quarterly as you may find that your activities need to change as your business increases. You may need to find ways to leverage some of the key activities as you further narrow your focus. This is a sure sign of success as you can begin to hire people who are even better than you in these certain areas. It may even be that you hire someone to implement the things you should start doing, essentially doubling productivity.
The key is spending a little time to assess what activities are the lifeblood of your business and ask yourself whether you are spending enough time on them. I challenge you to stop an complete this exercise right now before it just becomes another thing you know you should do, but you just didn’t implement.
For more exercises to create explosive sales results get your copy of The Miracle Morning for Salespeople Companion Guide on Amazon.

Are Your Sales Goals Big Enough? How to Create Results through Goal-Setting

Long-Term Goals Allow You to Dream

Most people are simply not thinking big enough when setting goals. Let’s see if I can walk you through what I mean. Take a moment now to think back to what your life was like ten years ago. Really STOP! Think back. How different is your life now? How many amazing things have you accomplished in the past ten years? Think of all the obstacles you have overcome. Review all the new things you have learned. Think of all the trips you have been on. Consider all the people you have met. Imagine all the new clients. If you were asked ten years ago if you would be where you are today, would you have even thought most of those things possible or even imaginable at this point in your life?

The thing is that, in sales, we focus so much on the short-term goals. What’s our goal for the year? Are we hitting our quarterly numbers? Did we do enough top dollar producing activities this week? All of these are extremely important to us growing our business, and I am not saying that we should stop doing any of them.

In fact, we offer a free report specifically for Hitting Your One Year Goals.

The Problem With Short Term Goals

There is, however, a problem with only thinking about our growth in the short-term. It can be hugely discouraging, and it can literally stop us from taking the required action to grow. When we fall behind on our short-term goals it is very easy to lose the commitment to the very activities that create results. Often our short-term goals are extremely high, yet our long-term vision lacks clarity and focus.

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”

–Bill Gates- Author of The Road Ahead

Having taught this as part of our Miracle Morning for Salespeople Live Seminar, I have watched a great number of people struggle to articulate their five-year and ten-year dreams and goals. This exercise and several others will provide fuel for your mind and spirit when you are falling short on this week’s goal and need some additional willpower. Often the one-year goal does not muster enough excitement to pull us back into action.

You can find several of these activities on Amazon in The Miracle Morning for Salespeople Companion Guide.

It will be much harder to give up on your five-year and ten-year dreams. After all, who can tell you that you cannot accomplish something in ten years? Look what you have already done in the last ten.

Click here to download 2 Free Chapters or purchase the book, The Miracle Morning for Salespeople.

Affirmations that Work – 4 Tips to Creating Effective Affirmations

Affirmations that Work!

Do you remember being told that if you want something, really really want something you must affirm and reaffirm those very same things loudly and clearly again and again? That you must say all those things that you want to be true as if they were already true?

And that’s exactly what you did! You sat there or stood there (maybe in front of a mirror) and  enunciated all those hopeful thoughts loudly and clearly, again and again (and hoped that nobody was able to hear you and if they did they did not think you were being silly!)

Even though that was precisely what you thought about yourself! And sometimes you asked if you were just lying to yourself…

It seemed like your words (even when stated loudly, clearly and repeatedly) still did not convince your mind or yourself. It became a process which you eventually agreed only made you feel conflicted, uncomfortable and unwilling to believe! And often plain silly!

So you stopped doing it!

You stopped believing in and practicing your affirmations!

Because you were not aware that it was possible to believe in your affirmations and to make them work!

And the Miracle Morning does just that – makes you aware of a process that will help you believe (again) in your affirmations and make them work!

There are 4 simple steps to this process:

  1. Affirm (again) – what do you really really want and why it is that so important to you. You begin by establishing and affirming what it is that is important to you and why it is important to you.
  2. Commit – what do you promise you are going to do to make sure what you really really want actually happens! What are the activities that you commit to do to make sure  your affirmations come true?
  3. Say it with feeling – you should be able to see what you want, smell it, hear it, almost taste it (and know that you are going to touch it – definitely touch it)
  4. Check in – with what you really really want as often as possible. Review them again and again.

An example of  an affirmation would be where you tell yourself that during this year you plan to double your sales volume in order to be able to afford 3 extremely exciting vacations with your family. And in order to double your sales volume you are going to ensure that you talk to 20 new people every new single day about your product.

I am doubling my sales volume in order to take my family on three vacations this year by talking with 20 prospects every day!

You are stating what you really want (the increased sales volume), why you want it (for that vacation) and what it is you are going to do to make certain that it happens (those 20  people you plan to talk to).

Then imagine, not talking to those 20 people you promised to contact. That should make you uncomfortable. Hopefully so uncomfortable that you actually make the calls.

And while that volume may not have doubled yet, it will be because of your commitment to talking to those 20 new people each day. Otherwise you would be living out of alignment, and that should make you more uncomfortable than not making the calls!

This is a reprogramming of the subconscious mind. You are creating new patterns and telling a new story about yourself. The difference now is that you can actually buy-in to your own words because it isn’t just wishful thinking. You are creating behavior change that will bring the results.

Integrity and without exception – that’s making sure you always do the things you say you are going to do.

If you enjoyed this article and would like more information on this topic, order your copy of The Miracle Morning for Salespeople now on Amazon!

Meditation and Silence Improve Sales

Could Meditation Grow Your Sales?

Meditation is making, or has made in some circles, it’s way out of the land of hippity-dippity into the business realm. Because of meditation’s tremendous benefits, it’s no surprise that meditation has become more and more popular as part of a daily routine of successful people and Fortune 500 Companies alike. The benefits of meditation reach far beyond the basics of simple peace and quiet. Recently I had the opportunity to see Julianna Raye, mindfulness coach and trainer, speak at the Best Year Ever Live Event, and she discussed some of the basic reasons why meditation is such an important part of a daily routine.

Here are just a few of the benefits of Silence and Meditation:

  • Improve Focus, Clarity, and Productivity
  • Lower Stress & Blood Pressure
  • Strengthen Your Immune System
  • Better Sleep Cycle
  • Heighten Creativity, Empathy, Emotional Regulation, and Well-Being
  • Slow Brain Degeneration and Increase Neuroplasticity
  • Improve Sex Drive

Now, I am sure there is not a single one of you reading this post that couldn’t use some improvement in at least one of those areas if not all of them. I am no exception to that rule. That is one of the reasons meditation has become such an important daily practice. For me, meditation has improved my attitude, intensified my clarity and focus, and allowed me to balance my emotions and stress in a healthy fashion.

Zen stones in water for meditation.

Zen stones in water for meditation.

As a salesperson, sales trainer, sales manager, sales leader, author, speaker, father, and husband, there is seldom a time that my mind stops for even a second. While that ADHD, type A, driven salesperson mentality has led me to accomplish a great many of my goals, it is not always the most healthy, efficient, or effective way to take on all challenges.

I have learned the incredible power of clarity and focus that comes from starting my day with a morning routine based in personal development. The first practice of which is Silence.

While I struggled with meditation for the first several attempts, okay, more like for weeks or even months, I have learned some extremely helpful tips in practicing meditation that have improved my practice and increased the benefits.

3 Tips to Improve Your Practice

1.) Focus on your breath. I would explain more, but it really needs little to no explanation. You have been breathing for your entire life. It takes no thought at all to breathe in and out. In fact, that’s likely why we still exist. So, by focusing on the breath, you will allow your body to relax and move away from trying to solve the problems of the world.

2.) Don’t fight the 50 Million thoughts. For a long time I thought I was meditating the wrong way. No matter what I did I couldn’t stop the thoughts from entering my head during meditation. Just recognize the distraction. Even label it based on whether it is something you see, hear, or feel and then let it pass and move on.

3.) Lots of us type A salespeople and entrepreneurs have trouble slowing down. I strongly suggest trying some guided meditations. There are some great apps available like Headspace, Calm, Omvana, and several others. There are also tons of Free guided meditations you can find on YouTube.

 

If you would like to learn more about my daily morning routine and how to implement silence and meditation into your day, check out two free chapters of my book, The Miracle Morning for Salespeople.