The Gift of Time is a Critical Asset to Improve Performance By: Rick Carlson | May 5, 2020 How many times have you heard “I wish there was more time in the day”, or “There just isn’t enough time to accomplish all the things I want to accomplish” or “I ran out of time”? COVID-19 is granting many of us with more free time. What we do with it will tell us if those phrases were excuses or sincere statements. Since our sequestration began five or more weeks ago, we have been blessed with more time, especially so in sales. We have been re-gifted with our normal commute to the office time, our meetings with clients time, time that we used for entertaining others or attending networking events, or the time it took to get to those functions. When you add it all up, it’s quite a bit of free time that has been given back to us. Now think about what we have done with that free time. Has it been productive? Has it been used to the betterment of our professional skills, or to expand our business networks? One of the more difficult challenges in getting this “gift” of time is how we take advantage of it. Since time can be elusive, a lack of planning for its use will cause it to slip away, unused. Will we one day look back when this is all over and think “why did I waste that valuable resource” or will we find comfort in the fact that this pandemic taught us to value such a critical asset? The key to reaping the benefit of such a gift is in our ability to plan. One of the most important take-aways we can have from this crisis is pushing ourselves to improve that ability. One of the constants of the TechServe Sales & Recruiting Management Program is the emphasis on planning. The focus is on using outlook to block time for certain events – sales visits, prospecting calls, internal meetings, training, etc. The program then challenges the participant to be held accountable and avoid losing time that could otherwise be used to improve performance. What should we be asking of our people and in fact, ourselves, to better utilize this gift? Certainly increased levels of prospecting would be key. As many of our clients dramatically reduce their hiring expectations, it is critical that we search evermore for the few opportunities that still exist. Even if we do not find current opportunities, it is vital that we build and expand our network for when the fog lifts. How about improving our own professional capabilities? We can use the newly allotted time to read, attend webinars, and converse with our peers to gain ideas as to how best to handle specific situations. We can even use the time to expand our knowledge and capabilities as it pertains to our ATS or CRM. The good habits that we encourage our people to establish now will be extremely beneficial when time is once again an elusive asset.