Athletes are known for the pre-game rituals they use to prepare themselves for each game. These activities equip them to perform their best and (hopefully) win the game. Sales is no different. It’s important to prepare and be at the top of your game each day to ensure peak productivity.
Your morning routine acts as your pre-game routine. A recent study of contact center employees found that those who started work in a good mood were over 10% more productive than others. Coming in to work with a positive attitude daily is an investment in your career. To that point, it is worth building a routine of small successes that don’t require any thought or decision-making every day. This allows you to build momentum with minimal effort setting you up to be productive all day long.
Everyone is different, especially when it comes to the routines that motivate them. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Are you a coffee drinker or not? Your personality will determine what makes your morning routine work for you.
Even though everyone is different, there are still a few best practices that work for most. Check out these tips on what you should and shouldn’t be doing each morning to set yourself up for optimum daily sales productivity:
Prepare the night before
An effective morning routine, and many say a successful day, starts the previous night. Being prepared allows for a smooth start that creates calm, focus and momentum for a more productive day.
The night before is a great time for logistics. Lay out your clothes, do some meal prep and put all the items you’ll need on a “launch pad.” This prevents delays and eliminates the resulting stress. No need to search for your keys or important papers!
Another tactic used by successful sales pros is to create a to-do list at the end of the previous day. In other words, at the end of every work day, list out what you will do tomorrow. For many, the most productive time of the day is the first two hours, so it is best to dive right in to a pre-set plan, rather than waste productive time thinking about what to do. It’s a smart move to hit the ground running in the morning with momentum prepared the day before.
Get enough sleep
What “enough sleep” means for each individual will vary, but the easy answer here is less-than-optimal sleep compromises performance for everyone.
Trying to burn the candle at both ends can greatly reduce your daily results. It can compromise output, reduce efficiency, and lead to overall poor productivity. Not getting enough sleep makes it difficult to think clearly, harms your decision-making abilities and throws your emotions out of balance. For excellent sales productivity you need to start your day rested.
How much sleep do we need? According to a National Sleep Foundation study, adults 26 years or older need 7-9 hours of sleep each night for their health and wellbeing.
Start on a positive note
Suppress the urge to revert to old habits.
Don’t cut into your morning routine by hitting the snooze alarm or lying in bed checking social media and email. These things slow your momentum and reduce the positive effects of your morning routine. Hop out of bed when the alarm rings and get going.
Once you have the sense of control and accomplishment by hopping out of bed, open the curtains, get some fresh air, turn on the lights. There is no shortage of articles talking about the value of waking up with light – it sends a message to your brain that it is time to wake up. Finding techniques like this adds more “stickiness” to your morning routine, making you more likely to continue it. If you feel good about what you are doing, you will want to do it more!
Physical and mental activities boost productivity
One of the most consistent areas that many working professionals find sets their day off on the right note is some physical activity. There is something valuable mentally about getting the hardest part of the day done first with a rigorous workout.
Getting your heart pumping wakes you up and makes you more alert. In fact, according to a Harvard study, exercise releases brain chemicals key for memory, concentration, and mental sharpness. In other words, physical activity is another investment in your career. Including as little as ten minutes of meditation, prayer or breathing as well can help you feel grounded, focused and ready to effectively prioritize tasks. Skipping these activities may leave you feeling continually rushed and less effective all day.
Eat a healthy breakfast
It’s no secret that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is important – important enough that it should not be skipped. Without getting too deep into biology, our bodies run on calories, so giving our brains some healthy fuel to start of the day is a smart strategy.
Skip the donut and include a healthy, balanced meal in your morning routine for a productive day. This helps you start your day feeling physically and mentally energized. Don’t rush out of the house on an empty stomach. You wouldn’t expect your car to drive from point A to point B without gas in the tank! So you shouldn’t expect your body to function effectively without fuel either.
Feed your brain
Take time each morning to “sharpen the saw” by increasing your knowledge. This can be done by investing a designated amount of time each morning consuming sales-related content such as books, blogs or podcasts. Whether on the morning run or in the car for the commute, there is plenty of time to fold some education in to the routine. I
Research indicates that this activity stimulates your brain while reducing stress. So, why not give it a try?
Eat a frog first thing in your work day
As Mark Twain once said “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” This means you should do your most important or difficult tasks first while your brain is fresh and before the day gets out of control. By doing so you continue your day with a sense of accomplishment and maintain momentum from your morning routine.
This is good advice that makes its way into many productivity training sessions, and it applies just as well to sales. Make the call that will be the most difficult, tackle the activity you enjoy the least, or write the long email. The rest of your day will be smoother if the task you naturally avoid is out of the way.
Being well-rested, energized, fortified, focused and armed with new knowledge will increase the odds of peak sales productivity each day. Create a morning routine, or fine-tune the one that you have, until you receive the best results. Let me know what’s working for you by responding in the comments below.
Do you have a morning routine? If so, is it helping or hindering you?