Our blogging theme for this month is productivity, kicking off the new year with thoughts and ideas aimed to help us and you be more productive in 2016.
I spent some of the weekend thinking about all the apps and pieces of software that help me to be more productive. Then I searched the web for a while looking for new innovations in productivity - of which there are loads (many of which sound fabulous!)
After an hour or so of reading about new things, new ways to do old things, and a lot about ways to condition your brain to be more productive, I realised that if I had spent that time actually doing something constructive - it would have been a much better use of my time!
One of the most important traits that someone working in sales or business development is proactivity. Conversely, one of the roadblocks to true productivity is procrastination. Procrastination is easy, and is the bitter enemy of productivity.
Take client research for example, you need to do some initial work to learn about the company and the contact. In today's age of social selling it's well worth trying to "warm them up" via LinkedIn, social channels or shared connections. But it's easy to spend a whole morning procrastinating whilst building a detailed file on a prospect that might not convert. If you can get them on the phone and ask the right questions you can find out just as much in a far shorter time.
I'm a big fan of Michael Connellys detective novels, in which the main protagonist, Harry Bosch spends a lot of time exhorting his colleagues to "Get Off Your Ass And Knock on Doors" - in terms of productivity this is my number one way to ensure I achieve what I need to achieve. Not necessarily because I have any desire to knock on doors but because it's a really good thing to say to yourself when you find yourself procrastinating.
Whilst I have no doubt that there are lots of things out there that can help us all become more productive; from a personal point of view, there is simply nothing as powerful as just getting on with it.
So it turns out that my number one top tip for increasing your productivity is simply, stop trying to find ways to do things and actually do things!