Is everything old new again? Yep!
I am re-reading C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, and it never fails to amaze me how much new “stuff” I learn when I read something or listen to something for the 2nd or 3rd time. Today, good Ole’ C.S. taught me about Dr. Samuel Johnson… an 18th century thinker who did some writing and composing of literature. He was well respected and has come to be known as “arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history,” according to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Dr. Johnson said, according to C.S. Lewis, “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.”
I know I feel that way a lot! I do not need a whole course in that topic I simply need to be reminded. I need to have someone bring back to the top of my mind the important things I have pushed aside for the higher priority thinking I have to do.
Given that philosophy we have published the “Top 10 Plus” from our most popular Podcast Guests at The Business of Sales: Tom Hegna, Randy Marshall, and G.A. Bartick. Give it a listen, I think you will like it. CLICK HERE.
What do you need to be reminded of? Maybe you do not know until you are reminded, so let me just throw out some topics that I know I need to be reminded of:
How to be more productive in the use of my time.
If multi-tasking is a myth (and I believe it is) and if I am not as productive as I believe I could or should be, maybe I need to be reminded of the “hacks” for managing my time. I know them, when reminded, but I have stopped using them for whatever reason. This is one that came up when I was coaching an agent. We are reading David Allen’s Getting Things Done together. I am implementing several changes in how I do business based on what I’m being reminded of. This is my 3rd or 4th time through GTD! Maybe I’m just slow… in any case, the weekly review is back in my organization system.
Building Systems to get work done.
I know that I am more productive when I have a system in place to do certain things. I need to stop and re-think systems in my business. What systems do I need to make it easier and more efficient to accomplish work, especially the repetitive, easy to do stuff. A system will help me avoid mistakes and get the work done faster. My calendar is the system I need to do more with to improve my productivity.
Remembering that the entire sales process is required to make long term sales.
We all cut corners and sometimes we cut corners in the sales process and when we do the sales do not “stick.” We need a reminder that we should follow the sales system, the process. If I don’t have a clear understanding with my client or prospect about WHY they need the product or service, they have decided to buy then down the road the sale will “blow up.” My product will be returned, I will not get additional business, and the customer will not be satisfied with my work and (here is the really bad part), they will TELL Other People! None of us can afford to have that happen. So how do you remind yourself and what do you do to ensure you are using the sales process to your advantage to help your prospects and clients? For me, the bottom line is to stop taking short cuts.
FOCUS is the most important skill in business, according to Gates and Buffett, so I need to have a way to set priorities and then FOCUS on things in priority order.
What are your top 5 priority tasks or projects? Great, now cut that list down to 2 and put the other 3 in a box for some time later. Multitasking is a myth, our brains do not work that way so stop trying to focus on 20 things, it just causes stress. Choose the two most important things for you to spend your time on and then block out time to focus on them ONE AT A TIME. FOCUS and how to do that is something I need to remember because I let my list of most important things become way too long. When that happens, I become like a chicken pecking little pieces off the list. Are you set up to focus or to peck? My daily plan lists my top strategic priorities, so they stay in front of me, and I cut the list down to two.
Take time to stop and Think On Purpose
We are all running “90 to nothing.” (I’m not sure what that means, but my Mom used to say it, and I think it means too fast.) The world around us is moving at breakneck speed and if we don’t get on board we are afraid we will be left out or miss something. The fact is this: If we don’t STOP, get out of the race, and think about things with deliberate purpose, we will lose our sense of direction and our priorities. We start doing the next thing that hits our mind or our desk or our email without a strategy, without thinking about what we should be doing. Stop. Create an agenda. Get away from the race. Turn off all the electronics. Think about the things that are most important to you. Think on purpose. I am CONVICTED!! I just scheduled a day for me to Think on Purpose.
The next thing that usually comes to my mind when I’m reminded about any of these things is this: “Okay, so now what do I do about it?” We can think on purpose for days at a time but if my thinking on purpose doesn’t boil down to a list of things I’m going to do or not do then my thinking was for naught. Action is still where everything happens. What am I going to do differently? Action is the key.
Do you have a system for thinking on purpose so you don’t have to be reminded to do it?
Do you have something you do to remind yourself of the things you need to think about?
I believe one of our next podcasts is going to be on what action you might want to take when you think on purpose about these topics or any others.
For right now, think about this. You are a good person and you show your goodness by the actions that you take especially what you say and how you treat other people. You are good at what you do no matter what anyone else has to say. God does have a plan for your life and for mine, and his plan is for us to have life and to have it more abundantly, according to the Gospel of John 10:10. Let’s get in touch with Him and get on the same page.