One of my favorite toys when I was a youngster was my tape recorder.
I think it was Christmas of 1973 or 1974. My mother managed to put together what I consider to be an amazing Christmas, as I look back now. I know money was scarce for her, but somehow it seemed like we had a HUGE number of presents to open that year.
When I opened one of the packages, I found a battery operated tape recorder inside. It used cassette tapes (Google it if you were born after 1990). It had a wired microphone that had to be held within a couple of inches of the sound source in order to get a decent recording. I would often use the tape recorder to record the audio of my favorite TV shows. Then I would replay that tape in my room at night while I was supposed to be sleeping.
It never failed to entertain me.
One of the funny things about that tape recorder… at least to a boy of my age… was when the speed of the tape would slow down after hours of use. People with high-pitched voices became people of low-pitched voices. Sentences like, “Hello David! Do you want to play ball?” were changed into, “Heeeeellllllllooooooooo Daaaaaaaaavvviiiiiiiiidd. Dooooooo youuuuuuuuu waaaaaant toooo plaaaaaaaaaay baaaaaaaallllllllllllll?”
At first, I thought it was simply the tape stretching. But what I found to be true was it was an issue of the batteries running down.
When the batteries ran down, communication suffered and performance was reduced.
Do you ever have times that you seem to be dragging? Do you find yourself communicating ineffectively to your customers, team and family? Do you find your performance dragging?
One of the most important things you can do in a sales career is often one of the most overlooked areas as well.
Sales people tend to be driven. We always have something to do and we seem to be always working. However, every now and then, you really need to recharge your batteries.
Do the following and you will avoid burnout.
- Plan to skip a work day each month when you hit your activity goals. Take that time and spend it doing something either just for you – or in a family activity involving your spouse and your children. Put in on your calendar each month as you plan. Do NOT just take an unplanned day off. You will feel like you are doing something wrong. If you plan it, you will enjoy it.
- Take a long weekend each quarter for some special family time.
- Take a minimum of two weeks per year off from work as vacation time.
- Set specific hours of work – and turn off your cell phone (at least for work purposes) when you are not in those specific hours.
Believe me, I can promise you after decades in sales and sales leadership, you must specifically plan ways to recharge your batteries and avoid burnout.
Do you turn off your cell phone during your family time?