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How to Time Block

11 min
Average Score

Keep Productive

Productivity and Project Management Tools

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Did you know that only a mere 5% of individuals utilizing calendar apps for task management are actually leveraging the power of time blocking? This statistic, highlighted in a recent session, underscores the untapped potential of this productivity technique, especially in the fast-paced world of sales and account management.

Time blocking, as explained in the session, is a straightforward yet effective method for organizing one’s schedule. It involves allocating specific time slots in your calendar to individual tasks or activities. This approach is particularly beneficial for sales professionals who often juggle multiple tasks and client interactions. By dedicating distinct time periods to specific activities, they can enhance focus and reduce the fragmentation of their workday.

A Contrast to Time Boxing

An interesting point raised in the session is the differentiation between time blocking and time boxing. While time blocking focuses on allotting specific time periods to tasks, time boxing is more outcome-oriented, emphasizing the completion of a task within a set time frame. This distinction is crucial in a sales context, where both strategies can be applied differently based on the nature of the task at hand.

Implementing Time Blocking in Sales

Incorporating time blocking into a sales routine can lead to a more structured and productive workflow. For instance, setting aside dedicated blocks for prospecting, client meetings, and follow-up emails can help in creating a more manageable and less overwhelming schedule. This method not only aids in prioritizing tasks but also ensures that each task receives the attention it deserves.

Benefits of a Structured Approach

The session underscores the benefits of this structured approach. Sales representatives can experience improved focus, reduced stress, and a clearer understanding of their daily objectives. By visually segmenting their day into distinct tasks, they can navigate their responsibilities more effectively and efficiently.

Tailoring Time Blocking to Individual Needs

However, time blocking isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. As highlighted in the session, it's important for individuals, particularly in sales roles, to tailor this technique to their personal workflow and the specific demands of their position. Some might find it beneficial to allocate longer blocks for in-depth tasks like strategy planning, while others might prefer shorter intervals for high-energy tasks like cold calling.

Implementing time blocking in a sales environment can be significantly enhanced by integrating additional strategies like color coding and the Pomodoro Technique. This session delves into how these methods can elevate time management and productivity for sales professionals.

Color Coding: Visual Efficiency in Scheduling

Color coding is an innovative way to bring clarity and efficiency to your calendar. By assigning different colors to various types of tasks – for example, blue for meetings, green for client research, and red for urgent tasks – sales reps can quickly assess their schedule at a glance. This visual distinction helps in immediately identifying priorities and types of activities scheduled for the day, streamlining the process of managing a busy sales schedule.

The Pomodoro Technique: Enhancing Focus and Productivity

Another powerful tool discussed in the session is the Pomodoro Technique. This involves working in focused bursts of 25 minutes, followed by a 5-minute break. For sales reps, this can be a game-changer. It encourages intense focus during those 25 minutes, potentially on a single task like prospecting or proposal writing, followed by a short period to recharge. This cyclical pattern of work and rest can prevent burnout and maintain high levels of productivity throughout the day.

Day Theming and Task Batching: Streamlining Sales Activities

Day theming and task batching are two additional strategies highlighted in the session. Day theming involves dedicating each day of the week to a particular type of work, such as client meetings on Mondays and follow-ups on Tuesdays. This approach can be particularly useful for sales teams to structure their week around key sales activities and goals.

Task batching, on the other hand, refers to grouping similar tasks together. This could mean setting aside a block of time solely for making cold calls or updating the CRM system. By focusing on similar tasks in a single block, sales reps can achieve a more efficient workflow and reduce the time lost in transitioning between different types of tasks.

Addressing Common Pitfalls in Time Blocking

Despite its numerous advantages, time blocking can present challenges, particularly for sales reps accustomed to a more fluid schedule. One common pitfall, as discussed in the session, is underestimating the time needed for tasks. Sales reps should consider giving themselves a buffer, perhaps an extra 10-25% more time than they think they'll need for a task. This accounts for unexpected delays and ensures a more realistic and achievable schedule.

The Importance of Breaks

Another critical aspect is the inclusion of breaks. Continuously working through blocks without breaks can lead to burnout. Sales reps should plan short breaks between tasks to refresh and maintain peak performance throughout the day.

In summary, time blocking, when optimized with techniques like color coding, the Pomodoro Technique, day theming, and task batching, can dramatically improve productivity and efficiency in sales. These strategies help in managing a diverse range of tasks while maintaining focus and energy levels. To gain a deeper understanding of these methods and how to effectively integrate them into your sales routine, it's beneficial to watch this session. It provides valuable insights and practical tips tailored to the dynamic world of sales.

The concept of deep work, as emphasized in this session, is integral to the success of sales professionals. Deep work refers to the ability to focus without distraction on cognitively demanding tasks. In sales, this could translate to strategizing on complex deals, crafting personalized proposals, or analyzing market trends.

Integrating Deep Work with Time Blocking

Integrating deep work into a time blocking schedule can significantly boost a sales rep’s productivity. By allocating specific blocks for deep, uninterrupted work, sales professionals can engage in more thoughtful, strategic thinking, leading to higher-quality output and better sales results. This approach allows them to dive deeper into understanding client needs and tailoring their sales pitches accordingly.

The session also highlights the use of productivity apps to support deep work. Tools like Freedom or Magic Flow can block distracting websites or track focus, enabling sales reps to dedicate their full attention to the task at hand. Utilizing these tools can be a strategic move for sales teams, ensuring that their time is spent effectively on high-impact activities.

Energy Mapping: Aligning Tasks with Energy Levels

Energy mapping is another concept explored in the session that can be particularly useful for sales professionals. This involves tracking one’s energy levels throughout the day and week, and then aligning tasks accordingly. By understanding their own patterns of energy highs and lows, sales reps can schedule their most demanding tasks – like pitching to a new client or negotiating a deal – during their peak energy times.

This strategic scheduling ensures that sales reps are working on complex tasks when they are most mentally alert and energetic. Conversely, less demanding tasks, such as administrative work or updating sales records, can be scheduled during lower energy periods. This alignment leads to more effective use of time and higher overall productivity.

Utilizing AI and Advanced Tools in Sales Time Blocking

In addition to traditional time blocking techniques, advanced tools like AI-based planners and calendar apps with specialized features can further refine a sales rep's scheduling. These tools can offer functionalities like habit tracking, automatic time slot allocation, and insights into time spent on various activities. By leveraging these advanced features, sales reps can fine-tune their schedules to be even more effective and aligned with their sales goals.

In today’s tech-enhanced sales environment, embracing these tools can give sales professionals a competitive edge. It allows for a more data-driven approach to scheduling and time management, ensuring that every hour is optimized for maximum sales productivity.

In conclusion, the techniques and tools discussed in this session, from deep work and energy mapping to advanced AI tools, provide a comprehensive framework for sales professionals to optimize their time management. By understanding and applying these methods, sales reps can elevate their productivity, focus, and ultimately, their sales performance. Watching this session is an excellent step towards mastering these skills, offering practical insights and actionable strategies tailored for the dynamic and challenging world of sales.

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