Three Tips for Time Management


Ask any busy sales person how they manage their time and you’ll get as many answers as there are sales people. So of course I have a system I like and that works for me. Maybe you have two computers; a day planner, a wall calendar, a white board and an iPhone or iPad and all of them have information on them. Maybe you’re young enough or focused enough that you can keep everything in your head. Regardless, you still need a system. I suggest starting with these three elements. Adapt them however you need to, but they should form the core of your management system.

1. Have one central planner. If you can’t find one that tracks or organizes everything you need to do (personal, sales calls, follow up, delivery, goals, prospects, phone numbers, contacts etc) then create one or hire someone to create one for you. It will pay for itself in the long run I assure you. Make sure you list all the things you’ll need your planner to do, and then test it, tweak it and use it.

2. Always work from a list. Create your list the day or evening before and work from it. Write down every single task you intend to complete (personal and business), then organize and prioritize each task. Do this at the end of every day so you’re ready to hit the ground running the next morning.

3. Block Out Focus Time. Block out time for the most important item(s) on your list — the thing(s) that brings you the most business. If sales calls are the most important thing to do that day, block out an hour or two or four, close your door, eliminate all distractions and focus on calls. Don’t answer your phone, don’t check email, don’t answer the door, and don’t get distracted. Focus. Create a system that works for you, but make sure it has these three elements in it.


The great thing about doughnuts is they can be consumed at all hours of the day or night. ~Anonymous

6 thoughts on “Three Tips for Time Management”

    1. I’ve gone through pretty much everything and anything in 40 years in business. The problem with most of the systems for me is I stop using them after a while. Today, I use something called The Pocket Pad. A friend of mine from my hometown of East Liverpool showed it to me in the 70’s. It’s a simple pad of lined paper with heavy paper cover. It’s flexible so you can put it in any pocket. You number the first one you use with the number one. (Clever, I know.) Then on the first page inside you write down whatever it is you want to remember or do. You can put the date right next to it and you can use more than one line if needed.

      When you complete the task, you cross it off. When you fill up page one you take your scissors and cut off a piece of corner on the bottom of the page. That way you can easily go to the latest page.

      Every morning I look at pages and see what still isn’t crossed off. If it is something (not a task) but an idea or random thought and I haven’t turned it into action, I cross it off too. When you fill a pad you start on, you guessed it, number two. Number one gets filed in a box the pads came in from the printer who makes them. Eventually, you have a lifetime of notes, ideas, to-do’s and a lot of stuff that just might entertain your grand kids some day.

      It isn’t complicated. It isn’t expensive. And, most importantly, I use it and it works for me and many other people who have learned how to use the system from the same man, Frank C. Dawson.

      I use the calendar in Outlook which syncs with my iPhone and iPad. That’s all I need.

      Thanks for asking, Jeremy. What do you use and does it work for you? What do other readers use?

  1. Thats a good idea and easy to do.
    For now I use an iphone app called Calvetica which ties into Apple’s iCal for appointments.

    For to-do items it’s Evernote.

    They both wirelessly sync but would love to use something that integrates everything together.

    1. I use Evernote but have not thought about using it for a to-do list. Is that a function within Evernote? I use it as a place to put things I find interesting (almost always sites) so I can easily come back to them later. Maybe I need to see what’s new in Evernote. I’m a paid user but haven’t taken time to really dig in on functionality. I think it is fantastic for what I do use it for.

  2. I use it like a todo list by adding different notebooks like one for business to-do’s and one for personal to-do’s.

    Then a note is created for each to-do. The subject is the main to-do and any notes, pictures, recordings, urls are in the body of the note. Once accomplished, I just delete the note

    Probably better to-do programs with checklists and such, but found this to be easy to use and it syncs to all computers and devices.

    1. I’m going to work on using Evernote more than a big file drawer. I know it can do so much more and the fact it syncs across all my devices is great. Thanks for the ideas, Jeremy.

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