By Walter Rogers, Contributor. US Daily Review.
As mentioned in part 1, there are 13 weeks in a quarter. Every wasted week represents a 7.5% LOSS. After only four weeks you will lose 30% of the available time in a quarter. Rather than feel overwhelmed with all the activities that need to take place to achieve the quarterly goals, focus on the weekly and daily goals. At either the beginning or the end of each week, whichever works best for your style, check your list of weekly goals against the master list you established in part 1. The key is to do this either at the end of the day on Friday or before the day starts for everyone else on Monday.
Managing the 13 weeks effectively and making incremental progress each week against the quarterly goal will help you stop productivity leakage. Key action-items to remember when focusing on your weekly time cycle:
Separate the important issues from the Noise and create a weekly goals list. Write the list early on Monday morning or late on the previous Friday so you can start the week clean.
We are so accustomed to having our day controlled by interruptions that we have lost sight of the need to maintain a laser-focus on the specific activities that are critically important to achieving our goals. Your first line of defense against all these distractions is identifying the 3 – 5 things that you absolutely will get done that support achieving the weekly goals. Doing so will force you to prioritize your work around these most important items. Prioritizing the activities, however, is not enough. You must also schedule time on your calendar to actually complete these activities. This will force you to prioritize how you choose to use your time. Do everything in your power to complete these critical activities. The cumulative effect of managing these activities will be a well-managed day. An example list might include such items as:
- Review day’s call plan.
- Inspect yesterday’s call metrics.
- Submit updated marketing metrics.
- Schedule new end of week team meeting.
- Update QBR.
There are six easy steps that will immediately and dramatically boost your productivity:
- Start your day as early as possible. Getting up early, or at least earlier than you usually do will be easier when you are doing it as part of your tactics. You will be able to focus on your daily agenda before the interruptions begin. If you are late night person, use nighttime to accomplish this same task.
- Decide early which five activities you will accomplish that day to help you achieve your weekly goals. Make the items incremental, with small steps.
- Schedule time on your calendar. Assign a start and end time to each activity. Be very specific with the outcome of the action item. For example, if your outcome is to review the pricing section of a contract for a client, write down “review section 3.4 of contract for client X” vs. “Contract review”
- Whether you use salesforce.com, another CRM, Outlook, or a pen-and-paper calendar, pick one of these tools and don’t scatter your notes and messages among various types of media.
- Hold your High Focus meeting no matter what.
- Most people tend to complete the easiest action first, and then lose momentum as the day unfolds. Reverse that pattern. Work on the most difficult of the activities as early in the day as possible, before the wave of interruptions starts flowing towards you.
Walter Rogers is President and CEO of Baker Communications, a global Sales Performance Transformation company with a local presence in more than 20 countries. He currently hosts a weekly segment on Bloomberg Radio KNTH focused on Sales, CRM and Marketing best practices as published in his latest book SPARK! He is a featured speaker and has been interviewed on ABC News, CBS News Radio, CNN News Radio, Sales Rep Radio and WF Radio.