—Abraham Lincoln, (1809—1865), 16th U.S. President
Successful Realtors are Focused and Efficient
Most people consider themselves hard workers because of the sheer number of hours they spend working. What they fail to realize, however, is that much of their time everyday is utterly wasted with distractions, interruptions, and activities that are largely irrelevant, or relatively unimportant.1 Unfortunately, if you’re not effectively managing your time, including organizing it around your high-priority goals, it can ruin your real estate business.
Successful Realtors Know Precisely How They’re Spending Their Time
If you want to improve in this area, you need to first get an accurate, detailed accounting of how you’re spending your time now. Break your days down into 15 minute increments, then stop several times a day to record how exactly you’re using your time. Ask yourself this: Is what I’m doing right now important to the goals and timelines I set for my real estate business, or am I distracted or otherwise inventing things to do, or avoiding work because it’s boring, uncomfortable, or my environment is not conducive to this task? 2
Successful Realtors Seek Benchmarks and Honest Feedback
If you’re honest with yourself, you will likely be surprised by how you answer that question, especially if you stop to answer it repeatedly (every 30 to 60 minutes) throughout a long day. Be sure to share the results of your time management audit with a friend or colleague in real estate who is getting the kind of results that you want to get as a realtor. And be open to their feedback. Don’t argue with their assessment, just listen to what they have to say.
Successful Realtors Prioritize and—Gently, but Relentlessly—Eliminate Distractions
Begin by prioritizing around your real estate goals. Then, the objective is to identify activities that are unimportant to your goals, and eliminate them (watch out for things that seem urgent, or are important to someone else, but have no clear relevance to your business as a realtor). A few books worth recommending on this topic include: Stephen Covey’s First Things First, and David Allen’s Getting Things Done. You may also find a number of good ideas in Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek.
- Covey, Stephen (1990). The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.. New York: Simon and Schuster.
- Ferriss, Tim (2009). The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich.. New York: Random House.