Because nobody’s invented a Star Trek style transporter yet, smart phones are probably the coolest mass market gadget in the world. While the ability to send a message to someone and know that it’s received is very powerful, too much of it can become a negative. A recent study by neuroscientist Daniel J Levitin explains how our addiction to technology is making us less efficient. But Earl Miller, a neuroscientist at MIT and one of the world experts on divided attention, says that our brains are “not wired to multitask well… When people think they’re multitasking by emailing and texting  while doing something else, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. Peter Milner and James Olds, both neuroscientists at McGill University in Montreal, found that the same part of the brain that lights up with dopamine when a gambler wins a bet or drug addicts take cocaine, is affected when someone responds to an email or text.
A simple solution is simply to turn off all your notifications and choose to check your messages periodically.
For dozens of time management and focus strategies, check out Northbound’s Goal Aligned Time workshop. Most executives would say if there is one area of their life where there is a serious time and priority mismatch, it would with their family. Turning your priorities into action starts with having a clear set of goals that reflect your values and emphasizes all the different areas of your life such as family, career, financial, health, social, spiritual and recreational. Urgency versus Importance: The first step in overcoming procrastination is to understand that by definition, urgent activities are done before non-urgent.
The 15 Minute Strategy: Psychologist David Burns recommends simply making a promise with yourself that you will give some task you’ve been putting off just 15 minutes of effort. Think of the End Result: Instead of thinking of how difficult the process may be to accomplish something, think rather on the end result and all the great things that it will mean to you. You and your team can learn dozens of other proven time management strategies with Northbound’s Goal Aligned Time™ workshop.
Specifically, the investment is the fifteen minutes that you can use at the end of your day to plan your next day. Simply by taking those few minutes and following a few simple steps, you will very likely experience a minimum of one hour of increased productivity the very next day! Prioritize the tasks as As (need to get done tomorrow) or Bs (important but don’t absolutely have to be done tomorrow). Work on one task at a time until you’re done (easier said than done we know) before moving onto the next.
Mark off your tasks as you get them done, allowing time for interruptions and unplanned activities.
Show me a sales professional in the top 10% of their industry and I’ll show you a person who is in the top 10% at time management.
Unfortunately, as salespeople, we are hard wired to be poor at juggling priorities and tasks. An “A” priority means that it’s “important and urgent” for the week while a “B” means that while important, it doesn’t necessarily have to be done this week. Just like a black hole, the gravitational attraction of email can suck you in just like a planet and once you’re in, there’s no turning back! Whether it’s someone walking in to discuss last night’s “American Idol” or your email ringing each time you get a message, you lose much more than the time to chat or listen to the bell. I’ve read several studies over the years about interruptions in the workplace and how they affect our productivity.
If you are needing to focus on a task, let’s say, making prospecting calls, if you get interrupted even 1 time per hour, you are losing over 12 hours per week or over the course of a year, over 12 weeks of productivity! Effective people, in sales or otherwise, are experts in managing their time and have developed a ruthless approach to “time suckers.”  Apply this knowledge and you too can be one of these people. Realization of your goals in sales depends upon your ability to identify and describe these goals in clear terms and to commit to the goals with full effort.
Preparation for the air vacation is actually the beginning of the trip, because when you start planning, it gives you a thrill of anticipation. Sales Coach now is a global sales training and sales coaching service that produces quantum leap results by empowering entrepreneurs and sales professionals with effective, on-purpose selling skills. Lately the question I get most often is, “How are you managing it all?”  What they mean is, “How am I managing to travel back and forth from Minnesota to California and continue to run my business all while also having a young child at home?
Balancing parenthood and owning a business has its challenges, for sure.  I’ve had to strengthen my time management strategies in ways I never thought possible before. The fact is, I had a limiting belief for years that said, “You cannot be a mom and be with your child as much as you desire while also running a business.”  That limiting belief begged parenthood off for many, many years. Lucca, my beautiful son, turned my life upside down in the most delicious way possible.  While the transition from sleep to no sleep was exactly as everyone had predicted, we got through it.
So, as I was adjusting to motherhood, I was also out at a speaking engagement within 4 weeks after Lucca was born.
Believe me, there are days that I want to forget because they were super challenging, but those days forced me to develop new time management strategies to run my business and be a mom. And every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost in doing so.”  He says that even though we think we’re getting a lot done, ironically, multitasking makes us demonstrably less efficient.

To juggle conflicting priorities between work and home is not a balancing act for the faint of heart.
Usually it’s because people have gotten into the habit of letting work related “urgent” activities bump family time off the agenda.
This flies in the face of reams of research indicating that having goals ALWAYS achieves better results than without! Each week, I pull out my month’s goals and ask myself, “What can I do this week to help drive me closer to my goals?” I break my monthly goals into smaller “bite-size” chunks and then plug them as to-do’s into a specific day. Procrastination has been appropriately called the “silent killer of careers” yet few people have ever had formal training on how to overcome this immensely costly habit. On the surface, this seems to make sense until you take into account the additional factor of importance. His point is that we often become overwhelmed by the sheer size of a task and talk ourselves out of it. We’re not talking about financial investments per se here but rather something just as valuable—your time management. List your outstanding tasks and any new ones you’d like to get done in your next day’s to-do list.
Multitasking seems to be a good idea but the lack of focus that comes with it causes ineffectiveness. Research shows that 10 minutes spent planning your day will give you approximately 60 minutes of increased productivity.
Studies show that the average person, when interrupted, takes 6 minutes to get back to the same level of concentration prior to the interruption.
Try CentriQS complete task management solution for planning, tracking and reporting tasks, projects, and schedules.
This Sales Goal Setting Checklist will explain you how to set and plan clear and winning sales goals. And, I think there’s a little bit of, “You also don’t look like you’ve lost your mind yet, either!”   Smile.
Then one day, it wasn’t about that limiting belief anymore as much as it was about what my husband and I desired most: a family. I know that sounds extreme, especially given I hadn’t slept very much, but it was a local speaking engagement so I was happy to do it.  It turned out to be a huge success and that’s when I realized I could do both. In fact, I was sharing some of these strategies recently and one of my clients came up to me afterward and said, “That’s it!
I hope that they help you streamline some things in your business or career that will ultimately help you increase your sales significantly this year—and enjoy your life a lot more!
Your son or daughter isn’t going to send you an e-mail or a text message firmly stating that they want to have dinner with you or go play in the park. In Northbound’s “Goal Aligned Time™” program, we train people on how to place every activity in their personal and business life on a quadrant with these two variables before they decide what to put on their plan.
Do the math: If you get interrupted just 5 times in an hour, you are operating at 50% effectiveness. Increase productivity of your small business or office by better organizing your employees' tasks and time.
We have had an incredible marriage, not a perfect marriage, but the kind of marriage where you both get to be your most authentic (and sometimes ugly) self while also having a great time along the way. Soon we stepped into the rhythm of life with a baby and it was like he’d been there all the time. I could continue to run a successful business while raising a beautiful son and being a wife. I need to run my business like I just had a baby!”  What she meant was that she had to run her business with more sense of urgency and a much better use of time management strategies.
This statement is obvious, but sometimes people aren’t clear on whom they need help from—or who they need to add to their team. Faith and family are my priorities and as long as I stay focused there, the rest of my priorities fall in line or need to be delegated. In Selling with Intention, I wrote about the importance of creating an intentional schedule. One of the things that people used to tell me before I had Lucca was, “Sleep while the baby is sleeping.” That statement always drove me crazy because in the past twelve months I have rarely, if ever, slept while the baby was sleeping during the day. Get clarity on exactly what you need to do to make some of the changes that will allow you to take your life—and your sanity—back.  Then, take action! We’re all living in an era where these different communication tools force us to do several things at once.
I usually close one out of two meetings so I’m 50% towards a sale if I make some calls!” Once your brain clearly connects the doing of a task with major benefits, you’ll be unstoppable!
Think about that next time you grab your smart (a misnomer in many ways) phone to check your most recent tweet!

At some point, though, we knew that we wanted to share our journey with another soul and that’s when we were blessed with Lucca. An intentional schedule is simply a guide that shows you exactly what you need to do and when. I work with a business coach as well as a book coach to help me stay focused on what I am creating next in my business and in my writing.
Unfortunately these are also frequently “growth” activities such as prospecting and skills development on the career side and on the personal side, might be things such as exercise and building stronger relationships.
I’m often asked what biggest mistakes salespeople make are and poor time management ranks in the top 3. At the end of the week note what activities were directly related to sales, admin and nonsense. One of my team members expanded her role of assistant to nanny while she continued to also help me in the business. I know that sounds simple, but please realize that sometimes the simplest solutions ARE the best solutions.
It means that you schedule your time off first, followed by your family priorities and your work commitments. Have the discipline to schedule these activities so they get done and start saying “No” to low value, urgent activities that are screaming for your attention. As you might expect, when working with sales teams, I have found that while they want to learn new presentation or objection handling techniques, growing their goal and time management capabilities provides the biggest & quickest performance gains. You will be amazed where your time is actually going and as a bonus, your productivity will jump as you gain an awareness of this.
I knew her, I trusted her and she had the perfect certifications and training to be a nanny as well as an assistant. A list allows you to figure out what you can get done today, what you can delegate, and what needs to get added to your list tomorrow or scheduled out.
If you need to have three days per week to meet with clients, then you have to figure out how much time you need to block out for selling, following up and your other work responsibilities.
I could be a stressed out mom, worrying about everything I had to get done, OR I could keep a list, develop the best team to support me and be fully present wherever I was.
You need people to help pull you along and to keep you on track to reach your greatest dreams and goals. Run that number through your sales funnel stats and you will be astonished by what this means in hard dollars.
The lesson, whether or not you are a new parent, is that sometimes your “new” team members are right in front of you.
I know that creating an intentional schedule sounds tedious, but once it’s done it will save you lots of time and allow you to focus on your top 20% of activities—marketing and selling!
If you want to get projects done quickly, block out short bursts of time—1-2 hours (or less)—to get projects completed and then stay completely focused during this time.
Most often, you’ll find that it’s not nearly as hard as you thought it was going to be and you’ll either keep going or not fear it so much next time. And remember that your intentional schedule should be created by working backwards from your monthly sales goal.
Entrepreneurs and sales professionals tend to have a little ADD, so time blocking forces you to get out of your email and off of Facebook so you can focus on the task at hand. Being back in Minnesota, I’ve had family helping with Lucca, but I am also looking for a fantastic part-time nanny to help out . I also needed to be fully present when I was on the phone with my clients or in a training room. Over the past year, I’ve also added other key people to my extended team to help in all areas of my life and business.
Being fully present also allows time to slow down and enjoy the moment that is in front of you. The easiest way to figure out who you need on your team is to make a list of all of the things you want to get off YOUR plate, and figure out whose plate they can land on. So take a moment, breathe, and focus on who or what is right in front of you in that moment.
If you implement the other strategies, it will be so much easier to be present in the moment.

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