Sadly, most people treat time with little respect. I am guilty of that too, and even with all my time awareness tools and tricks, I still find myself wasting my valuable time.
These days, I realize that some of my “wasted” time is rejuvenation time, so I don’t burn out. So, not all wasted time is truly lost.
That said, as I work with prospects and people in my business, I can see them wasting enormous amounts of time that, if leveraged effectively, could deliver them from the tight financial situations they are in and could create a much better future for them and their families.
How do we become aware of time? My first little exercise will show you the value of even five minutes.
Ready to get started? You will need five minutes of uninterrupted time with NO distractions for this exercise.
The good news for the “always busy” people of the world is that you can build much of your MLM business in five-minute chunks of time.
True, it can be built faster if you have larger blocks of time, but you can still get a lot done in five minutes. Let’s get started.
- Step 1: Get away from all distractions. (Go outside or hide in a closet if you must.) Put your cell phone in airplane mode. Please do it. The odds of someone you know dying because they couldn’t reach you for five minutes is pretty small, and this is an important exercise. Besides, you can check when you are done.
- Step 2: Start your mobile phone clock or timer app or find a kitchen timer and set it for five minutes.
- Step 3: Find a blank wall or someplace away from where you usually study or work.
- Step 4: Stare at the wall and start your timer.
- Step 5: Don’t think about anything. Just stare and wait for the ding or beep indicating that five minutes has expired. If you can’t stand to trust that the timer will ring, you can take ONE look after you have started it. Don’t watch the countdown. That will defeat the purpose. Just wait for the end of time signal.
You will probably find your mind thinking about all kinds of things you need to do or could do or forgot to do, etc. That’s okay. This isn’t meditation. If you have to write something down because it is extremely important, go ahead, but you have to reset the clock for five minutes and start over.
- Step 6: Did it seem like a long time? Did you think about all the things you could have been doing? Were you annoyed that you were “wasting” time on this dumb exercise?
Did you realize how LONG five minutes could be? Can you think of things you could do for five minutes that would help to build your business?
Let’s explore that a bit. Here’s a list of some MLM business activities I came up with. Check the ones that you could do.
- Send a text message or blitz to friends about something business-related
- Send a quick email to reconnect with an old friend you were interested in prospecting
- Do a follow-up call for a one-on-one with a prospect
- Read another section of this book
- Look up the use of a product that a prospect was curious about
- Spend the time rejuvenating with a little meditation
- Download Zoom to your computer or phone so you can connect with upline or downline on video
- Check your back office to see if you are tracking against your goal in your business
- Update your paper prospect tracking sheet with some new information that came in
- Check how you are doing against the weekly plan you set up on Monday
- Take a look at the compensation plan to see how one of the bonuses works
- Look at the town meeting hall or local convention center agenda to see if there are any events coming that you could attend for prospecting purposes
- Make a list of five people you will connect with today
- Call one of your team members to let them know you are thinking about them – no business, just check in to see how life is going
- Download the latest product price list and print it out, so you have a current list available when you need it
- Look at the current price list you downloaded to get a general idea of prices and products available
- Print out a few weekly planning sheets and predate them for this or next month
- Send a text, email, or voice message to an upline leader and ask to connect with them about your business-building goals
- Get dressed if you are in your PJs and haven’t started your day yet. Yes, the five-minute time frame will require some of you to move quickly!
- Put on makeup or shave if you haven’t done it yet. It will make you feel better
- Install a training app on your smartphone so you can be ready to listen to a free lesson or call.
- Add a friend to your SimpleConnector app and select the “Made a cool friend” campaign and some notes.
- Open your SimpleConnector app and take care of the top task for the day
- Take a quick five-minute break. Maybe walk outside to the mailbox and back to see if your product package arrived today.
The above list took about fifteen minutes to make and is just what popped into my head. I’m sure there are many other things you can add.
- Step 7: For the final step, take five additional minutes and create your own list of things you could do in five minutes to build your business. Don’t simply copy what I did. Come up with your own ideas. Keep this list handy. and put it in your purse, wallet, pocket, or planner. The next time you find yourself with five minutes, take a look at your crunched up little list and do one of the tasks. Your business will grow a little more every time you do it, and you will finally be using those short five-minute blocks of time effectively toward your future. You can also print a few copies and put them up in places you will be. Examples might include: the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, home phone (if you still have one), steering wheel of your car, front door, just any place in your world that you frequent.
Do you want to know a secret that rich people know? They plan their time— or pay someone else to do it for them. Plan your work and then work your plan is another useful adage.
Do you know what results you will accomplish this week?
If you take a little time early each week to decide on the results you want and then decide on the activities required to get them done, you will be way more ahead than if you don’t.
The reason we tend to waste a lot of time is because we have not “pre-decided” how we will use it when we have it.
Another fun thought exercise is to remember how effective and efficient you are the day before you take a long trip or vacation. I bet you plan every hour to get stuff done before you leave. If you don’t, you most assuredly will forget to do or bring some necessary things.
The last time you traveled, did you make a checklist of all the things to do and bring? You were probably planning on steroids, just for a day. So, you know how effective planning can be. Imagine how much more you could get done if you prioritized your time and activities each week at the beginning of the week.
The tough thing is that planning is not a natural or even fun thing to do, most of the time — especially if it has to do with work or business building. However, I guarantee that if you do not do it, you WILL lose valuable time. By planning your time, you will increase your chance of building a stable and profitable business and creating the life you deserve.
Here are some tips on how to plan your weeks:
- Plan your week at the same time each week.
- Schedule your weekly planning time on your calendar.
- Use a weekly planning worksheet for a template so you have something to refer to during the week to keep you on track.
I have a weekly planning worksheet I use with my leaders and students in one of my courses. This worksheet is results-based because after taking an $8000 coaching program, I learned that focusing on activities does not guarantee results. What are we after? Results, not just a bunch of busywork.
Result vs. Activity Goals
If I tell you to go out and make two contacts a day, it won’t guarantee that any specific results will come of it. However, if we work together and decide ahead of time what results you want for the week, then we can figure out what types of activities will guarantee you get those results. Decide on realistic outcomes.
Simply stating you want to go Diamond this week having enrolled in your MLM last week would be a pretty tight goal, yes? It would not be impossible, though, if we came up with activities that could manifest it.
For example, if you are a major public figure with millions of followers and you told them they would be able to connect directly with you if they joined your MLM business on your team, you could probably hit Diamond in a single day. True, it’s not very duplicable, but it WOULD be possible.
Again, decide on the results, and then figure out what activities are required to get there.
The worksheet I created includes the following sections:
- Last week’s positives and progress, why it matters, and what’s next.
- A daily habit tracking section for one of your new habits.
- A mini reward you will receive if you accomplish your target result for the week.
- The amount of time you will allocate each day for each of your activity types (business building, business support, and rejuvenation).
- A list of the SMART RESULTS™ you are after this week.
- A list of the activities you will do for the chosen results.
- Your top ten prospects and each stage they are at.
Make sure to block out the allocated time on your calendar for each of the activities you have listed. It should take about fifteen to thirty minutes to fill it out each Sunday or Monday morning, and it will give you clarity of how to use your time during the week. Don’t forget to schedule this planning time, too!
In my online training program, we have weekly Monday morning “Planning your Week” Zoom calls where we take one volunteer each week through the process of planning the week, and everyone else fills out their worksheets along with us.
Consider doing something like this with your team. Also, consider working with one of your upline or crossline distributors to create some accountability with each other.
To summarize, simply telling someone to go out and make two contacts a day doesn’t guarantee results for the week. If you focus on results, then the activities you do are the variable that can be modified until you get the results you are after. For example: Focus on adding 500 new points in your business this week, not the number of product classes. Why? Because you may have nobody show up to your classes.
Moreover, results are what lead you along the path to whatever rank you desire right now. Results are measurable. Make sense?
Honoring Your Time
One especially important topic is that you need to learn to honor your allocated and scheduled time. Do not let others take over your time blocks. If you allow that, you will not get it done, and your results will suffer. Make deals with people, including your kids, friends, and significant others, that you will not be disturbed at set times on the day so the interfering stops. But don’t forget to re-schedule all of these important people back into your life too!
Okay, here goes my old guy, sexist statement: women indeed tend to be better at multitasking than guys. However, it is true that nobody can truly multitask, not even women.
Traditionally, guys find it easy to hyper-focus on only one thing at a time, much to the amazement of the women in their lives. (How DOES a guy mindlessly watch TV for hours? Check out Mark Gungor’s YouTube video for a funny explanation called Tale of Two Brains. You will be laughing on the floor in no time.)
Sure, there are multiple tasks you have to do that don’t require focus, like doing the laundry, watching TV, and cooking a roast all at them same time, then you can do them. However, only one of those tasks gets the primary focus at any given time.
Multitasking is switching between tasks moment to moment. For example, when the dryer buzzes, you wait for a commercial, dash to the dryer, grab the clothes, and start folding them. Then the TV show pops back on, all with a roast in the oven.
When the roast timer dings, you do the same thing. You’d probably lay out the clothes, so they don’t wrinkle, dash to the kitchen to turn off the oven, and then return to folding and TV.
All of the tasks gets done seemingly simultaneously, but the truth is you are stopping and starting each as priorities changes.
This is fine if you are doing tasks that don’t require you to be 100 percent at the moment, like follow-up calls, one-on-ones, planning your week, studying how you get paid, listening to instructors, and other mundane but necessary business activities.
When you are focusing your brain on these more complex types of tasks and you pop off the topic for even one minute, it can take many minutes to get back on track. Sometimes you never get back on track, so it is critical NOT to get distracted in the first place.
Also, there is nothing more frustrating than talking to people and having them always “put you on hold” or try to do other things while they are talking to you. You feel like you are not valued, so you want to end the conversation. This is NOT the way to BUILD or even maintain an existing relationship.
So, where am I going with this?
If you allocate time for a given “thinking” or “relationship-building” task, do not let it get interrupted. Make deals with people to have the time you need to get the high-priority task done.
Have you ever gotten to the end of a day, week, month, or year, and wondered where all your time had gone?
Time management isn’t about managing time; it’s about managing priorities. Both the wealthiest and most impoverished people on the planet have the same twenty-four hours in a day. It’s what you do with those twenty-four hours that will determine if you are successful or not.
Time management isn’t about managing time.
It’s about managing priorities.
Do you control your time? Or does it control you?
This section is about how to handle distractions: all those little time sucks that occur all day long. Examples include:
- Telephone rings, you pick it up.
- “You’ve got mail” or “ding” . . . you see it.
- “Click-click” . . . you check your text.
- “Be-bop” . . . you check your Facebook Messenger.
- Baby cries and you drop what you’re doing to figure out what they need.
- A conversation in the next cubicle draws your attention.
- A favorite TV show comes on, and you stop to watch it.
- Your spouse or kids come into the room with some “emergency” that must be handled by you, RIGHT NOW!
What things distract you regularly?
In every example above, you have put someone else’s priorities ABOVE YOUR OWN! Think about that. YOU have pre-decided to allow these distractions to happen! You have given them ALL permission to be MORE IMPORTANT than the task you are trying to complete.
Do you want to have a better life? If so, then it is time to take charge of your time priorities. Imagine how much more productive you could be if you stayed IN THE ZONE to finish the task.
The good news is that it is easier than you think. You can CHOOSE to control your life’s distractions. For example, you can:
- Turn off the phone ringer (no buzz-mode, either!) or use the “Do Not Disturb” mode on home and mobile phones.
- Turn off email notifications in settings or airplane mode.
- Turn off text notifications in settings or airplane mode.
- Get a babysitter or trade time with friends to share kid-sitting during “MLM business office hours”.
- Use a headset with study music or use the Focus@Will app when you need to concentrate.
- Use white noise to block out distractions.
- Set your DVR to capture movies you want to watch so you can CHOOSE when to watch them.
- Tell interrupters, “Please talk to the second-in-command to get problems solved during my MLM-biz office hours”. (LATER, make time up to them by doing predetermined and agreed-to fun activities).
Are you feeling withdrawal symptoms cutting everything off? Maybe start with one at a time or try a new one every three days or so — NOT!
REALLY? Did you think I would let you get off this easily?
NO WAY! I thought you wanted to build your business quickly! How bad do you want it?
DO ALL OF THEM and see if you survive!
Who knows, you might break some bad habits and magically come up with the time you crave to reach your targeted rank or income level. By the way, this process happens at every rank – even intergalactic super Diamond. Those lost seconds add up to minutes, hours, days, and years of lost productivity.
Do you want change in your life? THEN CHANGE! The most successful people in the world manage their time priorities or PAY someone else to do it for them! One thing for sure: they had to do it themselves before they could afford to pay someone else to help them.
What have you got to lose? You can always go back to your comfort zone and not change anything in your life. But that’s the topic for another chapter!
Do you want change in your life? Then Change!