As I teach working adults at the university level, the biggest complaint is the lack of time to fulfill academic requirements. Of course, many working professionals must juggle their jobs, family obligations, and other priorities. It’s very difficult to be successful with these priorities. However, being successful is possible.
Everyone can benefit from good time management. Let’s examine professionals in the retail business. Professionals who interact with customers must be good stewards of their time. Yet, most people have so much trouble with time management due to conflicting priorities in their lives in a busy society.
For salespeople, life can be pretty demanding; attempting to connect with customers often means taking away from one’s personal life. Understanding how to navigate one’s time is essential in managing our priorities.
Salespeople are no exception. Mark Johnston and Greg Marshall, authors of Relationship Selling, maintain that the ability to manage time and territory is essential for salespersons for three reasons: (a) increase productivity, (b) improve customer relationships, and (c) enhance personal confidence. Therefore, good time management assists salespeople and other business professionals in mapping out their priority obligations.
Successful people distinguish the trivial from the important. This reality is true in sales, as well as other industries. In my technical field, I see many people operating in crisis mode because they are engulfed in trivial matters. Working only on trivial matters is unproductive when an individual is ignoring the important things. Time management speaks to what is really important to you.
Stephen Covey, author of Seven Habits for Highly Effective People, argued that highly successful people know how to manage their time (aka ‘Put first things first’). He notes, “Effective management is all about putting first things first. While leadership decides what the ‘first things’ are, it is management that puts them first, day by day, moment by moment.
Management is the discipline carrying it out. The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do.” Therefore, distinguishing the important from the trivial is part of good time management.
Developing effective time management skills is not a simple or short process. When a salesperson is young and single, he or she has different priorities. The individual may be willing to make huge concessions, such as long hours, to move ahead or make additional income.
Yet, the individual may transition into a different stage, where he is married and has children. This reality can shift his priorities. Some people balance this strategically. Therefore, different life stages can impact an individual’s time management.
Discuss your professional experience on this topic.
© 2014 by Daryl D. Green