Every employee at every company wants to be productive, but sales reps put a special emphasis on productivity because their most crucial resource is time. They only have a limited amount of time to do research, connect with prospects, and ultimately hit quota. They need to guarantee they are getting the maximum return on the time they invest.
But what do you do if you haven’t found the right productivity tip yet? You’ve tried them all, but haven’t experienced the success you thought you would.
Well, that’s why we created this list of “weird” productivity tips that you may not have tried yet that'll help you stay productive all day and night. Here’s your chance to give something new a shot.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
1) Get up early every day.
The benefits of being an early bird are well documented, but not everyone is on board yet. So here’s my pitch for sales reps: Getting up early simply gives you more time than the rest of your competition. Those extra few hours or minutes can really add up. Imagine bonus time for prospecting or product demonstrations, and how those additional hours might translate into more closed deals.
2) Keep your desk clean.
Simple as it may seem, having an organized desk can boost your performance. The thinking goes: When your desk is organized, and you know where everything is and where everything should be, you feel more in control. And that feeling of control can reduce stress and increase productivity.
In a Forbes Article, David Burkus argues that having a clean desk naturally adds structure to our lives, making it easier for us to achieve our goals.
Neil Patel even points out that keeping your desk clean naturally limits the amount of distractions you face. Again, when you know where everything is, there’s no need to waste time looking for something or fiddling around with an object.
3) Find the right playlist.
What if all you needed to do to get more done was listen to your favorite albums again and again? Well, this might not be so far off.
A study from Dr. Teresa Lesiuk found that when professionals listen to music, they accomplished more than their non-music listening counterparts. The study suggests that when people turn on the right playlist, their mood improves, and they can focus more easily.
During tasks you might consider mundane, put your headphones on and queue up your favorite music. What kind of music? It doesn’t matter, as long as you’re listening to what you love.
4) Use four social networks.
Are you on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram? Wait, you’re on all four? Great news! A study conducted by Evolv found that employees who use up to four social media networks outperform their peers.
The reps that were using all four platforms, the study found, boasted a 1.6% higher sales conversion rate and were on the phone for 2.8% less time than their colleagues. That means more sales in less time, which leaves extra hours to reach out to even more prospects.
5) Turn up the heat.
How high is your air conditioning cranked? All the way? That might be a problem.
This study from Cornell University found that when offices are colder, employees tend to be more distracted and prone to errors. Researchers increased an office’s temperature from 68 to 77 degrees, and watched as employee’s typing errors dropped by 44%, and output increased by 150%.
6) Take cold showers.
Most everybody takes warm showers, but they actually might be killing our productivity. Phil Dumontet notes that doctors recommend warm showers to people who have trouble falling asleep, because entering the cool air immediately after the shower leads to a “tranquil state of mind.”
Instead of trying to do too much, try taking a break instead. Several studies have proven that taking regular breaks and getting away from the task at hand can actually lead to being more productive than if you were to continue to pluck away. According to a study by the Dragium Group, the ideal work schedule for productivity is 52 minutes of hard work, followed by a 17-minute break.
Taking breaks is critical to success. While others try to push through their exhaustion, people who take structured breaks will actually be more productive in the end.
8) Set an incredibly unrealistic goal.
This one sounds odd, but it works wonders for stimulating your brain. When we set an unrealistic goal for ourselves and initially fail, we immediately look for new ways to solve the problem, according to Robert Epstein. As a result, the solution eventually comes to us and the complex tasks we set out to solve seem simpler. Think of it as stretching before you go for a jog.
I like the metaphor from Leo Widrich at Buffer: “It is like going to the gym and lifting an incredibly heavy weight, where you quickly fail after a few reps. By overwhelming your brain, similar to a muscle, it expands and gets activated. Any other ‘normal’ task thereafter appears incredibly easy and allows you to push much further than before.”
9) Smile, then smile again.
Staying productive means staying stress-free and focused. Despite whatever might be going on in your day, there is one easy way to shake off the stress and jack up your productivity: Smile. Whether it’s genuine or not doesn’t matter. In fact, even faking a smile can improve the likelihood that we enjoy what we’re doing, according to one study. And when we enjoy what we’re doing, we’re more likely to be focused and productive.
Getting the most out of your day is critical to success. It can mean the difference between closing a deal and almost closing a deal. Even though productivity differs by personality, start by trying these nine tips today to begin optimizing your days.
Originally published Nov 23, 2015 7:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017