How to Maximize Productivity (and, therefore, Sales)!
As insurance agents, we know about putting in long hours! Like most people, I have a schedule for just about everything, and it’s easy for me to forget how important it is to make time for myself. If you’ve ever read Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” you might recall what Covey calls the P/PC balance—where “P” represents the Product and “PC” stands for Production Capability, your ability to produce. If your Production Capability is low, then your Product results will lower, as well.
I try to keep in mind the need to balance work and life. I start most days with an early-morning swim. The pool invigorates my mind while working out my body to keep me in shape and give me energy for the rest of my day. I also like to fly. I got my pilot’s license so I could get out every once in a while and see the world from an entirely different perspective. Every person’s different, but here’s a few ideas for finding your own balance and, therefore, productivity:
1) ROI: Think about ways you might spend your time that don’t add value and waste your efforts. If personal time paid, this type of spending would put you in the red, so eliminate it. Find three things to change and your productivity will soar. I try to not answer emails the second they come in my inbox, for example. Take a good look at where you’re spending time and see if there are activities that don’t add value.
2) Find a mentor or business partner: Your network can provide more than just business contacts. Find people you know and trust to share the workload, provide moral support, or even direct you through things you may need help with, such as building that website or staffing up your agency. When your schedule is full, find someone who can refer clients for you, and if you need a vacation that person may be able to pitch in when you’re unavailable. When you broaden your resources, you expand your capacity.
3) Make fitness a high priority: I get up at 5 every morning to swim. I already have my workout planned several days in advance so I don’t have to wonder what I’m going to do when I reach the pool. Whenever I swim, it clears my head and my mind drifts to work and what I want to accomplish that day. I’ll often stop and record what I just thought of, so I don’t forget it by the time I get to my office. And by the time I get to work, I’m ready. But some mornings, I just can’t fit it in, so I find other ways to exercise. I have a standing desk. I tend to pace when I’m on the phone, and I try to keep active, choosing the stairs over the elevator, getting up every half hour and taking a short walk. For me, if my body stays active, my brain stays active, and I’m more productive without the morning fog that can linger into the after-lunch stupor that regular activity eliminates.
4) Feed your brain: I like to read as many industry and professional-advancement materials as possible to keep myself motivated and stay ahead of the game. But I also enjoy a good book in general. Reading for pleasure is like a strong lap in the pool, it’s something I know I should do, and it also gives me a huge boost. Find a book you like and you’ll find another healthy reward that keeps your mind active and relaxed at the same time.
I’m always amazed at how much more I can accomplish when I take some time for myself. I’ll be honest with you, I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner.