“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece”– Proverb 16:27
Whether you are a religious person or not, this is an impactful statement, especially in the world of a salesperson. Think about it some of the worst decisions you have made during your life, both in your personal life and in your business life, were made out of boredom.
When our mind is in the idle position it allows doubts to creep in, it allows for laziness, and this causes those poor decisions. However, when a person’s mind is occupied with work or a sense of purpose, they do not have the time to dwell on anything other than that work or purpose.
One of the best ways to keep your mind from entering into this idle mode and allowing these devilish thoughts to creep into your mind is to keep your calendar full. Keep it free of empty time slots, otherwise known as the dreaded WHITE SPACE. In order to be successful at keeping your calendar full, you must take on a “zero white space” mindset.
This zero white space mindset is essentially taking the stance that you will account for every hour of the day, leaving ZERO blank space on your calendar. This means that everything that you need to do during your day has a time booked and assigned to it. Adopting a zero white space mindset will change your relationship with time and causing you to be much more accomplishment focused, while making you more aware of how you are actually spending you time.
4 Ways to Zero White Space
Put EVERYTHING on the Calendar
Traditionally, we only use calendars to track appointments, meetings, calls, and special dates. However, during each day we have a lot more daily activities than the ones just listed, both professional and personal.
|Arrive at Work Early||Eat Breakfast|
|Good Morning Walk-Around||Exercise|
|Follow-up||Spend Time with Family|
This is not a definitive list by any means. Use this small list as a thought starter to create your own list of the things you need to do each day.
DITTip: Over the course or a few days or even a few weeks, write down EVERYTHING that you do each day, and I do mean EVERYTHING. Also note how long you spend each day doing each activity. You will be shocked at how much time you waste doing things that don’t provide any benefit to you. You will soon find yourself eliminating these time wasters and replacing them with things that enhance your life.
Be Clear and Concise with Time Estimates
You must assign a block of time to every activity that you plan to do each day. Each activity must have a start time and an end time. Activities that do not have a specific time block will take longer than a reasonable amount of time for the action or get pushed off completely.
By adding all tasks and activities to your calendar with specific time blocks, you will learn how long various tasks actually take, allowing you to better plan the next days events. This will allow you to accurately plan your days, prevent things from falling through the cracks, and allow you to better deliver on your commitments.
DITTip: It is recommended that you use 15-minute time blocks when scheduling your day. 15 minutes allows you to have small enough increments to track your time, without wasting your time of managing by the minute. This does not mean that you must complete every task in 15 minutes. If you have a task or event that will take an hour, then you will just block off four 15-minute time blocks.
Eliminate the Wasted “In-Between” Time
Often times you will complete a task more quickly that anticipated. This does not mean that you get to goof off until you need to start your next task. Instead of getting sucked into your inbox or social media feeds, find something productive to do, like more ACTIONS! Complete extra phone calls, send extra emails, send extra text messages, send extra snail mail, and hand out extra business cards. The operative word in the previous statement is EXTRA. This is a commitment to MASSIVE ACTION. Getting more done than you ever thought possible and the more actions you take, the more you sell. This is simple math!
DITTip: Only check your email/text messages/social media feed a limited number of times per day. These activities can send you down a rabbit hole and before you know it, your day is shot. All of the afore mentioned activities are important and have the potential to generate you income, just make sure that you plan the appropriate time for these activities and you only do them during those times to prevent you from spending more than necessary time on them and allowing you the time to complete your other planned actions.
Protect and Savor Your Personal Time
As we define our daily schedule, it is easy for “professional” or “work” activities to start to bleed over into “personal time,” this is often referred to as “Hustling.” In the beginning of your career or whenever you finally commit to improving your career and life, you will have to spend more time on the “work” activities, than the “personal time.” This is one of the sacrifices one has to be willing to accept in order to be successful. It will not always be this way, however anything worthwhile takes time and effort, with the goal being that eventually you will generate the wealth and success that your work life and personal life change places and you will get to spend more time on the personal side of activities.
DITTip: This is why it is so critical that when you do have something scheduled as personal time, you ensure that it happens and you savor the time because it is special, and if you are anything like me this personal time, typically “family time” is why we work so hard to begin with.