SCHEDULE MAGIC…one of my newer Coaching Clients confessed that "the key to my success is to stick to my schedule". I smiled and replied, "That means you are normal… 98% of all Salespeople have that same challenge. My job is to help you fix that". The good news is…we did! What I have learned over the years is that everyone has a particular "magic pill" that solves the issue of sticking to a schedule. The key is to identify this magic pill and keep it front and center at all times. Here was the key for this Coaching Client:
Her "magic pill" was to be in the office at 8:30 AM five days a week NO Excuses! If she was there everything went great, if she wasn't the day was lost. We set up some simple Accountability with both the receptionist and the office manager in her location. She gave them each two undated $25 checks. If on any occasion she was not at her desk at 8:30 AM sharp! they were to cash the first check. If it happened again, cash the second check and collect two more $25 checks. Guess what… IT'S WORKING! What this Client said to me was, "You know Bruce, until you made me do this I never really had to be in by 8:30 AM. Once I made that commitment everything changed. I love it!"
Here is your ACTION STEP…The real issue is not whether the above technique would work for you… the real issue is what is your "magic pill for sticking to your schedule?". You need to identify that immediately. Here's some other ideas:
1. Have your children hold you accountable and at the end of the week reward them with a special outing when you keep your word (movies, pizza, etc.). Have them check off each day when you come home at night on a calendar on the refrigerator.
2. Plan a trip with your spouse that will be cancelled if you don't stick to your schedule. No cheating!
3. Get an Accountability Partner (your Coach or someone in your office) and attach a penalty that "makes you cringe". By the way, spouses typically are not good Accountability Partners.
4. Maybe it is as simple as going to bed earlier every night, that way you will get up on time and start the day right… put some Accountability in place for that.
5. Put a picture on the wall of something you intend to buy for yourself as a reward. Write the date you will make that purchase on the picture. Put a calendar on the wall beside the picture. Count down the days with a checkmark for every day you keep your word. If you "break the chain" then you must revise the date on the picture and start over.
When you are really committed to doing things, you always get them done.You already have examples of "sticking to your schedule" in the past. It isn't like you haven't done it before… look how well you stayed on schedule the day before you went on your last vacation. Resurrect that resolve and figure out what it will take to be 100% consistent. Make the penalty very uncomfortable! It's not easy but the rewards are spectacular. NO Excuses.