What a year this has been! Somehow, we’re already rapidly approaching the end of the year as we progress into Q4. As an Agent, you may be feeling rushed, pressured, or even stressed about achieving your final goals for the year.
Know that you’re not alone. Many Agents and sales professionals struggle to balance the hustle and bustle of the impending holiday season with meeting their fourth quarter goals. Here are three tips to help you find that balance as we close out this year.
Tip One: Organize & Prioritize
Our first tip to help you stay on track this month is to get organized and prioritize your upcoming tasks. Here are a few ways to do this:
- Schedule your time, all in one place.
Take some time to sit down with your calendar and set your work and holiday schedule together. (Color-coding can help your schedule not look too overwhelming.) Start by blocking out any PTO or vacation time you are taking around the holidays, so you’ll know those times are off-limits for work. Then, block out time for appointments, meetings, presentations, and administrative tasks.
For example, maybe you decide that from 8am – 9am every day, you’ll respond to emails, voicemails, and organize your daily agenda. From 9am – 12pm, you’ll make calls to existing or new merchants. Block each of those sections of time on your calendar and do your best to stick to them as you move through the next few weeks. (And yes, when it’s time to sign off for the holidays, sign off!)
- Assess your list of opportunities.
If you find yourself putting a lot of work into one opportunity, you might be neglecting another. Do your best to spread the wealth and give attention to each opportunity before the end of the year. Their answer might be “not right now”, but that’s not necessarily a ‘no’. By at least contacting these opportunities before the end of the year, you have a better chance of being top-of-mind for them in 2022.
- Remove distractions.
This coincides with the first notion we shared on this list. When you’re sitting down in the morning to complete your administrative tasks or working on finishing up those calls before lunch, try not to get distracted. Of course, some distractions are inevitable, but others are completely avoidable.
For example, if you’re using a desk phone or work cell phone to make your cold calls, put your personal cell phone in a drawer or somewhere out of sight. You can still keep the sound on in case an important call comes in, but by putting it out of sight you eliminate the possibility of being distracted by an incoming text or notification. Another way to reduce distraction is to only open the apps or pages necessary for completing the task at hand on your computer. This way, you won’t be tempted to click over to Twitter or Facebook in the middle of your focused time.
Tip Two: Take Breaks When You Need Them
Human attention spans are shorter than they’ve ever been. According to Microsoft, the average human attention span is dwindling, and decreased from 12 seconds in 2000 to only 8 seconds in 2015. (The average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds, to put that in perspective.)
Now, studies have also shown that the average amount of time we can focus on a single task at work is about 20 minutes. Knowing how much intense focus time your brain can handle will be an important part of maximizing your sales efforts this month. Don’t be afraid to take breaks when you need them.
If you’re starting to feel mentally exhausted, get up and move around. Go for a walk around the neighborhood, get up and stretch, or step away from your desk for a few minutes to get a cup of coffee. Even a short break can help you clear your mind and come back to your desk ready to continue with the day.
Remember in tip one when we said to block out time on your schedule? When you’re scheduling out your weeks, don’t forget to also set aside “me time”. This is the time during the day when you do something you love that brings you joy. Maybe it’s practicing an instrument, playing outside with your dog, doing a craft with your kids, or simply sitting in the quiet with a good book. Physically blocking out this break in your calendar will help you make time for yourself in this busy season.
Tip Three: Maintain Positivity
Did you know that your mental attitude directly influences your work and overall health? Therefore, it’s important to approach each day with positivity.
With all the uncertainty in our lives right now, it’s easy to fall into a negative mindset. Many merchants have pulled the purse strings even tighter than usual during 2020 and 2021. Because of this, you might feel trapped in a whirlpool of ‘no’. Be careful not to let these feelings discourage you from ending the quarter on a high note!
Try training yourself to think positively when you start to feel discouraged. Focus on turning disadvantages into advantages and appreciating what you already have, instead of dwelling on what you lack.
For more in-depth tips on maintaining positivity and embracing an abundance mindset, check out these blog posts:
Hopefully, you will find these tips and ideas helpful as you work to close this quarter out strong. We wish you a joyous holiday season and a prosperous New Year!
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