The Number 1 Most Important Rule of Productivity
When I was growing up, my father always had a plaque in his office that read “I must do the most productive thing at any given moment.”.
For as long as I could remember, he preached that to me until I was blue in the face. I remember many times early on when I was building my other business and he’d come into my office and ask what I was doing, and if I was doing anything other than high-profit-producing activities, he’d give me heck.
Even though I was “my own boss”, he always took it upon himself as a father to make sure that I understood that “as the boss” I answer to myself, which means I need to make sure I’m doing what matters most, and nothing else.
I’d often argue back with him… “But this is important!”
“the flyers need to get made”
“the website needs to be improved”
“my sales presentation needs to be perfected”
“I need to plan my day”
“I’m making a list of businesses to approach”
“the floors need to be cleaned’
“these papers need to be filed”
“the Facebook page needs to be updated”
“the voicemail needs to be changed”
The list never ended. In fact, you may have noticed that in business, the list of “to do’s” can be dauntingly long.
But without fail, my father was always right.
Yes, the website needed to be tweaked, but I was working on the website to avoid calling on prospects.
Yes, my pitch needed to be perfected, but I was working on it to avoid knocking on doors.
Yes, the Facebook page needed to be kept up to date, but I was only doing it to avoid getting rejected by prospects.
Luckily, my father never brought up a problem without a solution or explanation.
When he knew I wasn’t working on the priorities and I’d object saying that what I was doing IS a priority and DOES need to get done, he’d explain that yes, they need to get done, but not at that moment.
You see, you only have a few select hours during the day when you can make cold calls. You only have a few select times when you can knock on doors. You only have specific times you can interact with clients, prospect, makes sales, etc.
On the other hand, late in the evening or real early in the mornings are dead times. Times when you shouldn’t be calling people. Times when stores are closed and prospects out of reach.
And that’s a perfect time to be doing all that other “stuff”.
So if it’s prime-time for cold calling, don’t be working on the website, don’t be playing with the flyers, don’t be tinkering with ads on Facebook. You should be making calls and that’s it.
Of course, every business is different, but every business has 2-3 essentials, the things that NEED to happen to make the business grow, and you should be focusing on those things.
Now, that lesson is a tough one to apply, and I still struggle with it today, but let me put it another way that’s really helped me get my attitude on track about it…
“What matters most should never be at the expense of what matters least”
You can apply that to your business, your time, your relationships, your negotiating, your social media management, your parenting, etc.
The things that matter most in your business should never come second to the things that matter least.
As Anthony Robbins says, focus on the MAJORS.
Too many people make majors out of minors, and they pay for it.
You deserve better, your business deserves better, your family, your clients, and even your vendors deserve better.
If you’re trying to build a world class company, it’s essential that you perfect the skill of putting first things first.
Remember, you must do the most productive thing at any given moment.
To your success,