Saturday, December 09, 2006

Time Traps (Book Review)

Recently read this book and very much enjoyed it.  This book is written with some very practical advice aimed directly at sales people.  Maybe you aren't a sales person but there are tips in here that can help you as well.  The book talks about some of the mistakes people make in just trying to manage all their tasks.  The biggest mistake is trying to manage all your tasks.

Yep, you heard me correct.  As he points out many of the tasks we take on whether in sales or not are tasks that are going to waste our time no matter if they take us 1 hour or 1 minute.  Even if they only take 1 minute they can still be a waste of time, because you shouldn't even be doing it in the first place.  There are a lot of things like that throughout the day.  If you took all the unimportant tasks and just threw them away how much more time would you have?  I bet you would also start looking for more to through away, or pass on to somebody else. 

One of the hard lessons in the book for me was hiring somebody to do important tasks that waste your time.  That is something that is difficult for me, as well as it was for him.  It is hard to let go, but the people who are most efficient are those that do.

One of the traps mentioned by Todd Duncan is the technology trap.  I have written a post about technology and asking "who is in control?"  I talked about the fact that we can manage our technology to our advantage or we can let it control us.  Todd makes a different statement which being a technology guy I have to disagree with a little.  He says that if it takes you a couple of hours to play with a gadget such as a PDA then it is wasting your time.  I would agree with him if every time you try to use the device you struggle for an hour just to make it function.  However if you have to spend a day to configure and learn about a new tool and that tool can end up saving you a hour a day then in my opinion it is worth the time.  Of course I have to learn how to use technology for my work but even besides that I often have to learn new things in business that will benefit me later and I am willing to make the investment to make that happen.  The key is whether the benefit is there or not.  So the author has a good point to a limit. 

Even with my one complaint about the technology thing I think this was an excellent book.  And if you say that a book subtitled "proven strategies for swamped salespeople" doesn't effect you because you are not a sales person then you will be missing out and for another thing maybe you should think of yourself as a sales person.  I do.  I perform many functions in business but rather than regret sales I actually look forward to the fact that I sell.

Read this book it could help. I will be reading it again.

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