We are all always looking to become more time efficient, so today I am going to share some tips with you.

The first step is to become consciously aware of how you spend your time. People who complain that they “don’t have the time” have unconsciously created bad habits that need to be brought into the light of consciousness. This conscious awareness is best achieved by keeping a time log of everything you do for one month, so you will have “the problems” clearly identified before you begin to look for solutions.

Start by identifying your long-term goals, because this will create a context for all your activities. Having a clear vision of what you are aiming for gives you motivation and momentum so that day-to-day decisions can be easily made. You will then be able to evaluate these decisions in terms of “Is this activity moving me toward my goal?”

Prioritize and schedule tasks on a monthly, weekly and daily basis according to their importance to you. (Because people’s efficiency is optimized when they have a good work-life balance, it helps to schedule time for family and self so that these areas don’t become compromised.) By working on your higher priority tasks first, you will be able to channel more of your energy and concentration into these important activities. As your energy and concentration starts to fade, so too can the importance of your tasks.

At the end of each work day, make a to-do list for the next day. This pulls out what needs to be done and frees your mind from worry so that you can sleep more peacefully. Once you’ve completed your list but before you prioritize it, review each task and ask yourself three questions:

  1. Do I need to do this? (If your answer is “no,” then delegate the task.)
  2. Do I need to do this tomorrow? (If your answer is “no,” then remove it from your to-do list.)
  3. Does this task add value to me or my organization? (If your answer is “no,” then question why you are doing it.)

It takes 21 days of consistently doing something differently to establish a new activity as habit. For busy salespeople, working smarter requires paying attention to how they spend their time, identifying their time wasters and scheduling time for urgent and non-urgent activities.

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Jonathan Farrington is a globally recognized business coach, mentor, author, consultant and chairman of The JF Corporation and CEO of Top Sales Associates. For more information and tips from Jonathan, visit http://www.topsalesworld.com/, or go to his blog at http://www.thejfblogit.co.uk/.