5 tips of a more productive week

A new year with new challenges and chances. Now is the moment to live up to your New Year’s resolutions. What are your goals for this year and how are you going to achieve them?

Sales is all about goals and achieving. This time of the year new targets are being presented and sales professionals need to prepare on how to be successful in the coming year. Several question you could ask yourself to prepare. How are you going to make your team hit the numbers? How can you create a more effective and productive work week? Do you need more control over your time? Do you need more time to coach your sales reps? Or do you simply want less stress in your job?

Due to daily pressure we tend to lose sight of the things we must do and waste too much time on things (we think) we have to do. In order to finish everything, we start working harder but not necessarily more productive. To be productive we need to know what to focus on and how much time we need to finish it. If you want to get more done in your working week, you need to work smarter.

There will always be a better way to get the job done. These are a few things you can do to have a more productive work week and help you on your way to be better than last year.

1. Take action. 

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done. – Bruce Lee (P. 43 Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee's Wisdom for Daily Living - Part III : On Matters of Existence)

In sales planning is crucial. You need a good sales strategy and sales plan in order to focus and reach your targets. Planning is important but be careful. If you return to the planning board too often, you might lose valuable work time.

Instead of constantly planning and updating, start doing. Execute whatever it is you need to do. Prioritise and start from the top. If you have the time, execute the next task. Don’t just wait until the planned time comes around. If you keep telling yourself you don’t have to finish that task now, it won’t go away. Instead of procrastinating, get on with it and check it off your To-Do list.

2. Start saying “No”.

"Focusing is about saying no" - Steve Jobs (WWDC'97)

Saying “Yes” to a request seems easier than a simple “no”. Yet every time you agree to do something for someone else it makes it difficult to have a schedule you can control and you don’t want that.

You can achieve more when you focus on what you have to do, when you have to do it and what you want to accomplish. When you have a clear goal for yourself it allows you to say ‘’no‘’ much easier. Focus will result into greater productivity where the total is much greater than the sum of its parts.

3. Don’t be a perfectionist.

 “Perfectionists often have problems with procrastination, missed deadlines, and low productivity.” - University of Texas – Austin

If you keep chasing perfection, it could take you longer to get your tasks done. You will most likely be less productive than you planned. While striving for perfection you spend too much time on a single task. Your other tasks will be pushed back. Resulting in too much to do, too little time. You won’t be able to finish the job at hand within the set time. In the end you will be rushing to get things done. Either way, you will not be very effective in successfully completing your tasks.

4. Clear your mind.

Don't trust your memory, it will fail you when you need it most. Write things down instead.

Now a days we can choose several ways to make notes. Writing things down the traditional way using, e.g., sticky notes, but there are also many modern solutions which can help you. Applications like WunderlistMoxtra and Evernote are just some examples. Great about these applications is the fact that you can synchronise them on multiple devices and share them if needed. Even taking notes can be done more effective this way.

Writing down everything you need to do and remember, will also help you prioritise and will aid you in creating an effective To-Do list.

5. Hold yourself accountable

At the end of each day, check your To-Do list and review your achievements. Check off everything you have done and it will show you what is left to be done. This will give you insight in your accomplishments. At the end of the week, when you are preparing for next week, get back to your To-Do list and review all the things you have achieved. Also find out what you didn't do and why. Take note of everything you postponed and learn from your mistakes. You will be better prepared for the following week.

Celebrate your accomplishments and start the weekend with a good feeling. Doesn't that sounds like a good New Year’s resolution, what’s yours?