What to Do When You Are Drifting Throughout Your Day

QUESTION: Mike, I tend to drift day to day and week to week. I am undisciplined in my planning. What is the best way to do a weekly plan? Please keep my name confidential.  

ANSWER: I will keep your name confidential because you requested it, but you are every guy or gal out there. We are doing a lot of work in our Ignite and Platinum programs with planning because one of the things I have realized, as a coach now for over 10 years, is I can teach a whole lot of stuff on techniques, strategies, and business systems, and they really help people. The next level is implementation, where people get stuck, and it is because they are not clear on what they want.  

Mr. or Ms. Confidential, when I see people drift week to week that tells me impotent goals and lack of clarity in direction.

Let us say you were riveted as a solo producer – I do not know if you are solo or building a business, but let us say you were riveted on $300,000 in production and let us say we knew your average fee was $25,000. Well, that means you need to make a placement a month.  

Let us say we knew that your first time interview to placement ratio was 8 to 1, pretty normal by the way in this environment. There are an average of 4 weeks in a month. Your plan each week needs to be first primarily asking yourself what you need to do to generate two interviews this week. The answer to that question become the elements of your weekly plan.  

If you know what your goal is and you reverse engineer it, then you know what the inputs are. So if you need 2 interviews to make a placement and it takes you 15 candidate conversations to get an interview, well then you that you need to put in place either through your researchers, database, combination thereof, that you have enough people so that I can have a dialog with 30 people over the course of the next 5 days. You might say, when you ask that question, I need 2 interviews and I do not really have anything to work on. Well then, the question becomes I need something then where I can get interviews on. Now I can crank up my marketing.  

Every given week, for those of you who have been following me for a while, should be a balance. You should never stop marketing. The best time to market is when you are overwhelmed with openings because you will be much more selective, and you will be a much better negotiator. Even if you have 4 retainers and you are a solo operator, I would be wanting to talk to 1 or 2 hiring managers a day minimum to keep the drip on my marketing going. 

As Stephen Covey describes it, those are the big rocks. The big rocks in this business are your weekly interviews. Those are the things you have to plot and plan for, and that is a combination of marketing and recruiting.

Then you have the elements of creating a plan: planning time, daily planning time, creating lists. How much time do you need to invest coaching a researcher?  If you are a firm owner you should spend at least  30 minutes every 2 weeks with uninterrupted performance coaching with your recruiters. Those are the pebbles.  

The sand could be – I need to schedule, I want to have three 30-minute training segments, so I am watching online videos or listening to something like this. I want to have 3 things on my calendar for training and development.  

All those things in a priority order, and the first one is weekly interviews, first time interviews are what gives you placements.  The other thing, obviously that you ask about every week is – What do I have in process?  Then you can block out time to do strategizing on prepping, closing, debriefing.   

When I see people that tell me they tend to drift, even when you are doing something productive you feel like you are behind because you are trying to do everything. When everything is your goal, nothing gets done.  

You can say, you know what, I planned on doing marketing from 9:30 to 10:45, and I am marketing right now. I am in a flow. I am absolutely 100% productive right now. I had planned to check emails from 10:45 to 11:00, and I am checking and returning emails. I am not supposed to be doing anything else right now. That will get you out of that constant overwhelmed feeling.  

Great question. Start with the outcome, have a defined goal to have a defined aspiration. 

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