A 91% portion of CEOs noted that they have a regular ritual that helps them achieve targets, and 100% of professional sports players said the same. So why do we rarely do it in the sales profession?
I’ve personally been on the wrong side of burnout, and it’s something I am very aware of.
I wanted to share my go-to hit list I use to try to keep my energy high and avoid burnout.
1. Setting Limits: Your Weapon Against Burnout
Full disclosure – I’m still fine-tuning this one, but I’ve struck gold thanks to Greg McKeown’s “Effortless.” His mantra? “Don’t do more today than you can recover from tomorrow.”
It’s like a guiding star urging me to establish boundaries. My go-to rule? No work beyond 9 p.m. Sure, exceptions arise (cue the end-of-quarter frenzy or urgent client deadline), but the magic is doing it more often than not.
Top Tip: Set your upper limit
2. Escaping the Grind: The Power of Planned Breaks
The sales journey often feels like a never-ending rollercoaster.
The best I’ve ever felt was having off the first week of every quarter to reset and recharge after the end-of-quarter mayhem. In more recent years, I got slack; the months flew by with no break, and it showed (hello, business owners!).
So, in July, I took myself off the grid in the Swiss Alps, away from all email and team messages. The Wi-Fi-free zone was the best mental space and thinking space I’ve had in years.
I’ve come back recharged and ready to go big!
Top Tip: Plan your breaks after peak periods, put it in the diary today!
3. Cracking the Code with the MIT Power Hour
I learned the MIT (most important tasks) concept from Lorraine Murphy. I now timeblock the first hour of my day for getting my most important things done before the whirlwind and distractions of the day arrive.
Let’s be honest; some days, that time gets eaten into, but it consistently happens more times than not.
I love the 4 Disciplines of Execution, which focuses on 20% of your time should be on the wildly important which are at risk of not getting done due to the whirlwind. The wildly important is what will move the needle or the “fewest battles to win the war”.
Top Tip: Block out MIT time in your diary for first thing in the morning before the day runs away.
4. Finding Your Inner Sales Athlete
I’m not here to tell you to get fit or sign up for the gym, but research has shown that high performers benefit from exercise.
Based on a study by Censuswide, CEOs and Athletes both believed that being more mentally resilient than their competitors was the top driver of high performance.
In a podcast interview, I spoke with Chris Muddell, an exemplar of sales excellence and a consistent chart-topper at Employsure. Chris conceptualises this prowess as embodying the role of a “sales athlete.” You can catch the full episode here.
He’s the embodiment of a “sales athlete,” ritualising mornings for peak performance and exercising.
Ironically, as I’m writing this now, I’m in my gym gear after a full day of delivering a workshop and then travelling. Quite frankly, I would kill to go straight to bed, but I’m challenging myself to do just 10 minutes in the gym as a minimum. Most times, I go past the 10 minutes, but it’s a hack to get myself there!
Top Tip: Create your rituals be it a walk or yoga or run it off.
5. Savoring Downtime: The Digital Detox Prescription
Have you ever felt your phone has become an extra limb? Guilty as charged! I’ve started to crack the code for preserving sanity – and that’s finding pockets of undisturbed tranquillity. Amidst the chaos, it’s like a digital detox oasis.
When I’m feeling the tiredness and feeling of needing space, I will often turn off my emails and notifications, as well as leave my phone in other rooms to avoid temptation. Even an hour of phone-free time recharges me!
Top Tip: Create do not disturb time.
6. Micro-Breaks: Your Instant Mind Reviver
Believe it or not, even a 60-second outdoor breather is like a potion of rejuvenation for your brain. Science vouches for this! So, don’t underestimate the power of quick outdoor pit stops – your brain will throw a gratitude parade later.
I use this as a transition between meetings or tasks to refocus.
Top Tip: Take a 60-second micro break outside to reset.
7. Double Down on Productivity
Part of why we burn out is we often develop bad habits and can be wildly inefficient without realising it.
If you are interrupted from your task, it takes 25 minutes to refocus your attention. It’s easy to burn the midnight oil when constantly being interrupted by clients’ or colleagues’ urgent requests. Creating pockets of no interruptions improves productivity. Take “follow-up Friday,” for instance, a clever tactic where we batch-process those follow-ups – a tiny habit with colossal impact.
To sum it up, I am far from perfect on any of these, and it’s something I am constantly working on. My goal is to do my go-to strategies far more often, than not. I also double down on them in high-pressure times.
Give it a go, and let me know your go-to that I can add to my list!