Recently, I read an article about an executive who had every day planned out to an absolute ‘T.’ She worked out, called her family, made a super earth friendly breakfast, answered some emails, went to work, saved the world, played tennis…you get the idea. This woman really had her stuff together and it got me thinking…what does she do when something throws a curve her way? What if her car breaks down? What if she gets sick? What if, what if, what if?

This is VERY common among this time of year as well. Not only for producers, but just the human population in general. It’s so simple to ease right into the ‘end of year’ mindset. You know…the “it’s already October 1st, I might as well just take care of it next year” or, “I’m SO busy in fourth quarter, we’ll look at our agency plan the first week of 2019.”

The whole point is that I know how to #GSD and to do it effectively, especially when I’ve got my routine down and my day planned out. I’m sure most of you do.

BUT – we all know that every single day is not going to go as planned – especially in sales. The question lies in how do you keep yourself aligned when you’re out of alignment?

The truth is, it’s NOT easy. Being disciplined is not easy, planning for success for the coming year is not easy, keeping your hands off of that homemade apple pie is not easy – BUT that doesn’t mean it’s not doable.

Here are three ideas to help you stay productive, even if you’re not in your normal routine.

1. Create productive habits

This seems so simple right? Surprisingly, I talk with more people that have this challenge than not. This can be as simple as spending 10 minutes per day on LinkedIn, sending a handwritten note each week to at least five prospects, reading at least one educational article per day, you get the picture. Or you can get aggressive and spend two hours a day marketing as your habit.

The point is once you create habits for success, you’ll make sure you do them no matter where you are or what routine you’re in. 

***Extra Tip for Creating Productive Habits*** If you find yourself struggling here, start out by taking 10-15 minutes each morning to create your Do-List for the day and take 10-15 minutes at the end of the day determining what you accomplished and what needs to be done tomorrow. If you can start with this, you’ll notice a huge difference in your productivity levels/habits.

2. Plan for and define success

What does a successful day look like to you? How about a week? Month? Year? If you don’t have a vision of what that looks like, you’ll very likely find yourself at the end of the day wondering – what did I do?

Take time to define this from big picture to weekly and daily activities.

How? Check out our Producer Planning Guide to get you started. Not a producer? That’s okay, these guidelines will help you define and set goals for success regardless of your role in the agency.

3. Check-in weekly

This is the BEST thing I’ve learned so far in my career. It goes right in line with creating a habit. Ask yourself weekly, did I accomplish the one thing I set out to accomplish this week? What challenges did I face? What was my greatest success? What did I do to accomplish that one thing? What will I accomplish next week?

Trust me, once you get in the habit of doing this – it won’t matter what routine you’re in – you’ll want to continue it!

I’m sure these seem pretty ‘obvious’ right? As I mentioned before, I work with many for which it’s not. The confusion of activity vs. productivity is REAL and leaves so many wondering at the end of the day – “What happened?”

We’ve filled up our time doing ‘things’ but haven’t really accomplished what we hoped we would. The excuses are normally, “I’m so busy,” “I’m out of my routine,” “Once A happens then B will happen.”

If this is you, take some time to invest in yourself and follow these three key steps to success, one day at a time.

Photo Credit: jayfish

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