Time is flying! Where does the day go?
It is very easy to find yourself losing focus, missing deadlines and opportunities and losing momentum simply because you are not effectively managing your time. Time is money and it is a precious commodity that we should not waste. Every moment counts, particularly in the real estate industry. If you don't make that call, your competition will. If you don't provide that customer service, your competition will. But how do you fit it all in? Here are a few simple tips you can implement into your business to make the most of every moment and have time work in your favour.
1. Have a monthly plan: I hear many business coaches and sales managers talking about a daily or weekly plan, but the bigger picture matters, and quite often you are going to benefit from a plan that extends beyond just today. To create your monthly plan the first step is to write a list of all the tasks you need to complete within a week, this will give you content to start working with in terms of creating a schedule. Once you have your list of tasks start grouping them in terms of priority, considering what tasks are going to generate the most in terms of results for your business. Now work out what day is best for each task to be completed. You are effectively developing a schedule of tasks based on importance and both a daily and weekly plan. Now, project that plan out for an entire month - write it on a calendar or in a diary, so you can visually see your schedule for the full month. This is allowing you to project further in time, but also make a longer term commitment to each activity. In real estate, repetition and consistency are key to success, so doing the same tasks on the same day at the same time are not only going to help you get into a rhythm but will also help you be consistent in your role and will improve your overall performance. Once you have a plan and it starts to work for you, stick to it. Obviously your tasks are set, allowing time for other business that arises throughout the day, week and month but in general you have a set routine for all your repeated tasks. Try it, it really will make you more efficient.
2. Schedule time to check emails: So many agents fall into the trap of setting a notification tone on their emails and quite quickly become a slave to that notification sound, jumping for their phone as soon as it goes off. Research shows significant drop in productivity associated with constantly checking emails. It distracts from tasks that were being completed at the time and can redirect the course of the day meaning other items that were scheduled are put to the side. The best way to manage emails are to set times throughout the day to check and respond. It could be first up, just after lunch and at the close of business. This way you maintain your daily schedule, you keep focussed on what you need to do, while not missing anything that might require your attention. Making this one change alone will definitely improve your productivity and efficiency,
3. Learn to delegate: Many successful agents rely solely on their own skills and expertise to complete every individual task, but as your business grows this will become an impossibility. It is important to be able to identify tasks that don't necessarily need to be completed by you and know how to say 'no' if you cannot commit to what is being requested of you. Delegating is a difficult thing to do - you need to take time to explain what has to be done, then there is the matter of trusting that the job will be done correctly and in the right timeframe, I understand. In the short-term it will take a time commitment to train someone to handle these tasks in the manner that you prefer, but that time is a long-term investment and will pay off for you long term when you can confidently delegate tasks and have them completed without consuming your time or energy.
4. Schedule time for exercise: It is easy to get caught up in the dynamic and relentless pace of the real estate industry but it is important that you don't lose sight of what is important to you in the process. Studies show that including exercise into every day can actually improve brain function, efficiency and productivity, yet it is often the first thing to be cancelled from a busy day. It is often hard to get into a routine that includes exercise, but the benefits you will experience over a reasonable time period will be mind-blowing. Your mental clarity will be enhanced, your physical condition will improve, you will want to make better food choices and your overall outlook will change. The reward certainly outweighs the pain of finding time and the workout itself.
5. Don't waste time on gossip: Being in the industry for many years I have seen countless agents with so much potential getting caught up in time wasting gossip and criticising others. Regardless of the fact that it is not a nice thing to do, it is a significant waste of your precious time. Standing around talking about someone else or complaining about an internal process or system is critical time you will never get back. If your issue is important and needs to be discussed it can be done so in the right forum and in a professional context, but to spend time talking behind others backs and causing drama is something that is not going to add anything to your business, it will not add to you as a person and will ultimately distract you from making money. Avoid the trap that is getting caught up in office drama, keep your eyes on the prize and if you have spare time, try building others up rather than trying to drag them down.