Put Your Head Down and Go!

I have always been the type of person who thrives in a crazy busy schedule.  If I don’t have a back-to-back schedule, I don’t feel productive.  Call it obsessive compulsive, or a bit neurotic, but my day from 8am to 5pm is most productive when my plate is full.

When those pockets of your day creep up when you don’t have a tight schedule, how do you get it to fill up?  Do you turn to research, prospecting, organizing, or…?  What if your calendar is light for the week?  What then?

Busywork does not always produce results.  If you choose to utilize your down time to organize your desk / briefcase / contact data base, then only commit to organizing for 15-30 minutes.  You can easily loose track of time if you allow yourself more, and your day is wasted.  If you are trying to achieve more activity, then start the activity that will get the ball rolling: cold calling.

I have learned over the years that cold calling is like public speaking.  It makes your heart beat a little faster, your palms get sweaty, and it’s so easy to ask someone else to do it.  But when you take the plunge and go for it, the adrenaline rush you can experience can push you ahead to do it again and again until you get a “yes.”  It takes time to feel comfortable with this activity, and also some planning.  I rarely make a cold call without having some background knowledge of either the individual, business, or reason for my call first.  I want to appear informed and helpful, and the ability to access requested information is key.

How do you get started? Put your head down and go for it! Don’t second guess yourself.  Don’t worry about what the person on the other end of the line / email / text / desk will think of you.  If you represent yourself in an honest, professional and sincere manner, you will achieve success.

Lazy Sundays Equal Productive Mondays

How much can you get done in 48 hours?  Advertisements for home improvement stores appeal to weekend projects as the way to cram in that to-do list item as one would advertise for a relaxing vacation.  Weekends tend to be our time for cleaning, stocking the fridge, spending time with family and friends, gardening and perhaps if you’re lucky – doing something totally relaxing.  Okay, some of my loved ones do consider gardening relaxing.

I am loving this time of year – you know, the time of the year after football season, and before baseball?  My Sundays are not currently filled with the sound of the TV running one game into the other and only ending with a cry for tasty burgers off the grill.  Historically Sundays have been called the “day of rest.”  No work, no exertion, only some leisure activities to fill the day.  Ahhhh.

The life / business organization company FranklinCovey has a program called FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities.  They present the challenge of “(w)hen work effort isn’t in sync with a person’s life values and priorities, it’s easy to be busy on less meaningful matters. Even technologies devised to mobilize and liberate can paralyze us in an avalanche of data and clutter. So instead of focusing on and responding proactively to what’s truly important, employees become distracted and feel pressure to react to situations perceived as urgent.”  How’s that for kicking off your work week?

FranklinCovey goes on to say “(w)hen people’s daily activities align with their highest priorities, they have a credible claim to better performance, higher achievement, and peace of mind.” 

On a Sunday (or day off from work), what are your priorities?  Can you turn away from the clutter around you for just a short while and focus on what’s really important?

By giving your mind, body and soul a much needed rest (even for just one day a week) it can do wonders for your productivity come Monday morning.