5 Keys To Time Management And Making The Most Of Each Day

by Anthony Parilla - Sr. Manager of Sales & Retention at New Orleans Pelicans & Saints
March 28, 2022

*This article was initially posted on Anthony's personal blog at https://salesinsports.com/

Efficiency. Your success depends on it.

Yet, how you manage your time is anything but simple. We’d all love to say that we’ve mastered time management, but we know that’s unrealistic.

However, we can strive to make the most of each day and continually improve our time management skills. 30-year-old you probably knows a few more time management tricks than 20-year old you.

And 30-year-old you who committed to improving is a completely different person than 30-year-old you who didn’t.

In this article, we’ll review five keys to time management and making the most of each day.

Let’s dive in!

1. Be You

Some people are better than others at managing their time but there is no such thing as perfection. There are many college professors who’ve taught classes on time management, and I bet each one had a slightly different approach.

One more time: “each one had a slightly different approach.”

That’s something you should acknowledge up front if you want to make strides in managing your days more efficiently. Read the rest of this article from your lens – not that of your colleagues. What works for your best friend won’t necessarily work for you, and vice versa.

Understand your strengths and weaknesses and let’s dive into your journey to better time management.

2. Build Structure

How do you currently build structure each day? Do you schedule reminders and meetings on your calendar? Are you really not sure?

I bet we’re all over the board. Whatever the case, commit to building structure.

Far too many professionals “wing it” each day. Maybe they get to work exactly when they have to, or they wait for instruction from their manager on the current tasks, and react to feedback.

If you want to commit to building structure in your days, be proactive and prepare for your success. Do you find yourself forgetting important things all of the time? Use the Reminders App on your iPhone, or find another app that’ll make this next to impossible.

Do you feel overwhelmed with the amount of tasks and meetings on your plate? Figure out what’s most important and build structure starting there. Maybe you write your five most important “to-do’s” on paper and you cross each off as you complete then. Or maybe you keep a word document open as your holy grail every day and you highlight each in green as you complete them, and you designate other colors for various progress.

Do your meetings go off the rails from time to time? Build a strong and efficient agenda! Too many people set meetings with zero direction or guidance on what’s going to be discussed. Or sometimes there’s a great agenda, but no one’s taking control of staying on track.

Be the leader who sets an agenda and keeps the train rolling. I promise it’s in both yours and your coworker’s best interests.

We’re just dipping our toe in the water, but you get the point. Build structure to prepare for your success.

3. Audit Your Time

We talked earlier about focusing on “what’s most important.” In his book, Scott O’Neil calls these “WMI’s.”

In order to focus on your WMI’s you have to periodically audit your time. Have you ever looked at your phone in shock because the work day’s almost over and you barely completed your WMI tasks? It’s so easy to get sidetracked with unexpected tasks, and it’s not always a bad thing when that happens.

However, if you look back at the previous day and you track what you actually spent most of your time on, there’s a good chance you’ll surprise yourself. There’s a good chance that you’ll want to recalibrate and make changes to better accomplish your goals.

According to SiriusDecisions, 65% of sales leaders say that salespeople spend too much time on non-selling activities and not enough time on things that lead to closing.

Let that sink in.

I bet there are hours that go by in your day where you were busy but not busy on the right things. Audit your time, make adjustments, and be on your way to making the most of each day.

65% of sales leaders say that salespeople spend too much time on non-selling activities and not enough time on things that lead to closing.

4. Create Accountability

What do you want to accomplish and who is holding you accountable? Some people are self-motivated and some or not. Regardless of where you land, there’s no question you’re more efficient when you and others hold you accountable.

SMART goals are a given, right? Whether you have goals for the day, week, month, or year, you want them to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. The whole concept of a SMART Goal is to create accountability.

However, the vast majority of people who are setting goals don’t actually have a system in place for measuring their success or holding themselves accountable. That’s where your teammates come in!

Whether it be your manager or your peers, implement a process where you have others checking in on you.

time management, sales, ticket sales

I heard this a lot working in Major League Baseball when the pandemic first started in March of 2020. The season was about to start but of course everything was put on hold when COVID-19 initially started to spread. After hundreds of conversations with our clients about the new plan and process we were about to embark on, a lot of us had more time on our hands.

Those who didn’t have an accountability system in place were just skating by and letting their days rule them. Some people lost their purpose and just weren’t getting better at their craft. This was a microcosm of what was happening all over the world within different companies.

And it’s the perfect example of why you need to create accountability. Ask your manager to check in once a week on one of your important goals. Have your best friend keep you in check. Whatever it takes, create accountability, and your results will follow.

5. Challenge Yourself and Prioritize

If you have two tasks to accomplish in a day, you’ll easily get them done.

If you have four tasks to accomplish in a day, you’ll get those done as well.

If you have eight…you might stress a bit more, but surely you’ll find a way to accomplish them.

If you have 20 tasks…you may struggle with some of them, but you’ll get at least 15 completed.

The more on your plate, the more you’re going to accomplish. When you think there’s too much to do in a day, you’re actually stretching yourself to new limits. When there’s too little on your plate you’ll stay stagnant.

I say this in one breath, but in the next I say Prioritize. This may seem like an oxymoron, but the two definitely coexist.

You should strive to work hard and finish the tasks at hand, but at the same time, you should prioritize what’s most important, like we mentioned earlier. It’s okay to leave certain activities for another day when you have more important sales proposals to send.

It’s okay not answer every external email within an hour when you have a big sales deadline to push towards. Find opportunities to prioritize your work and challenge yourself at the same time. The combination will prove helpful to your success!

Time management is one of the most difficult skills to grasp. Time always tends to slip away from us, but there are steps we can take to regain control.

You might need to focus primarily on auditing your time and making adjustments accordingly. Or maybe you need to make a big change in how you’re holding yourself accountable for your goals.

Regardless of what resonates with you most, be sure to take action and create change. Take control of your time.

Happy Selling!