Always in the car, on the phone, or in a meeting, sales people compete with entrepreneurs on who has the highest level of work/life imbalance.
Because they typically have flexible schedules, infinite to-do lists, and performance-based incentives, their work can easily consume their lives physically, mentally, and emotionally. (Ever wake up dreaming about your CRM tool?!)
If you’re in sales, you may wonder, “Is it possible to be in sales and still have a life?” Fortunately, the answer is, “Yes!” As a full-time entrepreneur for almost four years and a time coach to both entrepreneurs and employees, I’ve found these strategies can help you overcome overwhelm and achieve work/life brilliance™:
- Set Your Hours: Clearly defining your ideal schedule, including when you start, stop, and take breaks, increases your productivity and focus during work hours and your freedom to relax when you’re “off.” You could start at 5 a.m. or 9 a.m., take a three-hour lunch or no lunch. When I help clients set up their ideal schedules during a Schedule Makeover consultation I emphasize that you need to develop a custom routine that works with your lifestyle and work preferences.
- Plan Your Time: Laying out your day, week, and month helps you stay proactive and avoid last-minute stress. It also allows you to use your time efficiently so you can group out of office meetings in a similar location or make calls all at once.
- Process Your Inputs: One of the easiest ways to get overwhelmed is to not set aside time each day to go through your inboxes and to-do lists and to not block out time for follow up on sales calls and meetings. If you know that it will take you two hours to complete a proposal but you book your day solid with meetings, you’ll inevitably end up working late.
- Know Yourself: If you have a really hard time with setting limits, make commitments with friends or family in the evening that will force you to take a break or sign up for an exercise class that you have to pay to attend. If necessary, leave your laptop, Blackberry, or iPhone in the car or at the office. Accountability and boundaries are the best way to help you break the habit of working 24/7
Sales will always demand a high level of energy. But with the right time management for work/life balance strategies, you can accomplish more and have time to enjoy life. (Plus if you work with me on time coaching, I can help you overcome some of the limiting beliefs that could be holding you back from taking time to rest.)
To sales/life brilliance™!
P.S.–If you’re in sales, check out Valerie Dennis’ blog where this article appeared as a guest post. Valerie is all about Sales Savvy!
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is a key note speaker, trainer, and does phone and e-mail coaching on time management for work/life brilliance™ through her exclusive Schedule Makeover™ process. Inc magazine, NBC, and The Chicago Tribune are just a few of the places where Elizabeth has appeared, and she’s happy to offer you tips on savvy scheduling and time management for work/life balance and sales success. You can find out more at http://www.RealLifeE.com or http://www.ScheduleMakeover.com