Simple Life

Do you remember when you were a child and everything was simple?  Do you ever think back to those times and smile?  When did life and business become so complicated?

As a sales executive, sales coach, husband, father, son, brother and friend, I find myself wondering where this tremendous accumulation of responsibility has built up.  When did this all happen?  How?

It’s called life and it can kick your ass.

How do you simplify it?  Is less really more?

Here are 3 tips that I’ve seen work wonders cutting through the clutter highway of life.

Dedicate yourself to an Exercise Regiment – It may sound obvious and you may be wondering when will I have the time?  I understand.  The point here is when you feel good and have more energy, life slows down and you become more organized.  It’s proven by hundreds of scientific reports that exercise helps you focus on the stuff that truly matters in your business and personal life.

This point includes getting enough rest as well.  The National Sleep Foundation’s (didn’t know they existed) annual poll estimated that Americans get an average of 6.7 hours of sleep during weekdays.  Over the last decade, the poll indicates that a growing percentage of Americans is getting less than six hours of sleep and the number of people who get eight or more hours is dwindling.  Think about that a minute.  If you go to bed at 10:30 pm and get up at 6:30 am, that’s 8 hours of sleep, the amount recommended.  Doesn’t seem too difficult to do, does it?  I realize there are exceptions to everything but you’re playing with fire if you don’t take care of yourself.  I’ve seen too many people take the wrong approach.  Dying young is overrated.

Develop a System – This may sound boring but the most successful people I know have a regimented system that they stick to each and every day.  These “systems” vary based on what works for you personally but the main point is to stick with something that works.

This can be done in both your business and personal life.  Let’s look at an example.  For your sales career you have obvious tasks that need to be done daily including new business development, updating your pipeline, lead generation or presentations.  You could start out each day and week by listing the goals you’d like to accomplish.  What are the best results you would want to achieve?  From there, you need to set up your week to accomplish these goals.  You can separate your days into three categories.  Dan Sullivan, Founder of Strategic Coach calls these categories your Focus, Buffer and Free days.

Focus days are where you focus your time and effort into your core goals – developing new business, presenting, meetings, etc.  These days should be dedicated to revenue generating activities.

Buffer days are the days where you handle the “busy work” that your sales career requires.  Examples include e-mail, social media, lead generation research, updating your accounts in the CRM.

Free days are just that, free.  I recommend setting up some type of systematic schedule on your free days as well.  This would cover activities for yourself, your family, a date with your significant other, kid’s activities, church and whatever else you’d like to do when you’re not working.

Write in a Journal Every Day – This is something I feel is really important.  Personally, I’ve done this for a long time and attribute it to a number of positives in my life.  It allows me to put my inner most thoughts on paper and helps with daily goal setting.  This doesn’t have to be a formal process where need a Mont Blanc fountain pen and gold plated notebook.  The important thing is you do every day.  Sometimes your entries will be short, other times they will be longer.  I like to write what I’m thankful for, what I want to accomplish that day, how I’m feeling, what I’m worried about, problems that need solving and what I’m excited about.

This is a great habit to get started and I know a ton of successful people that practice this routine daily.  It personally provides a calming influence for me and I refer to it throughout the day.  A key point here is to write a new entry every day.  This is not your daily to-do list where you’re crossing items out and moving old items to a new list.  This is journaling and it’s much more than just a list.

Life can be hard.  No one owes you anything.  However, you can take matters into your own hands and simplify things.  This will make each day a bit easier and as you develop these habits life will become happy once again. Simple :)

Greg McKinney is a respected sales leader and is nationally know as a speaker, sales coach and consultant.  He believes in helping others and serving the better good of humanity.  His phenomenally popular website is a must see for all sales leaders, small business owners and sales professionals.

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