Josh Christie is the VP of Marketing & Recruiting at D&L Transport

For most of us, timing decisions and actions depend on us and a few other factors, from family to friends to work. It’s not like a football placekicker in the last seconds of a game or a basketball player shooting at the buzzer. They have no choice over timing. But, for us, there is a choice.

As a Freight Agent, the demands from Shippers and Carriers can dictate a large portion of your day. However, in running any successful business, finding patterns in the day to carve out priorities is essential to growing your operations.

Here, we touch on how timing is everything, whether selecting the right activities throughout your day and week or making critical decisions during the year to grow your business and develop your career.

Time Matters — Maximizing Your Day

There are night owls, and there are morning people. The rest, roughly half the world, are neither morning nor evening people. They generally work across the day at a relatively steady pace. So, what pattern are you, and how do you structure your day to maximize your productivity?

For starters, there are rhythms in your work patterns that you’ve no doubt recognized over time. The trick is to use those daily patterns to your advantage by matching your activities to the best time. For example, many people find that their focus is best in the morning and that they slow down in the afternoon. Given this daily pattern, it’s best to plan detailed analytical work in the morning, with those mind-numbing administrative tasks reserved for the early afternoon, after the lunchtime letdown. Late afternoon can often serve for lighter, more creative tasks as your energy level returns.

It also makes sense to take breaks throughout the day. A study by DeskTime found that the ideal break was 17 minutes long for every 52 minutes of work. This minimized boredom, refreshed attention span, and just getting out of a chair greatly benefited physical health.

Another tactic could be to use these 17 minutes to do something completely different. Maybe it’s not a true ‘break,’ but an alteration in your current tasks that gets you away. This time could be used to get away from the screen, make a few sales calls, or check in with previous or existing customers to cultivate relationships. Getting outside and taking a walk doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stop being productive.

Try it out. But don’t stop there. Determine what works best for you, your daily rhythm, and the demands of your time as a Freight Agent. That includes determining how best to interface with your customers and prospects during the day. Some don’t want to hear from anyone before noon. Make sure that goes into your schedule to maximize both your optimal rhythm and that of your clients.

Finding the Right Start Time

Most of us can readily determine the next steps in any project, business, or career. But few of us consider the right timing. Oh, there’s the old saw: no time like the present. Another favorite is ready, aim, fire. My favorite is ready, fire, aim, which focuses on doing something now to determine what to do next based on your early results.

There are some tried and true notions about the best time to size up a situation, make a decision, and move forward. For example, businesses often focus on quarterly or monthly results. We’ve also been conditioned since kindergarten that the year starts in August or September when school starts. And, of course, there’s the end or the start of the calendar year for making and implementing big decisions.

Calendar dates are one thing to consider. Another is the tides that form in your life or business. For example, the right time to move is at the end of a weekly commission payment cycle or quarterly/annual/retention bonus payouts. It’s hard to leave money on the table when considering a change. These milestones are an excellent break-point for evaluating a transition timeline.

Boost Your Efforts at Midpoint

All too often, we get the start time and effort right, but we run out of steam well before the end of the project. The best time to head off this challenge is to make needed changes at the midpoint rather than a weak attempt to stave off defeat at the end.

Midpoints can stall the project or motivate us to pick up our efforts. Call it a midpoint slump. Or, better yet, use that midpoint as a wake-up call to provide the motivation necessary to continue or ramp up your efforts.

One further factor is to recognize that you’re at a midpoint. This understanding helps us realize when things aren’t progressing as we’d like. That’s when we can size up the situation, make needed adjustments, and, if necessary, relaunch the effort with an entirely new beginning.

Achieving Successful Endings

As noted above, choosing the right time to start, followed by monitoring progress to address midpoint challenges, can go a long way toward achieving successful endings or fruitful new beginnings. Then comes celebrating those endings with all the key players that made it happen.

Those successful endings are great times to assess what went wrong, what went right, and what comes next. Plus, the energy inherent in a successful conclusion can be readily leveraged to launch the next effort.

So, what’s next for you?

Motivation for Change

Any change is driven not only by the what-to-change decision but also by the when to both end the old and start the new. As this article has pointed out, it’s all about timing.

In our article Why Now is the Right Time to Transition to a New Broker, we cover a broad range of questions to consider. Here’s the list.

  • Freight market economic trends
  • Current Freight Broker cutting staff
  • Restrictions on customer credit
  • Strained carrier relationship
  • Delayed response times

There are, of course, many other considerations for starting a new phase in your career or business.

  • Is this the best job for you now?
  • Will this job last, and do you want to be there when it ends?
  • Does your job provide the right level of challenge and the necessary support for success?
  • Can you do your best work with the support resources in your current working environment?
  • Does your daily work move you closer to your long-term career goals?

You can dig deeper into these concepts in When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink.

Making the Transition to a New Freight Broker

While it’s nice to consider the right starting time and how best to manage the midpoint slump and celebrate the ending, the daily life of a Freight Broker can be overwhelming. Even when you’ve mapped out your ideal daily rhythm, it isn’t easy to step back and size up what you have now and what you’d like in the future.

Try this. After 52 minutes of work, take that 17-minute break to consider what’s next for you and your Freight Agency. The timing is everything. Don’t put this off for another time when you’re under the crunch of daily problem-solving. The time is now!

Our article Does Your Freight Agent Program Meet Your Current Needs? is a good starting point. It offers insight into assessing your current needs and how your Freight Broker meets them.

To help with that assessment, we’ve identified six key factors for any Freight Broker: support, technology, commission, strength, culture, and benefits. You can learn more in our article What to Look for in a Freight Agency Program.

We’re biased. We feel that our freight agency program is the best in the business. To see for yourself, look at our Agent Opportunities page. You can also hear directly from our successful Agents. Then, get in touch, and we can get started.

Call toll-free: 866.559.0203. Or complete the form at D&L Agent Requirements.

Join The Best Freight Agent Program today!

D&L Transport. Your Family in Freight.