By Dan S. Kennedy
There is a ‘secret key’ to peak personal productivity and performance that entrepreneurs are unwittingly depriving themselves of, to a worsening extent from one year to the next. This subtle form of self-sabotage takes its toll many different ways.
Entrepreneurs and sales professionals need ‘resiliency.’ We face opposition, we experience rejection and disappointment, we resolve problems in greater quantity and intensity than people in jobs, who work for others only 9 to 5. Our need to quickly and frequently rebound is far greater than for most people.
Consequently, we need to engineer into our daily schedules a sufficient amount of recovery time.
Most businesspeople have given it all away and have none.
What is ‘recovery time’? It is quiet time. Time to think. Time to re-gain perspective. Time for casual, stress-relieving conversation about other things than business. Such recovery time used to exist naturally and automatically in everyday life. While walking from the office to a restaurant for lunch. Driving in the car. Waiting in an airport. But all this is gone, given up to cellphone glued to ear, checking e-mail ten times a day. The result of all this is NOT improved productivity. Not at all. Oh, there’s a greater QUANTITY of communication taking place, that’s obvious. But as the QUANTITY has multiplied, the QUALITY has suffered. Today’s entrepreneur or sales pro is immersed in all this communication under greater stress and tension, which diminishes attention span, listening skill, comprehension, clear thought, breeds rushed, ill-considered response, short(er) tempers.
Peter Drucker, the godfather of industrial productivity and quality, makes a huge point about the distinction between ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness.’ Too many people are sacrificing ‘effectiveness’.
Being instantly or constantly accessible to your clients or employees does not necessarily mean you are more effective in those sales, service or managerial roles. In fact, it’s a very good bet, you are less effective. Returning phone calls and engaging in conversation while also speed-walking through an airport, dodging passer-by, in a din of noise (vs. waiting and returning calls in a hotel room with quiet and privacy) does not make you more effective. No, again, less effective.
No one can perform at optimum effectiveness – thinking, appraising, formulating ideas, communicating, persuading, negotiating or managing – if under unrelenting pressure. Few people can communicate with optimum effectiveness under extremely adverse environmental conditions.
In my book NO B.S. TIME MANAGEMENT FOR ENTREPRENEURS, I lay out a compelling case for taking new, stronger control over both technology and time, and re-organizing your management of both, to heighten your effectiveness and to enhance your resiliency.
If you want to be more effective this year than last, you’ll focus on quality, not just quantity, and you’ll exert new control over your time, relationships and communication.
About The Author: Dan Kennedy is the author of nine business books, including his newest, NO B.S. TIME MANAGEMENT FOR ENTREPRENEURS, available in bookstores or from online booksellers. Additional information and free chapter previews at www.nobsbooks.com. Included with the book, a coupon for a free kit of peak personal productivity tools. Kennedy is also a busy entrepreneur, consultant, speaker and direct-response advertising copywriter. Info at www.dankennedy.com.