This is a guest post written by Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling & Selling to Big Companies, two bestselling sales books and is a popular speaker who helps sellers crack into new accounts, speed up sales cycles and win more business.
How can I possibly be overwhelmed before the day has even started? Yet this morning, as I sit down at my desk to get to work, that's exactly how I feel.
My To Do list is overflowing with calls to make, proposals to write, customers to satisfy. Checking my email only makes things worse. Now another 72 people want my attention. I sometimes wonder if there's any light at the end of the tunnel.
After SNAP Selling (my book on selling to crazy-busy people) came out last year, I was deluged with requests from sellers who said, "I'm crazy-busy too! How can you help me?"
It's something I've been studying with a vengeance since then. Because I need help – and so do you. It's also why I'm hosting an online Sales Productivity Summit on March 17 & 24 th with HubSpot.
But let me give you some advice right now that can make a difference. Everything I'm sharing is based on research into how the brain works.
The truth is, your poor little brain is really incapable of handling all the things clamoring for its attention. The more things you have to do, the less efficiently it functions. Decisions are harder. You can't think of as many ideas. Everything takes longer.
Here are three simple but highly effective strategies I use to minimize my crazy-busy feelings.
1. Pick the "One Thing"
Every day I select just one thing that absolutely has to get done the next day. If I have five things, I get bogged down. But with just one essential "to do" I can ensure it's completion. (Note: Writing this article is my "one thing: for today.)
2. Put up a Barricade
It's so easy to get distracted. A phone call leads to six other tasks. Checking your email can result in the loss of an hour. When I'm serious about getting my "one thing" done, I don't answer the phone, check emails, or respond to any other interruptions. My time is valuable so I protect it. Usually I do this in one-hour increments.
3. Dump Your Ideas
Got some fledgling ideas floating around in your mind? How about something that you really need to remember for tomorrow? In order for your brain to function best, you don't want it to keep using its limited resources to remember things for you. Always write things down. This frees your brain up for more important thinking – like how to best win business with a new account.
These simple ideas really do work. They enable me to focus better. My thinking is better. I see more creative options for solving my problems.
In short, I get a lot more done in a lot less time! If you're crazy-busy too, I 'd suggest you give them a try.