Make List, Check Thrice

Have you ever uttered these words, There is just not enough time in the day.? Actually, there is always enough time to do the things you need to do, especially if you make them priorities. William Ellery Channing, a 19th-century clergyman, once said, It has often been observed, that those who have the most time at their disposal profit by it the least. He added, A single hour in the day, steadily

Have you ever uttered these words, “There is just not enough time in the day.”? Actually, there is always enough time to do the things you need to do, especially if you make them priorities.

William Ellery Channing, a 19th-century clergyman, once said, “It has often been observed, that those who have the most time at their disposal profit by it the least.”

He added, “A single hour in the day, steadily given to the study of some interesting subject, brings unexpected accumulations of knowledge.”

We are all familiar with the “80/20 Rule.” It stems from Vilfredo Pareto discovering at one time in Italy that 20% of the citizens had accumulated 80% of the country's wealth.

Since then, we have observed the significance of his ratio, especially as it relates to sales performance. Usually, 80% of sales production comes from about 20% of staff. Effort and time management causes this principle.

By spending 80% of your time on the top 20% of your tasks, you boost your productivity and improve your efficiency. McDonald's founder Ray Kroc built a big business on this concept. He trimmed his menu so that he sold only what most customers wanted.

Follow these steps and organize your success:

  • Organize constructively

    Make a list of the things that are important to you, and check the list three times a day, morning, noon and night. Transform intentions into commitments. When you make a true commitment, excuses are not an option. If your have 10 items on your list, look at the top two (20%). Remember success is predicated upon effort. Award 80% of your time to the top 20% of the tasks and spend the remaining 20% of your time on the remaining 80%.

    Let's say, one of your confessions is, “My desk is always messy.”

    Solution: First, take a picture of your working area and then put everything on the floor. Develop a folder for everything, and toss items that you have not touched in months. Finally, take a picture of your accomplishment and refer to it periodically. Avoid unnecessary storage. Everything has its place. If you spend most of your time looking for lost items, it's time wasted. Always place items in designated areas.

  • Shorten your time lines

    Odds for success will increase when you have a short time for achievement. This works for motivating your staff. For the best results and long-term focus, have your staff break their goals into quarterly rather than annual time frames. Channing said, “It is astonishing how fruitful of improvements a short season becomes, when eagerly seized and faithfully used.”

  • Avoid procrastination

    In order to make your efforts successful, take the advice of famous leaders. College football coach Lou Holtz says to remember W.I.N. That stands for “What's important now.” This will aid you in prioritizing your list, your game plan and your journey. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, said, “Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”

  • Identify your peak times

    I describe the automotive business as predictably unpredictable. But there are some certainties. Increase your effectiveness by identifying the best time to train your staff and the best time for preparation. For example, know the best time to prospect and follow up with your customers. Plot the times of day most customers visit your dealership.

    Use a log to track sales calls. And by all means, take advantage of modern technology. A variety of software systems and devices can track leads throughout their entire cycles. It's yet another way to stay organized.

Ron Coxsom, a motivational sales trainer, is at [email protected] and 615-231-0030.

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