Top 5 Tips of Effective Time Management

What if I told you that how you use your time dramatically affects your income and the level of success you achieve in your career?

Well, that is exactly what I am telling you! You must take control of your time to take control of your income and career. Only then will you have the focus you need for success. Here’s how you get started.

To-Do Lists

End each day with the 5 actions items you must accomplish the following day. 4 out of 5 of these actions must be revenue generating.  If they are not revenue generating, rewrite your list.

Controlling In-Bound Communication

I know, you are very social and love to catch up with suppliers and CSRs at your office, and it’s great to chat with the occasional customer who might call.  Are these conversations on your daily list? Probably not. This is about taking control to build a business, not about instant responsiveness.

  • Forward your land line to voicemail.  Check it 3 times each day and respond only if urgent.
  • Silence your cell phone ringer and text notification. Check it 3 times each day and respond only if urgent.
  • Review incoming mail over a trash can, pitch what is irrelevant and save what you need to review for Friday afternoon when the pace is slower.

Allocate time for the following activities each week

  • Client research and prospecting
  • Order follow-up and “thank you’s”
  • Product research/quotes
  • Social media interaction
  • Brief check-ins with your team—CSRs, graphics, AR, referral sources
  • Face-to-face with 1-2 clients

Managing your time involves changing your clients expectations.  You can do this easily with a holiday “thank you” note.

“Hi Jane, Thank you so much for your business and friendship this year!  You are the reason I love my job so much.  In 2015, I have set aside Thursday afternoons to focus exclusively on helping you with your promotional calendar. I really look forward to kicking this off on 1/8/15, and know it will make your life easier….”

Fire time wasting clients.  You know who they are and it’s time you set them free to get better service elsewhere.

“Hi Steve—starting in 2015, I have changed the focus of my business and no longer embroider the 6 fishing team shirts you buy at Costco once a year.  ABC Embroidery is happy to help with that—here is their number.”

Most promotional product sales reps will tell you that time management is a major weakness of theirs. Most will tell you that they want to improve their time management skills. They will listen to a talk on the subject and read the handout material. It is rare for a sales rep to improve their time management skills. Why?  They can’t keep up, they don’t have the time, they can’t get organized, not enough hours in the day, they’re working on it.

You can be the one who improves their time management skills, increases their income and achieves greater career success. Just get started now and stick with it!