Archive for the time management Category

Efficiency and Effectiveness

Posted in dustin hillis, time management with tags , , , , , , on June 7, 2013 by Dustin Hillis

Efficiency and Effectiveness

My father-in-law, Jack Grady, loves telling the story about when he asked his daughter (my wife Kyah) to vacuum the stairs. He recalls that an hour after her working hard at vacuuming she reported back to him that she was finished. Upon inspection, he found that she had missed several spots and made her do it again. She was mad because she had “worked hard” and he told her “it doesn’t matter how hard you work, all that matters is that you get the job done right”.

Jack Grady

Jack Grady

After working with thousand of executives and top producers, I have found that the difference between an ultra producer and an average producer is efficiency and effectiveness.

Having a goal of constant and never-ending improvement around being more Efficient and Effective is the most productive goal anyone can have. This is a goal that has no finish line. There are always ways to be more Efficient and Effective. When you strive to maximize your time, you will be amazed at how much more enjoyable the things you do are. The worst feeling in the world is to feel like you’re working hard and not making progress.

Here are the top 3 tips to being Efficient and Effective:

1. Delegate – Focus 95% of your Income Producing Activity (IPA) time doing only things that you can do. Delegate the rest.

– If you don’t have a team, get one. Give up control. Stop being the biggest obstacle that holds your company back. Hire, train, motivate and hold accountable people who are smarter, more efficient and better looking J than you are at tasks you should not be doing. Empower others and let it go.

2. Be Proactive, Not Reactive Spend 2-3 hours every Sunday planning out every day, hour and minute of your next 2-4 weeks.

– I went to dinner with one of the most successful people I know named Spencer Hays. At dinner, I asked Spencer “how do you manage your time?” He replied “I schedule an appointment with myself every Sunday and I plan out every phone call, every meeting, drive time, logistics, etc. for every minute the next week. That way when Monday comes I don’t have to think about what I should be doing.“

3. Do NOT Over Commit If something is not on your calendar, don’t do it!

– In the book Crucial Conversations, the authors discuss the importance of learning how to say “no”. This resonated with me because at the time I read that book for the first time I was a habitual over committer. I over committed at work, at home, with my friends. My intentions were to make everyone happy and the result was no one was happy. I created a mini-script that made a major impact in my life. Anytime someone asked me if I could do something instead of giving my normal impulse response to just say “Yes”, I started saying I don’t know. Let me check my schedule.” Then I pull out my schedule and check and see if I can do what is being requested and then put it in my calendar. These 2 sentences have changed my life. I’m no longer an over committer, and I do not do anything that is not in my calendar!

We all want to get more done in less time. The question is… are you willing to focus on these 3 steps and actually do them?

Selling Systems: Self-Management Systems

Posted in southwestern company, Southwestern Consulting, time management with tags , , , , , , on February 13, 2013 by Dustin Hillis

Selling Systems

Today I was doing field training with one of our Southwestern Consulting Market Managers (Neal Anderson) in Raleigh, NC.  Our first meeting was with a personal coaching client of mine whom I’ve been coaching for over 3 years named Bob Watral.  Bob is a former VP at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and has been in the financial planning industry for over 20 years and is one of the most coachable people I know.  Our next meeting was at one of the top real estate offices in Raleigh, and Neal signed up the managing broker of the office for the Manager’s Edge coaching.  Then our next meeting was at a New York Life office where Neal was already coaching the manager and ended up signing up another producer for the Top Producer’s Edge coaching program.  Upon reflecting on the day’s activities, I feel that all 4 of the people we met with today who are enrolled in our program have one thing in common that they need help with. Although they work at different companies in different industries and have different levels of experience, the common denominator is they all need help creating and maintaining more effective and efficient Selling Systems.

The Southwestern Family of Companies is comprised of Southwestern Investments Group (the #1 Raymond James financial planning firm in the world), Great American (the largest school fundraising company in the world), SBR Recruiting (the #1 recruiting company in the state of Tennessee), Southwestern Advantage (one of the oldest direct sales businesses in the United States), Family Heritage (a large supplemental insurance company), Tom James (the world’s largest custom clothier), Wildtree (one of the fastest growing party planning businesses in the United States), a handful of other various businesses ranging from the music industry, time shares, international work and travel documents, and an award-winning publishing company.   People often ask me “how is Southwestern involved in so many different industries?  What’s the common thread?”  The answer to that question is why Southwestern Consulting exists.  All of the Southwestern companies have one thing in common – Selling Systems.

Selling Systems are the foundation of all the Southwestern companies…and they’re the foundation of almost every successful company, manager and top producer.

What are “Selling Systems”?   There are 3 key Selling Systems that Southwestern has perfected over the past 155 plus years that we help instill in our coaching clients.

Selling System #1:  Self-Management Systems

Out of the hundreds of people we coach every year, Time Management is the #1 area of improvement most people need help creating systems around.  A lot of people are working a lot of hours… they’re just not maximizing the time during the hours they work.

Here are the top 3 systems you can create for yourself to help manage your time better:

1. Schedule Tool – A schedule tool is a spreadsheet that has every day of your week broken down hour-by-hour.  How you use the Schedule Tool is you open it up every Sunday and take an hour to literally plan out every hour of your week, every phone call, every meeting, prospecting time, email time, lunch, paperwork time… but beyond that you have to schedule your personal life also!  What time you’re going to wake up, read books, workout, date night, and personal development training.

Here is an example of one of my coaching clients Schedule Tool:

Schedule Tool

Schedule Tool for Time Management

2. Goal Card – A Goal Card is one of the cornerstone tools that Southwestern has used to ensure success over the past century.  One of the keys to a Goal Card is that it breaks down your day into working “goal periods”.  A “goal period” is a 2 hour block of your day where you have specific activity goals to achieve.  You should break your whole day down into “goal periods” and have activity goals for each “goal period”.  Separating your day out to 2 hour increments will help you get more done in 2 focused hours than what most people do all day.

Click Here To Download Your Selling Systems Goal Card

Selling Systems

Selling Systems

3. Critical Success Factor Tracker – “You cannot expect unless you inspect.”  It’s hard to know how to improve your performance unless you track what you’re doing all day long and then measure the activity against the daily activity goal.  In the Southwestern ConsultingTM sales performance coaching program, we have designed a software program that makes this an easy process that takes 2 minutes at the end of the day to tally up your daily activity statistics off of your Goal Card and enter them onto your CSF report.

Here is an example of the Southwestern Consulting Critical Success Factors tracking tool all of our coaching clients use everyday and review with their coach:

Critical Success Factors

Critical Success Factors Activity Tracking Tool

  • Once you have several months of CSF data, you can start self-managing yourself and comparing your ratios to the previous month and make sure your daily activity numbers are always improving.

If you are reading this and think “this is the kind of stuff I need in my business”, we can help!  We have a team of experts that help implement these types of systems in companies across America every day.  For more information:

… stay tuned for the other two Selling Systems.

The Art of Not Thinking: When Should You Be Thinking?

Posted in Sales Coaching, Southwestern Consulting, time management with tags , , , on March 27, 2011 by Dustin Hillis

When should you be thinking?

The Art of Not Thinking

There are 3 times that are optimal for thinking.

1. The best time for thinking is during a scheduled time that you have set aside to plan out your day, week, month, or year.
One of my Sales Management Performance Coaches (Chris Samuels) gave me a valuable piece of advice. He told me “Dustin, successful people always make sure to set a time at the end of each day to prepare for the next day”. He said that during this time look over your schedule and ask yourself “what do i need to do to prepare for the conversations, meetings, and task that I will be doing”.

This skill set is called “Mastering the Art of Preparation”.

When a Southwestern Consulting Sales Coach trains a client on Mastering the Art of Preparation, they teach them how to not think at the wrong time. The number one “time-waster” is over-thinking. The reason mid-level producers don’t reach the next level is that they over analyze. They get analysis paralysis. The goal is to be so prepared before we’re on the battlefield that we have already won the fight for the day before the day even begins.

Stay tuned for more ideas on “The Art of Not Thinking”…

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