Do you love lists? Most people do. Specifically, we love to cross things off of our "To Do" lists. Sometimes we write things on our list, just so we can cross them off. It makes us feel good. It makes us feel productive, physical evidence that we are GETTING THINGS DONE!

In reality, crossing items off our "To Do" list does not reflect or foster real productivity because it tempts us to address tasks in terms of ease and quantity of completion, versus quality and impact. It does not ensure that we are getting the right things done. Use this simple trick to make every day productive:

  • At the outset of your work day, list three things (and no more than three things) that are most important to your business development efforts. These should be actions that will have the greatest impact on your sales success with prospects and existing customers. These will all be important actions, but not necessarily the most urgent items on your list. Set the list aside.
  • Go through your email. Consider if anything in email is more important to your sales success than the three things you already have on your list. If not, you have your three top priorities for the day!
  • Understandably, "urgent" happens in your daily sales life. Give yourself 30 minutes to address less-important but urgent items.
  • Now you can begin your work day in earnest with your three most important tasks. Only once those are complete should you turn your attention to the easier, less-important and less-time-consuming tasks.

This isn't a time management tip as much as it is a sales effectiveness strategy. This simple practice will ensure we achieve real and lasting progress toward our long-term sales success every single day!