In the rush, rush, rush that defines most businesses today, we are trained to cram every possible activity we can onto our calendars. The fine art of saying “no” is a masterful technique in and of itself, IF, you can pull it off that is. Often, we are at the mercy of others who have requests that demand our time, which we cannot ignore. Still, with all of this so-called multi-tasking going on, I wonder, are we really any more effective?
For years, we have been seduced into thinking that multi-tasking is a good thing. Sales people are given atta-boys for their ability to juggle multiple priorities at once. Sales managers praise their people for being able to take customer calls, do email and text all while taking a potty break. Nothing is more disconcerting than listening to someone take a business call from the bathroom stall next to you by the way. The reinforcement of this multi-tasking mania has now led to people texting and answering email on their iPhones and Blackberry’s while driving! Absolute madness.
Quite an industry has sprung up around this notion of “managing time”. The myth is that multi-tasking isn’t managing time, it is only wasting it. An August 2009 research report from Stanford University shows that so-called high achieving multi-taskers are only frying their brain. Guru’s far more experienced than me will tell you that time management has always been a myth. All of us have the same 24 hours in the day. The #1 key to social selling success comes from a single minded focus on the “right” priorities. Your objective is to focus on the one thing – the big rock – that you complete before moving on to the next. This is especially important as you integrate social media into your sales process. The idea is to save time not waste it!
As I talk to groups about social media and how to integrate it into their sales/networking approach, I always ask, “What are your top two or three concerns about using social media?” Predictably, someone always says, “I don’t have the time.” That attitude springs from the belief that you are “adding on” to what you already do now. In reality, you need to let something else go. Everyone has time wasters disguised as results driven activities hidden somewhere on their calendar. Many are hidden in plain sight.
Try this exercise. Write down how many face-to-face networking events you attended in the past month. Even if it’s 1 per week, you probably spent at least 3 hours when you include drive time plus the event time itself. That’s 12 hours – more than a full business day each month. Now consider your hourly billable rate and ask yourself if you secured enough clients from those activities to make it worth it. The answer – based on experience and the answers I receive from every group that I poll – will likely be a resounding no! Not even close. That’s why the effective use of social networking tools like LinkedIn is such a beautiful thing. Done right, you spend “less time” actually getting better results.
How we view time is in direct proportion to our attitude about time. Your peers, your competitors and your friends don’t have any more hours in the day than you do. It is all about how you use them. If you ever want to invest in finding out how you prioritize, I encourage you to check out our Time Mastery assessment. For as little as $31 and the investment of a 10-15 minutes, you will discover just how well you work with your daily 24 hour allotment.
Time management is a myth. How you choose to spend your time moment to moment is what counts!