Don’t panic! Saying ‘no’ to requests is an option - Julian Patel

Don’t panic! Saying ‘no’ to requests is an option – Julian Patel

Time is money, isn’t that what they say? There never seems to be enough of it these days. How do you make more time?

With smartphones, tablets, the Cloud and WiFi, we have the tools that can act as an efficiency flywheel to help run our businesses and our increasingly busy lives. Technology and Apps can help us claw back valuable time – and achieve a higher level of productivity and efficiency and get work completed, wherever and whenever it suits us.

But technology can be both a friend and an enemy – sometimes at the same time! Personally, I try to use it where it will help me, not just for the sake of it. Any tools that can help me understand how my team is performing, which way revenue is being driven or to identify trends and gaps in the business are worth investigating. But, too much data actually slow us all down. Find out what is critical for your team in helping them drive your business and focus on those ‘crucial few’ rather than getting data overload and confusing everyone!

So having said all that, here are a few of my tips for staying in control of the clock:

1. Go mobile

Smartphones give you the freedom to work anywhere and at any time. At the touch of a button you can update the CRM, view your sales forecast, manage appointment scheduling, share documents and implement a couple of TNTs – that could make all the difference to your next sale.

2. Ask yourself when are you most productive?

Just because the traditional working day is from 9 to 5 doesn’t mean it suits everyone. Work around your natural productivity cycle and bear in mind that your customers may have different working hours too.

3. Plan your day

At the start of each day take 10 minutes to plan it, you could save hours each week. Plan your strategy, such as implementing account-based marketing for your existing customer base, and stick to it. Don’t be a grasshopper!

4. Do the most important tasks first

It’s tempting to start with the tasks you like doing or that are easy – leaving the harder jobs for later. Try to rationalise what is most important for meeting your goals and customers’ needs and get these tasks underway first.

5. Rush the unimportant

Blast through tasks that are not critical to meeting your quarterly target – they still need to be completed but shouldn’t take your focus away from achieving key tasks.

6. Avoid multi-tasking

Multi-tasking is often a necessary evil, but will it help you meet your target? Focus on the things that will make a difference to your customers and enable you close a deal.

7. Have a leaving time

Give yourself a finite amount of time to get your tasks done and you’ll see your productivity rise. By switching off at the end of the day you can return refreshed and ready to focus on the next set of challenges.

We’re all battling with time. Technology is an enabler to efficiency but can also be the greatest distraction. Select the tools and working practices that will help rather than hinder. Download more time saving ‘Top Tips’ for more ideas to help streamline our busy lives.

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