Didn’t quite hit my 430am this morning (ended up getting out of bed at 515am) – but it’s challenging when you’ve got into bed late, have a partner who comes to bed a 2.20 am and then a cat that runs up and down your small flat half the night.
But – it is what it is – and the main point is that here I am – still producing content and trying to put something meaningful together day in, day out.
Although in truth these days (i.e the last 2 months) – it’s been more of a case of this becoming my personal journal as I try and build a lead-generation team.
It’s definitely been my most challenging enterprise within the business – I never anticipated it being this hard…but it makes sense – it’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time.
Nonetheless – with focus comes progress – and there’s one thing that’s making cold calling a real game-changer when it comes to being productive.
And it’s as the title describes – the power of the Pomodoro.
I.e a countdown timer you use to stay committed to one task for the entirety of those (in this case) – 20 minutes.
I’ve been applying this methodology – of setting the timer to 20 minutes, enabling a ticking sound (well for this writing task now anyway) – and then having it float on the screen so it’s impossible for me to miss – and then working away.
This is literally where I’m at right now.
And as you can tell – with my 20-minute writing Pomodoro – that I’m less than 5 minutes into writing.
This visual aid is so powerful because the mind tricks the body into thinking it’s been much longer than it actually has been – when you’re doing something that you find challenging.
Furthermore, it keeps you focussed on the task at hand.
In this instance of writing, I’ve expanded the screen, removed all distractions, and am trying to focus on writing and writing alone.
And that’s where the length of time keeps me focussed.
Specifically the thought of ‘Deepak – you’ve only been going at this for 8 minutes…are you really going to stop now?’
‘Stop being a pussy, man up, and make sure you get the 20 minutes in.
That psychology – of the length of time testing my sense of pride – is what keeps me focussed.
And (let me check the wordcount now)
We’re less than 10 minutes into writing this content:
And I’ve already produced 400 words – so clearly it’s possible to produce a meaningful amount of content in a short period of time – if you’re able to apply/enforce focus.
The Pomodoro Technique For Cold Calling
So this is where we come to the main subject of this blog.
One of the things we do at Pearl Lemon….is we cold call – and most specifically we power-dial.
What this means is that we might have a list of 200 phone numbers – and we’ll load them up into a list and dial them sequentially.
It’s a great way to speed up the calling process.
Naturally – it’s a challenging task – and something that’s easy to find distractions of ways to avoid doing it.
That’s where the Pomodoro – and specifically 20 minutes – is the game-changer.
I find personally, that seeing anything more than 20 minutes on a countdown clock feels like a damn long time.
Too much in that, it could affect my true staying power.
And as we’ve discovered with writing – in a 20-minute block you can comfortably push out 650 GOOD words.
Right now we’re closing in on 650 and I’ve got around 6 minutes 50 seconds remaining.
Equally – using a power-dialer for 20 minutes non-stop allows you to get through maybe 30-50 phone numbers depending upon how many pick-ups you get.
This simple act has increased my dial time significantly. Because when I DON’T use it – it’s clear how easily I can distract myself.
When you got 5-7 minutes without a pick-up – it feels like you’ve been sat there not getting anything done for around 15 minutes.
Think about that – 15 minutes!
That means when I’m doing something I don’t like – my perception of time invested speeds up and it feels like I’ve been doing it forever.
5>15 minutes is 300% different!
That’s huge, and if you allow your feelings to guide you – you’ll end up having significantly less content written, significantly fewer dials made…
And correspondingly fewer results.
Since I introduced the 20 minute Pomodoro – my results have definitely increased.
There’s something about the magical 20-minute mark that makes you feel silly if you don’t commit at least the first 10 minutes to the task.
It’s about pride, it’s about sticking with it.
Then something interesting happens when you get past those 10 minutes (and remember it’s a countdown clock).
THEN – the psychology of urgency kicks in – and it begins to feel like a race for productivity.
This does wonders to narrow and focus the mind so you are only centered on the task at hand.
The psychology of seeing a clock run down to zero is powerful. There’s a fear-based around it that gives you clarity of focus and means you make a rush at the end.
Like right now – I’m entering my last minute of writing and I’m determined to get this done on time.
Sharing this with the team
And there you have it.
I shared the 20 minute Pomodoro with one of my sales team (Vasco) – and he said it’s been an absolute game-changer in terms of his ability to be productive.
No more beating around the bush – because the clock doesn’t lie.
What’s crazy is that when you hit zero – the alarm rings (like it has for me just now)
And the clock turns red and begins counting up.
The whole thing leaves me feeling with a slight sense of guilt like I didn’t accomplish what I set out to do.
So depending upon what happens – I’ll very quickly draw to a close and wrap up (like I intend to do now) – OR I’ll reset the clock…and go for another 20-minute block.
Using this strategy, I’ve seen myself go 15 minutes of power dialing without having a single decent conversation and then book 2 appointments in the last 5 minutes.
The Pomodoro is a game-changer – use it for anything that requires heavy mental focus!
22.42 seconds – 1,078 words 🙂