5 Keys to Becoming More Productive at American Income Life

Larry Strong - American Income Life VP Agency Leadership Development

Larry Strong – American Income Life VP Agency Leadership Development

I sometimes get asked how I manage to be able to accomplish as many things as I do with all the traveling, different American Income Life agencies I visit, directing a Sales Director, PR Managers etc. I am humbled when asked this because there are weeks where I feel a little like a hamster on the wheel. I know many of you can relate.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but over the years I have made specific choices that put me in position to strive to make the most of every day, and still feel happy and at least somewhat relaxed—with emphasis on “somewhat”.  I hope these suggestions or tips will help you make the most of every day you are blessed to have. We at American Income Life make every day what it is.

1. Priorities are YOUR choice. Pick them wisely.

What activities are the most important to you? Kind of like a river, you can choose to generally be deep or wide. Over time and with practice you can eventually get both deeper and wider. Focus on spending time that for you is the most productive but is hopefully fun as well. If you find that your priorities and activities leave you feeling unfulfilled or not happy then you have two choices. Change your priorities and activities or find a way to have fun while doing them. And remember, the WHAT you do must line up with WHY you do it. I constantly meet people who are attempting to do a lot of things but often have not prioritized what is truly important or why. At the end of the day our priorities determine whether we are the head or tail in life.

2. Create Efficiency.

I have never met anybody who did everything well. One of the reasons leaders are successful is because they find ways to avoid what they are not good at. It is generally true that the things you do well and give you joy require less time. Design your life to connect your wants and learn to say no to opportunities that may be a tad outside the scope of your current skill set or desires. Living your life by design rather than default will translate to you being a better leader.

3. Get Good at Managing Time Wasters

Social media, family, friends, co-workers and the occasional “whiner” can all potentially seem to simply suck precious time from you if you allow it. How often have you found yourself at the end of a day, exhausted, and feeling like you didn’t accomplish anything productive? Budget and protect your time for what is necessary. Make a choice to limit non-supportive interaction with people that don’t translate to results or energize you. Be aware of anything (including social media) that can be a black hole for your time and productivity. If need be, keep a log of your daily time. You might be amazed to find out what you do with your time and how much is wasted.

4. Commit to Being a Student of Life

One might think that learning takes more time away from you. But the process of learning requires us to expand the way we think, and expanding the way we think puts us potentially in better control of what we actually do with the people, places and things we surround ourselves with. Some of the smartest people I know always seem to have MORE time to continue to learn. I don’t know exactly why this works, but it does.

5. Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously

Learning how to become more productive is a process, not a matter of perfection. There is no value in beating yourself up when you find that you can’t do all the things you want because you are engaged with other issues that require your attention. Generally, the world is not going to come to an end because you still have some things that didn’t get done. It is important to celebrate progress in improved productivity. That is why making lists and crossing off items is still one of the best productivity techniques. Every completion is a small victory that will add up in big ways.

In summary, learning how to become more productive is key to becoming a better leader. We all agree that time is perhaps the biggest nemesis to leadership development of others as well as our own continued improvement. Anything we can do to create more time, efficiency and productivity puts us in a better position to lead more effectively.

Stay Strong!  Lead On!

About Mark Ting

Mark Ting is a Staff Writer at Torchmark Corporation, writing about American Income Life and National Income Life Insurance Companies. Google+

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