In Direct Sales – Time Management Is Money In the Bank

You wake up, try to get showered and dressed before the kids wake up. Then you prepare breakfast, get them bathed, dressed and ready for the day. With any luck, you might manage a few minutes of time for yourself, but in general, the direct sales/home party consultant has a lot more on their plate than just juggling the kids schedules. If only it were that easy most days. Time management is one of the most popular issues for work-from-home consultants. Not only are the everyday distractions of kids and chores a difficulty, but unannounced visitors, home repairs, family, and other unforeseen items that crop up during the day. How do you handle it? Looking for help? Here are a few resources that just might make it easier for you.

  • Get a timer. It might seem silly at first, but setting your kitchen time for an hour at a time can help you realize just how much time is passing during the day. I prefer the “wind up” timers with the loud bell. They are portable, and I keep one near my desk in case the phone should ring. Then I just set it to go off in a few minutes. If the conversations keeping me from working, I just tell my caller “That’s my timer – I need to go take care of that now.” Most times, the caller doesn’t even question what the timer is for. They let you go, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it. If they do ask about it, you can just tell them, “I set my timer and now I have to go take care of something.” Then excuse yourself and get back to work.
  • Hang a sign on your door. Whether it’s your office door or your front door, let people know you are not to be disturbed. This doesn’t always help with rowdy kids, but it certainly cuts down on unannounced visitors. Make arrangements with a neighbor to accept packages for you during your work time, and leave a note for delivery drivers. A simple. “Please Do not disturb. In the office until 3pm. Please leave packages next door” if sufficient. Besides, in getting to know your neighbors, you might find a new customer.
  • Get organized first thing in the morning. I use and recommend Mark Joyner’s Simpleology 101: The Simple Science of Getting What You Want. It’s a free, comprehensive course that not only give you a new understanding of the power of time, energy and money, but actually walks you through a daily exercise, called a “target praxis” to help you get focused on the important, “must do’s” of the day. It takes about 10-15 minutes to work through the praxis and the daily lesson. It’s by far the best time I spend every morning organizing my thoughts. I find that I’m achieving more in less time, and I stay focused on the important issues instead of getting side tracked by surprise email or other internet distractions. Simpleology 101 is an online program that features video lessons, a workbook for reinforcement, and audios you can take with your for on-the-go learning.
  • Be Flexible. Don’t expect that you’ll adhere to your schedule 100% every day. Schedule in some “wiggle room” around customer calls, hostess coaching, and order entry. Sometimes, you can even multi-task. Consider taking the kids to play at the park while you sit and label catalogs. Then when you’re all done, you can join in the fun!
  • Have a “show on the go”. Keep a small sampling of product available with a hostess packet and recruiting info. Carry it with you at all times. You can put the product in a plastic zipper bag to keep it tidy, and the hostess packet can be in a separate envelope. This way you are ready to “talk shop” at a moments notice – even in line at the grocery store, saving time on customer followup at a later date.
  • Ask for help. Sometimes, it’s not possible, but talk with your family, and let them know how important your direct sales business is to you, and show them specific ways that they can help you be successful. Kids love to be helpful – especially if there’s a reward for doing so. Your spouse can help watch the kids in the evenings when you’re doing call backs or other business items. Just remember to reward them, too! Family rewards for helping out are a great way to spend time together – which is why you got into direct sales in the first place!

Always remember that you’re not alone in your direct sales company. Talk with your leader about what works for them. It might just help you, too. Ultimately, though, you are responsible for your own success. Finding ways to make the burden easier makes the job more enjoyable for everyone.