CustomerTRAX - October Edition

FINDYOUR FLOW How to Get in the Zone

Everyone has days when work just seems to fly by effortlessly. You feel laser- focused and hyper-productive. In short, you are“in the zone.”This proverbial zone, though, can feel elusive when distractions are plentiful and time is at a premium. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced“Chick-zent-mee- hal-yi”) has spent his career investigating this state, which he calls“flow,”and his insights can help you harness your most productive self. Csikszentmihalyi’s seminal work,“Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience,”asserts that finding flow doesn’t just increase your ability to accomplish tasks, it also raises your happiness level.“Whenever the goal is to improve the quality of life, flow theory can point the way,”he writes. According to his research, a state of flow is reached when skill and challenge are balanced

between these two concepts? Training teaches skills — click on this window to do this, input this bit of information in this window, etc. Education, on the other hand, provides a more wide-ranging approach. You need to teach your staff how to make CRM work for them, not just from a technical standpoint but from a theoretical one. Another difference is that education doesn’t stop after one meeting. As your team gets comfortable with CRM, you may discover unforeseen uses to improve your business practices. If an employee comes to you with an idea, pursue it. CRM offers many possibilities, and you may not recognize one until you launch. A lot of your implementation success may depend on what you do before launch, but the first few days after are another huge factor. You need to give your team the tools to succeed, and the best way to do that is through education. Rather than simply showing your team the part of your CRM bicycle, you need to show them how to ride it. Another important component of flow is what Csikszentmihalyi calls the “autotelic experience.” Autotelic means that you view what you’re doing as an end in itself and find the work intrinsically rewarding. If you find meaning in the activity at hand, rather than relying on external motivators, it’s easier to throw yourself into a project. The next time you find yourself going through the motions or watching the clock at work, don’t write it off as “one of those days.” Instead, take a step back, plan out your task list, and approach your assignments with vigor. Flow doesn’t strike you like a bolt of lightning; you have to work for it. Once you find a routine that puts you in the zone, stick to it, and great work will follow. Pillar 6: Launch

We’ve reached the end of our exploration of the six pillars of CRM adoption. This month’s article explores the final pillar: launch. You’ve made it through all of the preparatory stages — from creating a process with a defined purpose to engaging with your staff about areas where CRM can provide them the most help — and now it’s time to implement. Launching CRM may be the end of adoption, but that doesn’t mean you should view it as the end of learning about software. When organizations view launch through this lens, they usually offer a one-time training designed to get employees up to speed. They demonstrate features, create a workflow, and call it a day. This style of training never results in the most successful implementation, because it assumes that CRM goals will never change and that Handle itself is explainable through a single lens. Successful organizations focus on education instead. What, you might ask, is the difference against one another. When the challenge is too low relative to skill, boredom follows. When it’s too high, anxiety overwhelms the ability to reach flow. Just the right proportion of challenge and skill, and your mind becomes totally engaged in the task at hand. So, how do you get yourself into flow state? The first step is to set clearly defined goals. Once you know what you are working toward, it becomes easier to maintain the focus required to reach optimal flow. The next step is to eliminate distractions that will divert your concentration. Flow is easier to maintain than it is to build up to, and you don’t want your flow broken by something that could’ve easily been put off. Use smaller activities as a way to break up larger ones, and you’ll find a more consistent work rate.


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