Looking for increased productivity?
Why don’t I work as hard EVERY DAY as I do the week before I leave for vacation?
One of my clients asked that very question the day before leaving on his company’s President’s Club Cruise.
It may seem strange when a very successful salesperson is frustrated by the results of his work habits. As my conversation with him continued, here’s what we agreed on: Working at that level, like we do the week before we go on vacation, is unsustainable over the long term.
Short bursts of productivity are all most salespeople can handle when putting in extreme levels of focused effort.
As a deadline approaches, you can convince your brain to maintain focus because there’s an end in sight. Knowing there’s an endpoint (that’s not too far away) allows us to achieve focus and productivity. That’s why it’s achievable right before vacation.
Furthermore, most salespeople set short term, specific objectives before a vacation, such as:
- Be at quota before leaving.
- Have a phone meeting with a specific prospect.
- Make a predetermined number of dials, conversations, or appointments.
These types of short term objectives are not only tangible, they also allow us to see the progress we are making toward our goals. Seeing progress is a satisfying reward for the brain, and it keeps us engaged.
I’ve been studying this phenomenon for almost a decade, and I’ve incorporated it into my practice for the last 5 years. I’ve developed a name for it:
When we harness the brain’s ability to work under these conditions, we can put it to work for us on a regular basis, not just during the week before vacation.
For BURSTfocus to work, you need, as I mentioned, a burst of focused activity, with a firm end point and clear steps of progress. In my research, I have found that sales professionals can incorporate BURSTfocus into their weekly, and even daily, routines to amplify their productivity.
Here is the first step in the BURSTfocus protocol:
Choose a duration.
When I work with clients on the BURSTfocus process, we determine the optimal length of time they can focus on just one task, which I also call “monotasking.” (Yes, monotasking is the opposite of multitasking. In fact, Dr. Glenn Wilson’s “The INFOMANIA Study and Stanford University’s Media Multitaskers” study proves that multitasking is inefficient and counterproductive!)
Once we determine the optimal length of time, we assign a regular slot for the BURSTfocus process and get it on the calendar.
- A client who can focus for an hour at a time, for example, will pick a set time each day, of fixed duration, to work on a highly targeted task.
- A client who can sustain their intense focus will spend perhaps an hour and a half, multiple times each day on different BURSTfocus activities.
You can see that we don’t want to apply BURSTfocus all day, every day. But we do want to utilize it strategically.
Because BURSTfocus uses your brain to its full potential, it’s important that you remove distractions. I don’t have to tell you what those are, but let’s JUST say that most of us need to turn off our cell phones and shut down email.
That is the first of a series of specific and achievable steps to BURSTfocus. Do you sense this could work for you or your sales team?
If so, I invite you to connect, and let’s set up a phone call to review your needs. The first step to BURSTfocus could be the first step to your extreme results!