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Stress Reduction and Time Management for Salespeople

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While stress-reduction techniques and time-management skills are important in all professions, they are inherently important in the sales field. In a profession that focuses heavily on individual results and motivation, salespeople must be at the top of their game. They can’t be bogged down by wasted time and/or work-related stress. With that being said, here are 10 tips that will help you lower your stress level and maximize your time.

1. Talk it out.
If you're having a problem at work or feeling stressed out, talk to someone about it. Even if the person doesn't give you a solution to your problem, you will feel better after talking it out and having someone listen to you. Oftentimes, speaking about a situation out loud to someone else will not only calm you down but also give you a better perspective on the situation.

2. Let someone else do it.
If at all possible, delegate tasks to other people. If you are lucky enough to have an assistant, assign some of your duties to him or her. Don't feel like you need to take on everything. Also, be wary of having the attitude that you can do things better yourself. This kind of thinking will only result in you being overwhelmed and swamped with things to do. There is no shame in delegation, and the peace that comes with having fewer duties will help you perform better at the duties you do take care of.

3. Eat healthily.
While the 10 cups of coffee you drink each day may make you feel like you can take on the world, they could actually be contributing to that tight feeling in your chest and your high stress level. Watch what you eat during the workday and at all other times. Stay away from foods and drinks that are high in caffeine and sugar. These sorts of snacks will only speed up your heart rate and increase anxiety. Healthy foods will have the opposite effect; they will calm you down and keep your body operating at a natural pace.

4. Set a limit.
Don't work too much. While many salespeople may laugh at this suggestion, it's very true. Putting a limit on the number of hours you work per day and per week will benefit you. You may think you need to work 100 hours each week to get everything done or to get ahead or to meet your goals. However, the truth is that as soon as you begin doing that, the quality of your work goes down. Aim for quality rather than quantity, and you will see better results and feel less stressed.

5. Have some fun.
When you're not at work, make sure you have some fun. Take some time to do things you like to do. In addition, during the workday, fit some things that make you happy into your schedule to relax yourself. Take a walk to Starbucks for a latte. Play your favorite CD while you answer emails. Wear your slippers when you're at your desk. While they may seem insignificant, these little things will go a long way toward reducing your stress level.

6. Make a list.
In order to make sure you get everything done that you need to get done, make a list of tasks for the day. You can do this the night before or in the morning when you get into the office. Sit down with a pad of paper or your day planner and simply list the things you need to accomplish for the day in order, from most important to least important. Then, when it's time to get busy, start at the top of the list and work your way down. This will ensure that you get more things done, and it will also make you feel more focused because you will be able to see and keep track of everything you need to get done.

7. Be organized.
Keep your workspace clean and organized. When you leave at night, put everything in its place so that when you get to work in the morning, you will feel calm and ready to work. A messy desk can make for a stressful day. You will have trouble finding things, take longer to complete tasks, and generally feel less peace if you are surrounded by piles and piles of paper and file folders. If your office is currently in disarray, set aside a couple of hours to organize everything, and make an effort to keep it up.

8. Check yourself.
Come up with some sort of system that makes it possible for you to be accountable to yourself. Try coming up with a standard question to ask yourself throughout the day, such as "Is what I am currently doing on my agenda for today?" If the answer is "no," then stop what you are doing and move on to something on your list for the day. If the answer is "yes," keep on doing what you are doing. This will help you to stay on track and stay productive.

9. Stay focused.
One of the biggest things that keeps you from getting everything done that you need to get done is interruptions by other people. To ensure that you get alone time to focus on your important tasks and give them quality attention, try keeping your office door closed during a certain part of the day as a way of discouraging interruptions. If that doesn't work, you can also try hanging a sign on your door that lets your fellow employees know that you cannot be interrupted during this time, except in case of an emergency.

10. Clear your head.
It's important to take breaks during the day to clear your head. These breaks can be just a couple of 10-minute slots that you fit into your day during which you take short walks, lay your head down on your desk, or simply sit silently in your chair with your eyes closed. While they may make you feel like you are wasting precious time, breaks like these are actually very effective when it comes to helping you focus on the tasks that lie ahead of you.

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