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Finding The Time

by David Brock on September 6th, 2011

Last week, while at Dreamforce, I had a conversation over coffee with a relatively new sales manager.  He was excited about the job and the opportunity to move forward in his sales career. 

We talked about how he spent his time.  It seemed to be a flurry of activity.  He wanted to go on sales calls with his people, feeling he could contribute to moving deals forward.  As part of the management team, he was called to participate in any number of meetings–budget reviews, planning meetings,  forecasts reviews, reviewing reports, creating reports — the list went on.  Somehow, the sheer momentum of the position had caught him, he was excited, he seemed to be doing what needed to be done.

I asked him, “What are you accomplishing?”

He thought for a moment and replied, “Well I’m really busy.”  He paused further, then sighed, “I’m not really sure what I am accomplishing.”

Many of us, managers and non-managers get caught up in the activities of our jobs.  I struggle with it myself.  Somehow momentum seems to take over, we seem to be doing more, but accomplishing less.  At the end of the week, we wonder where the time went.

Busyness overtakes accomplishment and getting things done.  Activity overtakes thought-fullness.  Time passes, we wonder what we’ve gotten done.

  1. Do you spend time every week re-assessing your priorities for the week?  Do they move you and your people forward?
  2. Do you have your daily “to-do” list?  Do you update it, do you check things off?
  3. Are you spending more time with your people, coaching and developing them, than sitting in planning and review meetings?
  4. Are you spending time with customers–helping your sales people, listening to your customers, learning from them?
  5. Are you dedicating time to learn something new?  Are you keeping up with news in your industry?  Are you reading?
  6. Are you taking time to exercise and meditate?
  7. Are you taking time to laugh– have some fun?
  8. Are you spending time with your family?

Time is the one thing we can’t recover.  When we lose it, we can never find it again.  Are you making each minute count?


  1. David, great reminder. Move forward, don’t just move. Thanks- good timing!

  2. Michael Freed permalink

    This has been our mantra recently within our group, a focus on what you may call ‘stumbling forward’.

    Recognizing that we will never have either the time or time coordination with others for our actions to be perfect, and moving forward anyway the best way we are able, doing what we can, when we can, always with an eye to moving forward on initiative which may involve ‘guesstimates’, on sales process with customer that you might not have all the answers on, on quality time with our children which may mean only 15 minutes some days, with our fitness lifestyle which may mean only a run in the park versus a trip to the gym.

    Once you remove ‘ideal’ or ‘perfect’ from the expectation set in your actions, you free yourself to a great degree I think.

    • Awesome comment Michael—just moving forward and learning from it is critical. Thanks for the great insight.

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