December 19/26, 2016: Volume 31, Issue 14
By Jim Augustus Armstrong
(Second of two parts)
I teach dealers a three-step system for achieving any goal in their business or personal lives. In Part I of this series I covered the first step, which is to clearly define your “big rocks,” the important goals you have for your business. I also gave readers an assignment to write down two or three big rocks they’d like to accomplish in 2017.
In the second and final part I will cover the next two steps you’ll need to accomplish your rocks.
Step No. 2: Practice time blocking. In my previous column I explained the importance of making time to accomplish your most important goals. A simple yet highly effective method for doing this is called time blocking. I’ve been using this strategy for years, and I’ve taught it to hundreds of dealers. How it works: Time blocking entails making appointments with yourself to accomplish your big rocks. First, decide how many hours per week you want to invest in accomplishing your big goals. For argument’s sake, let’s say it’s four hours. Open your company calendar and block out four hours in your schedule. It could be a single four-hour block, or you could break it up into four hour-long blocks.
Treat these as real, unbreakable appointments in much the same way as you would view a measure appointment for a $10,000 flooring sale—perhaps even more so. For instance, if you were with a prospect, bidding on a $10k wood job, would you accept phone calls, check emails, send texts or play on Facebook? Of course not. So don’t do it during your time blocks. Turn off your phone and emails. Hang a “do not disturb” sign on your door. Even better, do your time blocks offsite at a coffee shop or at home.
Step No. 3: Focus on results-producing tasks. Let’s say you’re currently working Monday through Friday, and that you spend Fridays working the sales floor. Let’s also say that one of your big rocks is, “I will take every Friday off by April 1.” You’ll likely have to put some things in place to enable you be able to take Fridays off, for example:
- Hire a new salesperson
- Train the new salesperson
- Implement an “ups” system
- Implement marketing to generate more prospects
For argument’s sake, let’s say you’ve time blocked Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. to work on this rock. What are you going to do during this time? Results-producing tasks are assignments that move you directly toward your big rock. In this example, you might dedicate your first time block to the results-producing task of creating a job description along with an ad to recruit a new salesperson. The next several time blocks might be spent developing a sales training initiative or identifying a turnkey sales program and implementing it into your business. (Disclosure: My company, Flooring Success Systems, has developed a turnkey sales system for dealers, so if you need help with this, contact my office for more information.)
Your next several time blocks would be devoted to implementing an ups system. Your final time blocks on this rock would be to implement marketing strategies.
This same process can be used on virtually any goal you set for your business. By following these three steps—defining your big rocks, time blocking and focusing results-producing tasks—you can make 2017 a great year.