I met some business owners at an event in the last week, and several of them asked me how they could get back to having some clarity in their business and their personal lives. They all mentioned that the world was moving much too quickly for them to feel in control, and to be proactive in how they were thinking and investing their time. In response to that conversation, I decided to put together a two-part article on the ten steps to Clarity, designed to help you cut through the fog, disregard the tyrannical onslaught of urgencies, and get back to feeling clear and in control. Listed below are the first five steps toward gaining control…
- Remove The Clutter – The day in and day out of business and our personal lives takes a heavy toll if we’re not making time to spruce up a bit and keep things clean and organized. Get organized! It only takes a short time, and it immediately improves your mood and your ability to FEEL as if you’re back in control. File those stacks of folders or paperwork mounds. Get your workspace back to the point where you can see some desk and not piles of paper and post-it notes.
- Use That Thing On Top Of Your Neck – Think! Think about what needs to be done. The human brain is an incredibly powerful weapon, but you have to take it out of the holster every so often to keep it functioning in your favor. Get a good list going of what needs to get done. Get strategic, and think BIG. Get tactical, and think SMALL. Don’t worry about capturing everything during the first thinking session, because tomorrow you can think again, and the day after that…
- What’s FIRST? What’s NEXT? – Now that you’re getting back into the swing of thinking about things strategically, take your list of things that need to get done, and begin to prioritize it. How do I do that, you ask? Simple! Here’s a good method! Start with what you can complete that will have the biggest positive impact on your situation. Prioritize things from MOST IMPACTFUL to LEAST IMPACTFUL and number them from 1-10, or whatever number of strategic objectives your list contains. Then, when you complete the most impactful thing on your list early one morning, you can have fun saying out loud “What’s NEXT?”
- Put It On Your Calendar – Many a great plan has died a quiet death due to a lack of effort or execution of the plan. If you want to maximize your ability to get clear and get things done, and approach proactivity, you’ll need to begin putting the most important work on your calendar, priorities first! Also, put an hour of open time on your calendar each day to allow you some flexibility to handle urgencies and distractions that pop up during the day. If you do that, then you can use that time to have impromptu meetings at a time that doesn’t blow up YOUR calendar and derail your well-planned day of productivity.
- Execute Consistently – Focus on executing your plan, and working on those most important, most impactful actions and start checking them off your list. If you miss a day, don’t despair; just rededicate yourself to a pattern of executing results. If you get in the habit of working on the strategic objectives day after day, your ability to make decisions tactically improves right along with your ability to get the strategic vital few completed.
So, if you’re an Account Executive who wants to get back in control and feel like you’re doing everything right in your territory, here is a start to get you back on track. Look for the second part of this article later this week.
Michael is an award winning business coach in Minnesota, where the leaves are turning this time of year. Michael enjoys working closely with many emerging sales professionals to help them ascend the leaderboard in their organization. He has built a powerful coaching program that helps Account Executives to maximize the potential in their territory, by focusing on the fundamentals of mastering the art and science of selling solutions. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe to Michael’s “Coffee With Michael” e-newsletter where he regularly gives away valuable content to subscribers and offers a variety of special once-in-a-lifetime offers to workshops and online courses of extraordinary value. Michael is the CEO of Michael Beach Coaching & Consulting and enjoys helping Emerging Leaders to deliver ambitious results.