How to Become More Productive

"Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend." - Theophrastus

"Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else." - Peter F. Drucker

Here are some quick tips for my fellow entrepreneurs - reminders, if you will - for ways that you and I can increase our productivity within the limited time that we have. I've found that more and more of us are working at more than one business or have a job on the side. It's easy to get caught up in the routine of each day and forget to be aggressive, expansive, productive and efficient. Here are some good time-maximizing practices that you may have forgotten:

1. Practice and prepare your scripts, your language and your presentations before you get into meetings. Think about what you'll say when meeting someone for the first time. Think about how to handle objections. Don't allow yourself to be caught off-guard.

2. Do something every single day to try to generate new business and/or tell your story to a new prospect. This can be done a number of ways: pass someone a business card, send an email, write an article for an industry magazine or update your blog. You never know where you're going to find your next Client.

3. Follow up with old contacts and prospects - those who chose to do business with you and those who didn't. First, you never know how their situations may have changed since you last visited with them. Second, sometimes people really do lose your contact information.

4. Take excellent care of your current clients. Don't just provide customer service. Provide customer OVER-service. Don't just communicate. Over-communicate. In uncertain market conditions, they could use your reassurance.

5. Be coached. No one has accomplished anything really great without coaches, Pastors, leaders and mentors from whom they could learn and improve. If you don't have a good one, get one! Just make sure they are excelling in an a role in which you want to excel or improve.

6. Read good books and listen to great audio programs every day. Make it a habit to feed your mind and soul well so that your attitudes can be healthy. Fueling your mind well will help your bottom line tremendously. Allowing discouragement and dejection to seep in will kill your business.

7. Exercise. This speaks for itself, but it's absolutely critical that you keep your energy level up and your mindset healthy if you're going to succeed as an entrepreneur or sale professional of any kind. Also, the stresses can really drag you down if you don't find healthy ways to process them.

8. Follow a schedule. It helps to have anchored times in your daily routine even if you don't plan every moment. There ought to be some elements of your life that are regimented.

9. Systems can increase your power. Systems create leverage and help you do more with less. Just the same way that sharpening an axe allows you to chop wood faster, using systems and tools in your work (investment sometime required!) can multiply your effectiveness.

10. Have fun! The days go by faster if you remember to find enjoyment in everything you do...and the necessary work doesn't seem quite as taxing. "Whistle while you work" is what I think they used to say!


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