Embark on a journey through time with us, as we unlock the secrets to mastering the day ahead. Ever find yourself overwhelmed when an unexpected workload lands on your desk? We’ve been there, and we’ve got the strategies to help you not just survive but thrive when faced with such challenges.
As we look back through history, we uncover the timeless wisdom of managing time, a pursuit that dates back to the likes of King David and Solomon and has evolved with the tools of our era. With anecdotes from the hustle and bustle of car sales, we showcase the power of structure and the symbiotic relationship between digital and analog planning. We reveal how the simple act of placing bathroom cleaner within arm’s reach can be a metaphor for setting up your life to avoid procrastination and stay on top of your game.
But it’s not all about checklists and planners; it’s about the philosophy that underpins our daily choices. By adopting the mindset of ‘planning to plan,’ we encourage you to carve out time for solitude, reflection, and categorization of tasks that align with your personal and professional goals. Tune in and transform your approach to time management, empowering you to achieve personal growth and excellence. Let’s not just count the hours but make the hours count, as we share wisdom, laughs, and insights into living your most productive life.
David Lowe: 0:00
Welcome to Prepare to Win. In this episode, we’re going to help you maximize your day. You might call it time management, but what we do every day matters and we’re going to help you do more. Stay tuned.
Lexi Manges: 0:23
Hi everybody, welcome to Prepare to Win, living and Selling with Excellence. I’m Lexi Manges, I’m the training coordinator with Automotive Sales Coach and I am here with the Automotive Sales Coach, D avid Love.
David Lowe: 0:35
Thanks for being here. We appreciate you.
Lexi Manges: 0:38
And today we’re going to talk about time management, which is one of my favorite things on earth. I’m a planner. This is so much fun for me. I was reading through your notes and everything. I’m pumped. I love this Awesome.
David Lowe: 0:52
I think it’s on all of our mind, right. Yeah, I think today we’re saying I don’t have the time. We’re saying that all the time. I wish I had more time. Right, we’re saying that today and I think we want to maximize our day. That’s kind of how we phrase it. Yeah, it almost sales coaching on the dealership playbook, but we’re not. It’s nothing new All right. Throughout the history of mankind, people that want to be better have talked about what can I do with time? Help me use my time better, right? So we go back. As you know, if you’ve joined us for any of our episodes or our live training or training on the Dealership Playbook through Automotive Sales Coach, you know that we love to study the people of history. We love to learn the principles that are timeless, that never change, that drive excellence into our lives, and we love to take those principles and combine them with the latest technology and techniques so you can maximize your day, be all you could be, if you will, better today than yesterday. So I just want to take you back. I wrote down a few things to share with you that make an impact. 3,000 years ago, King David, who I’m named after, came in. So I talk about Solomon a lot. His dad wrote show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days. Isn’t it funny? I think today a lot of us live like we have forever.
Lexi Manges: 2:21
David Lowe: 2:21
And so maybe, even though time is limited, we might be spending it like it’s unlimited, maybe not as thoughtful as we want, I think kind of it’s on a lot of our minds. And as we move into the new year, we decided to do these soft skills. We talked about goal setting kind of a soft skill, time management kind of a soft skill that not often talked about. Very valuable if we can master them. So, by the way, solomon followed up with in Ecclesiastes 3, he wrote well, you know the birdsong turn, turn. There’s a time for everything. Under the seat right, there’s a time for all things. So if you haven’t, go to YouTube and go to the birds turn, turn, turn. The entire song, other than the words turn, turn, turn are Solomon’s writing from 3,000 years ago in Ecclesiastes a time to be born, a time to die. You might recognize it. So wise people have been recognizing that time continues to move. My hero is Ben Franklin, abe Lincoln I was talking about. They are heroes. I’d like to be more like them. I just passed on an experience down in southern Indiana and there’s a you know every, indiana, illinois, both claimed to be the home of Abe Lincoln. They got a great park down there, southern Indiana, and walking through it there’s these monuments and his sayings, and you walk around and you read what Abe Lincoln said and you begin to feel really tiny. I think, gosh, I suck. Compare to him, he’s so, I mean, he’s such a great man. But I think you know what? I can’t compare myself to him, I just he inspires me to be better than I am.
Lexi Manges: 4:05
And we all need that in our lives. We need somebody to inspire.
David Lowe: 4:08
We do, and that’s why I go back and study people like Ben Franklin, Abe Lincoln, Solomon King, David. You know Pink Floyd’s got their song time. It’s in culture.
Lexi Manges: 4:19
You hate me if I didn’t know that song. You said no, no.
David Lowe: 4:22
That’s well, just you guys. You got iTunes out, listen to it and it really became the forefront in business. In the 50s a guy made a day planner for lawyers called Day Timer, and it was so effective they made it available to everybody. This Day Timer how to? It’s like a calendar with a task list still out there.
Lexi Manges: 4:42
Go to Staples. I use mine every day. I love it.
David Lowe: 4:45
Most of us use some form of that, either electronic or physical, today, and from that a guy took what a Day Timer did with planning and added in a value system and called it the Franklin Planner. I still use that today. I love the Franklin Planner. I’ll tell you how I do that. I Googled time management and found 16 billion results in 0.34 seconds.
Lexi Manges: 5:10
So it’s a popular.
David Lowe: 5:12
It’s on people’s minds. Life is moving so fast and I think we’re getting busier and busier and busier, so let’s take some minutes here and talk about some ideas that can help all of us make better use of our time. In fact, there’s some real benefits right. We can accomplish more, be more of a benefit. If I’m affected with my time, I’ll have more time to accomplish things or more time to serve or be a benefit to others. Here’s a big one less stress, more joy. How do you feel when you’re running around?
Lexi Manges: 5:51
I was just thinking about this because I was planning my week coming up and I was like Grace is out so I need to plan to do all these different things and make sure that all these things get done and I was stressing out about it. Go back to what I know. Plan out my entire week. Put them in writing, because if I don’t write it down there could be a chance that I forget about it. That’s right.
David Lowe: 6:13
So your mind is always thinking of things. Hope you don’t forget it.
Lexi Manges: 6:16
David Lowe: 6:17
Having a good plan to manage your task and your time will help free up your mind, reduce your stress. We’re going to talk about that very plan you just talked about, but really this whole podcast, every episode, is designed to give us tips, reminders, maybe new stuff, maybe reminders and how to live and sell with excellence, dooth, be better today than yesterday and, of course, the whole purpose we call success, joy, peace and satisfaction. I mean, why do it right? I think in the last episode we talked about goal setting and Steve Jobs’ final words I was a success at work and I had no joy outside of work, and so he got young and it’s too late then. So let’s recognize it now that time is an asset for me to use, and the way, the quality, the way I use my time will really kind of determine the quality of my life.
Lexi Manges: 7:13
Oh yeah, for sure.
David Lowe: 7:15
So uh, and here’s a big one if I’m good with managing my time, I can spend more times on the things I value.
Lexi Manges: 7:23
Right and you know I think about you quite a bit with this sort of thing because you’re in a band, you run your own business, you’re on the phone and like just the conversations that I hear you having sometime, like how does this guy fit it in his day?
David Lowe: 7:40
I think there’s a lot right, yes, and when we, when we, when we manage ourselves, we manage our time. We’ll talk about that. It’s so important. I know a lot of things I want to do and I want to accomplish, and I want to be as Effective as I can, and so that’s why we’re talking with us.
Lexi Manges: 7:56
So can I add a little benefit in here?
David Lowe: 7:58
Lexi Manges: 7:59
So when I was at the rec center and I was hiring, the one thing that I would really look for was time management, for a skill that they would put on their resume. That was like, oh my goodness, I have, I hired teenagers. They’re not all gonna have like these hard skills to put on their resume. So they put on those soft skills. Time management is a soft skill and it’s one that people really look For and have value in what things are is very value.
David Lowe: 8:29
The other people that said it that that was a soft skill. How many of them actually had it?
Lexi Manges: 8:34
Yeah, good point, right?
David Lowe: 8:36
Well, I think, what was recognizing that too right? Yeah, exactly like right now I think we go through phases of that Mm-hmm. Maybe for that point in their life they probably did have yeah for that point of their life. But of course we never want.
Lexi Manges: 8:50
We want to be better today than yesterday, and I was on we can prove, and I noticed that the busier those people were, the actual better they were at managing their time.
David Lowe: 9:00
funny how that works if you want something done, give it to a busy person right yes. Okay, so let’s talk about some some truths about time. Now, truth is a Accepted fact. That’s how I wanted to find truth today. The truth seems to be redefined all the time, except, in fact, often observable right. So I want to give you some things. Franklin planner talked about time that we should know about and you can go online you would find just talk about time and want to learn what is time. Webster says time is a continuum in which events Succeed one another from past through present in the future. So time seems to be a series of events. Yeah we made up the clock. Right before there was the clock, there was time. So we call what time is it? Seven o’clock, right, we’ve. We’ve numbered these things to organize our lives so we could show up at the same place at the same time. But before there was a clock, there was still time, and time was moving from one event to another, from the past to the present, to the future. That’s what we’re talking about. So we could just go through our life, our timeline of our life, look back and just Diagram it out. If you want write up this timeline, you’re like okay, time has no agenda. Time is currency. You must spend every day. So there’s 86,400 seconds in a day. Everybody kind of knows that. Now, let’s say they were dollars. So somebody gave you 86 thousand dollars every day and at the end of the day, if you didn’t spend it, they took it back, and that’s kind of how it works. So you can’t really save up time. Once the day is over, it’s over and you have a new 86 thousand dollars to spend.
Lexi Manges: 10:45
I like that analogy and like if you say oh, I’m gonna spend 500 dollars on scrolling on my phone. Yeah is that worth it?
David Lowe: 10:54
That’s so. That’s what you’re starting to do. You’re starting to put currency, yeah value to the minutes of your life. Right, you cannot save time and use it later. You have the same time as everyone else has. They’re. So, oh, I can’t do that, lux, I’m too busy, right? What I’m really saying is I value something else more, because we both have the same time. Right Time waits for no one I love this. Time management is a misnomer. You can’t manage time. The secret is to learning how to manage you.
Lexi Manges: 11:25
David Lowe: 11:26
In other words, what you choose to do with the time you have. So that’s what we’re gonna talk about Planning on how we’re gonna spend our time. It’s we gotta decide what we value.
Lexi Manges: 11:39
Right, it all comes down to value, doesn’t it?
David Lowe: 11:41
It does, and so there are things in our lives we have no control over. I’m driving home, there’s an accident. I’m in a traffic jam no control. Now, how do we feel when we have no control?
Lexi Manges: 11:56
David Lowe: 11:58
So many of us lose it when we can’t control everything, but there are things that we can’t control, and guess what we need to accept and adapt during that period. Now there’s other things in our lives that we have complete control, right, and those are a lot of good things, choices we can make. Did you choose what to wear today? Did you choose what to eat today? Did you choose to work out today? Did you choose what you would read? Did you choose what you would study? There’s choices we can make every day. I find, Lex and I’m sorry to say this we deserve to be better today than yesterday. Keep this in mind. So, when I say this, but I find that most people are so busy complaining about the things they don’t control. They’re not a focus. They’re pursuing the things they do.
Lexi Manges: 12:44
Right, and what is that thing that we talk about? Like where your mind is yes, that’s where all your interviews come in, that’s right If you keep saying I don’t have the time, I don’t have the time, I don’t have the time. Well, guess what? You’re not going to have the time. That’s right.
David Lowe: 12:58
You are, as we think. You’re actually following your thinking and you’re so right. There’s areas in our lives we have. We don’t have control, but we do have influence, so we should recognize it. So, if we’re talking about time management which is a misnomer, but that’s all we can tell it how to use our time what we’re really talking about is how to organize the events of our life, the things we’re going to do with the 24 hours we get every day. Seven hours might be sleeping. So now I have 17 hours. What am I going to do Then? Maybe at work I have no control. Maybe you work at a factory and you have no control. You get there and as soon as you punch in, you stand and you do this repetitive motion. So sometimes, even at work, those eight hours, we don’t have control. Now we train sales managers, sales consultants, professional sales people that are in the profession of selling. Whether they are GM, a manager, a consultant, it doesn’t matter what role they’re in the role that they’re selling, and a salesman, a sales professional, has a lot of freedom, so you can decide how many calls you’re going to make or if you’re going to sit at your desk in school through your phone.
Lexi Manges: 14:17
Right, and this is their business, right? That’s what you like to say. It’s like you didn’t have to pay for the location. You didn’t have to do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, but you are in charge of your time.
David Lowe: 14:28
Lexi Manges: 14:29
This is your business.
David Lowe: 14:30
And so many of them come in as if somebody’s paying them to do nothing.
Lexi Manges: 14:35
David Lowe: 14:36
And so it’s really our actions that create our results, that pay us in sales, and so that’s how about using your time well? So we have so much control in our industry. So when you’re looking at how you spend your day, you have to say how am I spending my day? On urgent and important things necessities customers walking the door have to do Not urgent, but important. Those are productive things. They don’t have to be done, but doing them makes me the most results. There’s urgent and not important, right. These are deception. Things that are right in your face that are not important are stealing your time. The emails and texts that are wasted time. And then there’s not urgent and not important waste and excess. So if we could, I’d like to organize my life around two. That is important, but not urgent.
Lexi Manges: 15:23
David Lowe: 15:24
So that’s the productive zone. There’s going to be things that are urgent and important that I don’t control. But if number two, if I’m controlling what’s not urgent and important, if I’m proactively in charge of that, I’ll be able to handle when the urgent things happen.
Lexi Manges: 15:41
Yeah, and that goes back to value too. How do you decipher in your head what’s urgent and what’s not, based off of what you value?
David Lowe: 15:49
That’s exactly right. So I’m going to just give you a few ideas that can help. First of all, be proactive. Do everything you can before you have to do it. Being proactive frees up time, right? Yeah, proactivity and logistics are really important to me, but proactivity is a state of mind. I remember I was playing with Luz in September, the heavy metal band I was playing with. We played a late night gig and after we went to the trailer, the trailer had a flat. Oh no, it was two o’clock in the morning and we have to change the flat. Well, I didn’t travel with them. I met them there, okay. So I said wow, when did this happen? And they said it was flat on the way here. So they got there at two in the afternoon, but nobody decided to take care of the time. Now it sounds ridiculous, but I want you guys to think about your personal life. How many times you see something that needs to be done and you say I’ll do that. What Later? These are things that are right in front of you. So I would say develop that habit of being proactive, doing what you can before it has to be done. Number two is really important to me organize the logistics and the rhythm of flow of life. So I’m one of those people that thinks you should have bathroom cleaners like Windex under every sink. You shouldn’t have to walk to a closet to grab a bottle of Windex. Put one under right it’s right there. Why double up?
Lexi Manges: 17:17
Make it so easy that there’s no reason to not do it.
David Lowe: 17:19
Yeah, so we’re in the car business and we work with sales people and when I was on the road training with half a car, I wasn’t. I was kind of outside of the rhythm and flow. And Alexander the Great said the farther away you get from something, the more you see and I’m watching them scurry around, you know and I thought, wow, that doesn’t make any sense. I thought that’s what I did, but it was funny how unorganized the rhythm and flow was. So when I left half car and I started my own company budget, I organized all the desks identical. The folders were identical, you know, blue folders were for every deal. If there was financing, you used the yellow folders. If there was trading, you used the red folder. You had checklists for every deal.
Lexi Manges: 18:03
You don’t have to think as often, right, you just do it.
David Lowe: 18:06
You just do it, and so there was an impressive how much our team could do because we set up the logistics, the rhythm and flow. To be quick, by the way, that’s something that has to constantly be updated and evaluated. And then, of course, I use a calendar. I use my Google calendar, as you know, we have a team calendar, I can see everybody where everybody’s at, and I use a Franklin planner calendar. So what I like to do in the mornings, in planning and solitude, is I like to pull out my paper calendar, open up my computer and I transfer my schedule that I need to remember onto my paper calendar In writing it in.
Lexi Manges: 18:48
I have that and I’m the exact same way I will have. We have our Asana thing. Put all of our tasks in there and then I will literally write those tasks down in my planner because it solidifies in my mind, like all the things that I have to do.
David Lowe: 19:02
So there’s a mirror here of technology and that principle that writing things is a way that we remember things. Yes, it won’t be changed. They say when you take notes, you recall twice as much as when you don’t.
Lexi Manges: 19:17
So when I have training here, I need to write people’s names down. Huh, is that we write their name down?
David Lowe: 19:23
That’s exactly what it is, and so I learned that, of course, cheating my way through high school, making my cheat notes, the more I wrote them, I’m sorry. All right, so we got the calendar and I feel, get a system that works for you. And then, of course, a task list. Of course and I hate to call them tasks, it makes them seem like that, but really there’s things you want to accomplish and everywhere it says tasks. We’ll just use that language these are things we get to do today to move the needle. And again, I think you have to list what you want to do and you have to prioritize what you’re gonna do based on value. So a simple thing to do every day is to get out. I would use a Franklin planner. I use the monthly ones and just throw them away. I don’t keep them like I used to in the old days, because I have stuff kept on the computer, but I love to list out the calendar. And then I love to go through my Google task list and our team asana list and I love to put the things I must do today on my Franklin planner by writing them down. They’re in my mind. So I’m in the car driving. I remember I have to make a call. I make it. I’m not in front of my computer, I’m not anyway, for me that really works, and I think everybody needs to find a system. Because here’s what I’m gonna tell you. If you want to use your time well, it boils down to this Planning and solitude at the beginning of every day. Planning and solitude is a time where you sit down and say what am I gonna do today? What are my priorities today? What are my values today? Because every time I say yes to something, I say no to something else. I really have to make some good decisions. So if you’re gonna use your time wisely, I think you need to have that planning and solitude time every day where you can plan out. This is what I’m gonna do and you might. If you’ve got a list of 20 items, you might wanna go ABC A must be done today. B like to get done today. See if I get time. You’ll never make it to the Cs, by the way, but I think they say five to seven must get done. This is about your capacity. I don’t know it all based on the type of tasks they are. If there’s five phone calls, that’s very fast, but if there are five projects, you may only be able to do one or two that day, but I think spending that time in planning and solitude is what brings this together okay.
Lexi Manges: 21:50
Can I add a number six on there?
David Lowe: 21:51
Well, and I’ve got, then I’ve got a number seven. Give me a number six, yeah, yeah.
Lexi Manges: 21:55
So, number six, you’ve got a plan to plan.
David Lowe: 21:58
Yes. Every Sunday night you’re planning the week right, yep, yep, you see that, because I said that stuff, yeah, yeah, yeah exactly.
Lexi Manges: 22:05
And for me, I need to make sure that I put it in my to-do list my task to prep the next week and like make time for that. If it’s important to you to be productive, then make time for it.
David Lowe: 22:18
You hit it on the head. I do my weekly planning on Sunday night what we’re gonna do and the goals and stuff like that. Review my weekly and monthly, maybe 90 day goals, whatever, and then I look down at the week and then in the mornings I start on a daily thing. That’s awesome. Thank you for that reminder. Okay, so the last thing is this is a big one Make checklists for repetitive tasks.
Lexi Manges: 22:38
David Lowe: 22:40
Okay, now let me give you an example as a sales manager. Every day, when I show up for work, if I’m the opening manager, there’s things I need to do every day, right? And why should I remember those, if I can make a checklist, right?
Lexi Manges: 22:55
David Lowe: 22:56
Now, after using that checklist for a period of time, I may not have to use it anymore, but just to shoot this episode right. We set up the room. There’s certain things we do every time To set up for our live training events like our live Zoom we’re gonna have tomorrow. We have a check. We got a lot of things that have to be done. Exactly why would I leave that to memory?
Lexi Manges: 23:21
David Lowe: 23:22
Why would I cloud my? I think, as Einstein said, I don’t know my own phone number. I don’t call myself. Why would I waste my mind on that?
Lexi Manges: 23:30
David Lowe: 23:31
And I think that having a checklist for repetitive tasks is the simplest way to do things with excellence, completeness each time, and it makes them faster for you to complete. So I highly recommend, whatever your role is at work, that you can break it down. 80% of what we do are these repetitive tasks and I think that if we would write those down and make a list and check them off every day, by the way, when you check it off, it’s like a dopamine hit.
Lexi Manges: 24:01
We’re gonna get a hit of whoo. I know I’ll write things down just so I can cross them off Just write it does.
David Lowe: 24:06
It feels good. So we went over some things. There’s an unlimited supply of information. Franklin Planner has free courses If you go to Covey Franklin, if you go online, they have free courses on time management. Digs deeper in the valley. We don’t have time to get all that today. Today, we just want you to think about are you using your time well? Could you be using it better and give you some tips on how you can get there? That’s what we wanna do In this drive time in our Prepare to Win podcast. Each episode is designed to give you information, hopefully that you can live and sell with actually be better today than yesterday. I wanna thank you so much for joining us. Thanks for Lexi, philanin for Grace. It’s awesome to have you and, like always, listen. If this has been a benefit for would you please share it, like us, follow us, share it and even I’d love to see your comments. So we really we know time is valuable, right? We just talked about it and you made a choice to say notice something else, to be with us today, and we appreciate that. Good selling.