Productivity is a catalyst that boosts self-confidence. Several months ago I sat next to Jason Womack on a flight to Los Angeles. In his book, Your Best Just Got Better, Jason describes strategies to become more productive. I adopted several immediately, but he also pointed out the need to understand why we do what we do, to do more, or to eliminate it from our lives. As a career coach I frequently encounter people who have the skills and experience to tackle any job in their field or profession, but they’re missing a key ingredient. Self-confidence.
Jason’s book caused me to analyze my activities before sales trips. It occurred to me that most of the items on my checklist could be described as self-confidence boosters, but I also evaluated what I need to be at my best:
- Good night of sleep.
- Showered and dressed.
- Only view emails once I’m prepared to respond to them.
I’ve lived long enough to know my flaws – and peak performance requires down time and an adjustment period to reflect, rehearse, and wind-up before I walk into a client meeting. I tailor each discussion to the customer’s needs; I challenge their approach to create tension and demonstrate proficiency; and I teach them how my products will drive their business. All of this gives me control over the buying process to steer ideas and decisions into my strengths. This is why I want to be on the ground a day before meetings with International clients. For me, there’s too much at stake and too much to lose…even if same-day travel flows smoothly it diminishes delivery preparation.
It’s tough to be productive when your ‘chores’ haven’t been done. Here’s my pre-trip checklist:
- Favorite clothes / clean – pressed.
- Notepad / pen.
- Coffee / dressed / groomed.
- Electronic devices powered up – power adapters available.
- Itinerary / schedule / map / transportation options.
- Be on-time.
- Site reconnaissance – visit the office before your meeting to determine how long it will take to get there.
- ID / passport / currency.
- Data and voice active (mobile phones while traveling).
- Music / headphones.
- Glasses / contacts / supplies / medications.
- Local knowledge about tipping, credit card useage, other customs.
- Hardware has network connectivity / back-up plan if network is unavailable.
- Thank you cards – Always Be Ready.
- Be productive during delays – see above.
- Treat yourself to an airport spa or airline clubs when traveling.
- Use the arrivals lounge for a shower / fresh clothes.
- If the day matters – upgrade yourself to a suite. The space will make you feel better and injects confidence.
I hope this list triggered ideas to put you in the right mindset. Here’s one to end on and it’s worth repeating. “Don’t review emails on your cellphone until you’re ready to take action.” Adopting that best-practice has eliminated anxiety from my routines so I stay focused to make my best even better.