When considering effective time utilization, many of us constantly misallocate. When we add the availability of resources designed to make us more effective, the misallocation is compounded. Both limit and diminish our intended result. Notice that I said “us” even though I know better, I fall victim to the same misallocation as others. This article is intended to suggest a platform for change.
In order to accomplish your professional objectives, you need a written plan that includes a daily action plan.
A written statement of objectives:
- How many active leads to contact. Active leads are contacts who know who you are, will be respectful and welcome your call. An objective would be to contact 15 per day.
- Contact a certain number of prospective leads per day and try to convert them from cold or prospects to active leads. Prospect leads are contacts that appear to be interested in your product or services. They may have received emails from you but have not developed an ongoing relationship just yet. An objective would be to convert 3-5 contacts per day.
- Keep data up to date. Follow trends in marketing strategies. An example would be systems available for email, direct calling, direct mailers, or social media marketing.
- How many real estate sales, or loans would you like to close each month?
- What gross revenue and net revenue will be your goal each month, quarter, and year?
- What specific activities should you engage in daily, weekly, and monthly that will help further your goals?
- What specific activities are identified as misuse or misallocation of time?
- Could your time be reallocated to gain a better result for each hour spent?
Let’s start with a work schedule of 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Additional hours may or may not be needed if your time is used effectively.
The common assumption is that all available hours of work have equal value. The outcome of your actions may be expected to gain similar results regardless of the efficiency of your time and targeted effort spent.
Economists and philosophers have written about the concept known as the 80/20 rule. In 1896 Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist and sociologist developed the actual concept of the 80/20 rule. “In any series of elements to be controlled, a selected small fraction, of terms of a number of elements, always account for a large fraction in terms of effect.” This became known as “The Pareto Principle.” Circa 1800, Jean-Baptiste Say, a French economist first coined the word entrepreneur. “The entrepreneur shifts economic resources out of the area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield.
In 1949 a Philosophy professor at Harvard University, George Zipf stated that “The input of resources (people, goods, time and skills) tend to arrange themselves so that a small portion of resources (20% to 30%) account for a larger corresponding output (70% to 80%) of results.”
In 1951 Joseph Moses Juran, a management consultant and a major contributor behind the quality control revolution wrote the book “Quality Control Handbook.” He renamed the “Pareto Principle” the “Rule of the Vital Few” and the “Rule of the Trivial Many.”
In 1957, C. Northcote Parkinson wrote two books, “Parkinson’s Law” and “The Law and the Profits.” His first law was “work will expand itself into the time allotted.” Much of his discussion in the book related to wasted time, and the expansion of unwarranted bureaucracy within organizations. He spends quite a bit of time discussing how inefficient government bureaucracies grow to consume assets without corresponding results.
In summary, we misallocate most of our activities. 80% of our activities account for only 20% of the intended result.
- 80% of our activities account for 20% of the intended results.
- 20% of our activities account for 80% of the intended results.
- 20% of salespeople produce 80% of the income.
- Conversely, 80% of salespeople produce 20% of the income.
The same 80/20 rule applies to activities within companies. Most companies allocate 80% of available resources to the remaining 20% or least productive activities.
- 20% of companies and salespeople control 80% of the market share.
- Conversely, 80% of companies and salespeople control 20% of the market share.
- 80% of the profit in your organization will result from 20% of your customer base.
- 80% of your satisfaction will come from 20% of your relationships, both business and personal.
I will try to construct a defined schedule of activities that have variable importance and the corresponding positive results. These results should pay off quickly if done correctly and strategically. A portion of our daily activates will change or be eliminated, and a portion will be leveraged through using other strategies. The greatest amount of our future economic success and life satisfaction will come as a result of our tendency to leverage our talents and skills through others.
This is a recommended time management system. Yours may vary according to your motivation, regimen, objectives, and use of strategic leverage.
“A Time” is the most intensely focused and valuable hourly time. This is defined as time segments spent during face-to-face or one-on-one communication with a buyer or seller in the process of closing a transaction. Time spent may be in person, by phone, or email, but must specifically contain “a request” that the party or prospect, work with you in your business enterprise now or in the future.
By strategically allocating our personal time resources we will get exponentially better results. The average salesperson does not apply 10% of their actual workday in an “A Time” mode. The average person drastically misallocates their time for many reasons.
“B Time” is time spent in preparation to advance to an “A” time activity. Phone calls, emails, or email replies for the purpose of advancing into “A” time mode are “B” Time” activities. In most cases, “B” time can be delegated.
The average salesperson may only spend 10% of the actual workday in a “B Time” mode
“C Time” once you consummate the sale transaction all subsequent activities to drive the process forward are considered “C Time.” This includes all processing, general and administrative activities, which may be necessary, but will not directly generate monetary results. “C Time” most likely consumes 50% to 80% of our workday. The key is to delegate “C Time” activities to competent support staff. I am not suggesting that these activities are unimportant, but that they may be handled by another person specifically trained for those activities. Whether it is an employee or an independent contractor, this form of shifting or leveraging your resources will help you to make the most effective use of your time.
Examples of “C Time”
- Record keeping and regulatory compliance.
- Developing and maintaining marketing systems, and marketing material, including database maintenance, and web-based lead sources.
- Office organization and everyday administrative duties.
- Interactions with staff.
- Interface with third-party vendors such as escrow, title, environmental engineers, and insurance companies to process and conclude a transaction.
- All general activities that are absolutely required to maintain your business enterprise but are not directly attached to closing a transaction.
- Industry educational events.
“D Time” are the catch-all activities that produce minimal or no results relating to achieving one’s financial goals. In other words, time cluttered, and time wasted. These activities may consume a significant portion of our day as much as 40% to 50%. It usually involves time spent on miscellaneous conversations with staff and associates, checking emails not related to business or not driving a deal forward. “D” time includes reading news, web searching, calling friends, family, and surfing on social media.
Examples of “D Time”:
- Reading news, and conversations with friends and family. Social media maintenance such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter.
- Conversations with employees and staff not related to business.
- Meet and greets.
- Discussion with staff not related to business.
Time off! Everyone needs to recharge their batteries. Focused blocks of time, hopefully, full days, which are unencumbered and away from business are a must to avoid burnout. It would be a painful enterprise to apply “A-D Time” to your time off. The concept of these time allocation schedules could be used personally, but only if redefined to enhance the quality of your and your family’s life.
Why do people misallocate their time and resources? My opinion: the reason is the fear of rejection, they have not learned the correct techniques, or they are just plain lazy. When a request is made for someone to work with you, they may say “No,” “Yes,” “Not now,” or “Maybe later.” In my 45 years of training, fear of rejection is the primary reason that people gravitate toward the “safe space” or “comfort zone” of B-C-D time.
The most difficult learning curve in any salesperson’s career is to understand that the buyer is not rejecting the request personally, but merely rejecting the request. Effective salespersons will always locate someone who wants their products, goods or services.
The concept of an action’s value will vary depending upon your stated goals. The preacher, teacher, manager, supervisor, clerk, bookkeeper, accountant, and a salesperson will all construct different platforms from which to assess priorities and to establish relative values of each action.
This time management system is a learned process, not an event, and the use of it should become a life-long habit.
Business and Private Money Finance Consultant
Cell 949 533 8315