Mobile technology will change the way we go out for camping

Can you relate to this scenario?

You’re running late for your first morning appointment, rushing to fill your travel mug and you almost forget your phone. Laptop bag slung over one shoulder; travel mug in hand; and some loose papers in your other hand (now thinking you should’ve put those into your laptop bag).

Oh yeah, you almost forgot the samples and brochures for the day. They’re still in your supply closet! And then you’re running back inside the house to grab them. You finally race out of your driveway – smoke show and all.

You turn on the radio, relying on the radio DJs to ease you into the day. It’s a little too early to call most of your customers right now -maybe in another half hour.

The time flies by and you arrive at your first appointment. It goes way better than you thought it would and you have a bunch of stuff to follow-up on, as well as a couple more business cards to add to your Contacts. And so the day goes – some good calls, some rough ones, and seemingly non-stop phone calls in between. Remember to bring some best police flashlight and best spyderco knife when you going out.

You’re scribbling notes on whatever pieces of paper you can reach. You tell yourself “put this someplace you won’t lose it.” The phone rings again. It’s one of your good customers and you need pull over to take an order from him because he insists on calling you rather than your inside CSR. You pull out your notepad for that and spend the next 20 minutes in a parking lot when you could’ve been driving to your next prospect.

Business cards are stacking up in your cup holder. But you’ll just enter them at the end of the day when you get home.

You don’t have much time to stop anywhere for decent food, so you hit a drive-thru. And since you’re still running behind, you decide to eat while you drive. While fumbling with the burger wrapper, a ketchup- and mayo-covered onion falls between your seat and the center console. And there go a couple of fries, too. You tell yourself not to forget to look for and throw that stuff away later (but you probably forget). At least it didn’t hit your shirt this time.

Emails and texts stream in during the whole day. And of course, more phone calls.

And wait – that company you just passed looks like a great prospect! You scribble the company name on another piece of paper and tell yourself not to lose it (but you probably do).

Flash forward to the end of the day. You’re this someplace you won’t lose it.” The phone rings again. It’s one of your good customers and you need pull over to take an order from him because he insists on calling you rather than your inside CSR.

You pull out your notepad for that and spend the next 20 minutes in a parking lot when you could’ve been driving to your next prospect.

Business cards are stacking up in your cup holder. But you’ll just enter them at the end of the day when you get home.

You don’t have much time to stop anywhere for decent food, so you hit a drive-thru. And since you’re still running behind, you decide to eat while you drive.

While fumbling with the burger wrapper, a ketchup- and mayo-covered onion falls between your seat and the center console. And there go a couple of fries, too. You tell yourself not to forget to look for and throw that stuff away later (but you probably forget). At least it didn’t hit your shirt this time.

Emails and texts stream in during the whole day. And of course, more phone calls.

And wait – that company you just passed looks like a great prospect! You scribble the company name on another piece of paper and tell yourself not to lose it (but you probably do).

Flash forward to the end of the day. You’re beat. But you still have your follow-up work to do, not to mention transcribing or filing all of those notes you jotted down and all of the business cards you gathered. You’ll be working at least until dinner, maybe even while you’re on the couch watching tube, too.

What all we RWs have in common is that we’re all spending a LOT of hours each day working in an environment that really isn’t ideal for getting work done. Car seats are cramped, steering wheels get in the way, and we’re always on the move. Not to mention our eating and drinking is funking up the place!

On top of that, there are the countless tasks we’re doing while we’re driving that require follow-up when we get home. Time we could be spending with our spouse, kids, and friends.

But who wants to live like this??
“Not I,” you say?
Reduce – don’t increase – your multitasking.

For about 30-or-so years, we’ve been compelled to juggle as many tasks as we could. The more the better, right? In fact, I can still remember many friends and colleagues bragging about how many balls they had in the air, like it was a badge of honor.

Multitasking requires being able to toggle in and out of tasks, picking up right where we had left off, and not failing any of those tasks. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t able to juggle that well; and in the past 5 years we’ve been seeing studies and articles proving this. I was never good at multitasking so this reverse trend is a welcome relief to me.

Multitasking doesn’t just include tasks; it also relates to thoughts. The more focus we have on our thoughts, our tasks, our conversations, our relationships, etc., the better we’ll cover each of those bases.

There’s a saying I learned in a leadership seminar awhile back. Before it was told to us, though, it was said to have been life-changing to many people. Well, I’m telling you the same thing now. It WAS life-changing for me and I hope it’ll resonate with you. The saying is:

“BE HERE NOW.”

In essence, when you’re with customers, vendors, and co-workers, be in the moment with them. When talking with one customer, don’t let your mind wander into thinking about your appointment right after that. Stay fully engaged with them. Stay in the moment.

And when you’re working, try not to spend too much time thinking about stuff outside of work – family, the softball game after work, your art class that night, etc.. When you’re with your family and friends after work, be with them
My-

So, where am I going with this?

One of the reasons why we RWs are challenged with our work-life balance is because we have so much unproductive time during the day while we’re driving. When we’re behind the wheel, we’re just not able to get much else done. The road requires our full attention. Sometimes (maybe a lot of times), we’ll just jam in key notes from meetings in the customer’s parking lot, and opt to take care of the rest of the followup when we get home. As I mentioned, going out for hunting is not easy.

Maybe you’re disciplined enough to carve out the time to ensure that at say, 6:30 pm, it’s time to sit down to dinner with your family and enjoy the rest of the night together. However, most of the heavy hitter outside sales reps I’ve known don’t do this well. While they’re with their spouse hanging out in the living room watching TV, they’ll also be on their laptop taking care of all of the things they weren’t able to get to during the day.

Sound familiar?

unavoidable – like when you have a big presentation lined up the next day and you want to make sure you’re ultra-prepared. And your wife is probably more than understanding in those cases. But if this is happening night-after-night, that understanding is sure to wane.unavoidable – like when you have a big presentation lined up the next day and you want to make sure you’re ultra-prepared. And your wife is probably more than understanding in those cases. But if this is happening night-after-night, that understanding is sure to wane.Alternatively, you can make your car a better place in which to get much more work done BEFORE you get home. So, in this respect, your UMO could give your marriage a jump start, as well.And if you’re not married, well, you’ll get more recreational time or time with others to enjoy. (Of course, this applies to the marrieds,too!)