It’s Tuesday morning and you’re ready to sit down and tackle the workday. You have your cup of coffee in one hand while the other hand starts attacking that over-stimulated inbox. You’re just about to respond to an email that takes priority when - -
your phone rings and you start answering questions when - -
a meeting reminder pops up on your computer screen so you get off the phone to head to the meeting and - -
your boss sneaks in to ask you to take on another project. You agree and get started on it and - -
the workday is over. What in the world just happened?
This is no unfamiliar story in the sales world. From meetings to prospecting to taking care of everyday business it’s no wonder that almost half the workweeks in a year are lost due to the amount of multitasking. The interesting thing about it is that time isn’t the problem. It’s how time is being managed.
Everyone comes to work, yet no one actually gets anything done at work. Think about those people who come in earlier than everyone else in the office or the ones who stay really late. It’s not because they’re over achievers. Instead, it’s because they’re most productive at these times when they have no interruptions or distractions. Ask the people you work with sometime and ask them when or where they’re most productive. A majority will either say a location, a moving object or a time of day. For example, some will say a coffee shop, their kitchen table, the airplane or a car to their next meeting, or the late hours of the night.
So why doesn’t work happen at work?
It’s simple: managers, meetings and the never-ending multitasking that comes with both. Why do you allow managers and meetings to steal time from you? It’s because the workdays have drastically changed and people have traded their workdays for small work moments. Everyone’s time is broken into increments and no one knows what to do about it. So instead, your sales reps or teams are going elsewhere where there’s no managers or meetings such as a coffee shop or working late hours of the night.
Think of how some of the most creative people work. They do their best work either very early in the morning or late at night. No matter the time they work, they know when their creative output is at the highest and when their minds are fully engaged they structure their days accordingly knowing they need a long unit of time to be in deep thought. Everyone knows when they’re most productive whether they’re creative or not. (via The Huffington Post)
Let’s start with the meetings and why so many are unnecessary. Does this video ring a bell?
YouTube: David Grady: How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings (via TED Talks)
Most have you have experienced this and meetings that leave you wishing you had that time back in your life. And everyone knows one meeting leads to another and then so on. But what many of these meeting coordinators don’t know is that a one hour meeting affects the productivity of the business by how many people agree to accept the meeting invitation. If there are four people in a meeting that’s four hours of productivity taken away from the business. What if you have eight or nine meeting at one time? Now there have been about nine hours of productivity taken from the business if it’s a one hour meeting. Meetings have become toxic in the modern office and stealing the time of others.
So what are the best sales managers doing to help their teams rather than hurt them during the workday? According to Sandler Training they’re doing less micro-managing. Instead they work alongside their team members rather than directly over their shoulders or popping in and out of offices. They also seek to mentor their sales reps and tweak motivation to align with individual preferences. Great sales managers recognize when sales reps don’t need or want to be coached and take a step away so these reps can be alone to do their high-priority tasks. (via Sadler Training)
Here’s what managers can do to make the office a more pleasurable work environment and one of the most productive places:
- Spend more time understanding if active collaboration is needed – Many times emails or instant messages are sufficient enough. Issues or ideas can be dealt with on the reps own time this way.
- No Talk Tuesday – It sound anti-social but your introverts will love it and it will be the most productive day of the week for the whole office.
- Stop overcrowding meetings - They’ll go faster.
- Stop interrupting the work of others.
- Cancel your next meeting - See what happens. It won’t be as detrimental as you think it will be. Life will still go on and hopefully in a more productive manner.
Less meetings may just create eight hours of highly productive, uninterrupted work at the office. Stealing the time of others isn’t just an idea, it’s a problem that’s affecting how organization are run. Let’s stop the epidemic and make the office a place where great work happens. It’s worth a try.
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Read more here about how sales culture affects the productivity of your organization.
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