Being productive consistently can be a challenge at any time of the year. Throw in the craziness of fourth quarter, and it can feel almost impossible. Of course, the increased workload of the season makes a commitment to productivity more critical than ever.
Here are a few keys to putting the PR (personal record) into your PRoductivity efforts.
We all have so many things we can be doing and often let the less important get in the way of the urgent and critical. Ask yourself some questions to uncover the priorities you must focus on and remain focused on.
What are you doing that you could do less of—or even stop altogether?
When you already have more things to do than time to do them, you must first clear space to make room. Start by taking an honest inventory of the items filling your day that you can stop doing altogether or, at the very least, do less of. Realize this may not be a permanent stoppage or reduction but must be done to address more pressing priorities.
What are the two, three, maybe four key results that are most important for you to deliver?
Identify the most critical results to deliver between your role and your unique abilities. Don't list all the results you CAN deliver; only list the few you MUST.
What are the one or two activities for each key result?
After identifying your key results, identify the core activities to ensure you achieve the needed results.
How can you measure each activity?
We’ve all heard the saying that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. For each activity, determine a way to measure it. For example, prospecting can be measured by calls made or emails sent.
One of the consistent challenges we hear from agencies is a need for more operational processes. Anything you do regularly and repeatedly should be guided by a clearly defined, documented, and consistently executed process. Things that aren't addressed this way have more inefficiencies and inaccuracies than should be acceptable.
At a minimum, you should have processes in the following six operational areas:
- Client onboarding
- Elevated service issues
- Service installation
Creating a process should not be overwhelming; it is as simple as keeping a step-by-step log the next time you go through a given activity. At the end, you’ll have a defined and documented process. Chances are, it won’t be perfect. However, it will be a guide that will become more and more perfect as you refine and improve it over time.
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If something is a priority, you protect it by committing time to it on your calendar. If I could look at your calendar right now, I could tell you what is most important to you. I know your upcoming renewal and prospect meetings are all on there.
Unfortunately, what probably isn't there are the activities that make the successful execution of everything else possible. For instance, I would unlikely find prospecting or professional development regularly scheduled in your calendar.
Here are a few specific suggestions to protect your priorities:
Time block – No matter what you tell yourself, you’re less efficient and productive when you attempt to multi-task. An important key to productivity is to set aside a time block dedicated to one specific activity. This can be a difficult habit to build, but is doable if you start with short time blocks (even as short as 10 or 15 minutes) and build from there.
No exceptions – The time commitment doesn't mean anything if you don't execute it when it pops up on your calendar. Sure, there are going to be the very occasional urgent matters that arise. Still, they should be the rarest of occasions that keep you from the activity you committed to on your calendar. Think of the urgency it would take for you to reschedule a prospect or renewal meeting and apply that restraint to your other priorities.
No interruptions or distractions – Ensure you’re completely focused on the task when the time slot pops up. Turn off email, phone notifications, and anything else that would compete for your attention. Maybe, most important of all, ask your team not to interrupt you during your focus time.
Team huddles to organize handoffs and updates – A blinders-on, totally focused approach to productivity takes a team effort, making team communication critical. Having team huddles regularly (daily is ideal) will provide the confidence that nothing will slip through the cracks.
The high cost of not changing
This may seem like a lot of work, work that you are probably telling yourself you don't have time for. If that's you, that's the biggest red flag you need to focus on PRs like never before. If you want to achieve new levels of productivity, you have no choice.
Content provided by Q4intelligence
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