Life as we know if full of distractions, and as someone who grew up in the 50s and 60s, the current state of distraction with the web thrown in has reached the level of high art. It is a terrible thing that when 7:00 pm hits us that sometimes we ask ourselves where has the day gone and did I really accomplish anything? I will say that there are good distractions, like when someone contacts you and say I want you to send the contract at list price, so let me define when a distraction is negative, and that is when it breaks momentum, because momentum is hard to get back on track. For that reason I want to describe the perfect day in real estate for me, and I promise you I have come close at times, so here goes:
6:00AM internal time clock: I am blessed(cursed) with an internal time clock as is my wife who is my real estate partner. First we acknowledge each other with a kiss(best way to start the day as well as to stay married), then we have formed the habit of sharing what good we can do that day. There are times when the negative rolls in but we do a good job of filtering each other to get around to this, if there is one thing that we could do today that makes the whole day worthwhile, what would that be?
6:15AM: The next thing we do is to first hydrate with at least 24 ounces of water. The brain is the human organ that has the most water and we believe this helps brain power and dehydration is a negative. After that we separate and have our moment of solitude and meditation as we work on positive mantras for the day.
6:30AM: Time to start my drug my drug of choice, coffee, but first my wife and I compare our schedules, sync the schedule of our property manager, as well as the young REALTOR® who handles our listings.
6:50AM: Oh, the first cup taste gooood! Along with that is my homemade granola with either bananas or blueberries with almond milk. I am now fueled up and ready to go, but only after my second cup.
7:20AM: Time to hit the computer and check for email. Email is still important to me because I know that I have in my in box, Israeli investors 8 hours ahead of me, or Californians two hours behind me with request, need for information, or for updates. Email is still the end of the contract cycle as well as the beginning of it and we don't like verbal communications because we want written correspondence in our files. Time to answer and to send off the to do list.
8:30AM: This is exercise time. When I was younger I could do a 5:30AM exercise routine before going to my retail stores, but now as a retirement age business person, this is a great time. I do either a spin class which is fast and furious, yoga which kicks my ass, or in good weather doing a ten mile bike ride. It is amazing what ideas come to you while totally focused on pounding your body into shape. I do a 5:00 spin class downtime's as a bonus on slower days.
10:00AM: This is what I call the hour of power because this time is dedicated to the toughest problems I have to face. None of us like negative situations and the urge to procrastinate is strong, but rather than going for the easy stuff, get the crap stuff out of the way. This is proactive because if you don't the crap doubles in size when it comes back to bite you.
11:00AM: Lunch! Did I tell you I love to eat? It is why I need to exercise although my wife is an organic vegan that holds me back and thanks dear. Also, almost everyday I have the same thing which is organic udon soup with a little chicken thrown in. The Udon is shipped in from Amazon like a lot of things we would get at a supermarket or Walgreen's, but the less activity for everyday stuff the better. I know this sounds boring but we make a ton of decisions daily so not having to make this one adds up to my desire to embrace simplicity.
12:00PM: Now it is free time that can be anything. I may read, play a game, watch John Oliver, or brainstorm a new idea. You have to have breaks and you need to have fun. One free time day my wife and I planned our Italian two week getaway. reward yourself and that is where the next two hours is going:
1:00PM: Pomodoro time. That is Italian for tomato and was the name of a mechanical timer that looked like a tomato with the clock part in the middle. A college student turned it into an app and this is how it works. I set 4 "pomodoros" at 25 minutes each which is the default setting but you can customize some versions. I believe that if you put a limit on a task, your mind will follow. That task could be a blog, designing a You Tube video, researching key words, creating a presentation, what ever is needed and important, designated and planned for. You get a 5 minute break, so yes I do have to go to the bathroom sometimes, but I also do something else in this period, I change my voice mail to say I will be in an important meeting and will return calls at 3:30 or give a number for a team member if urgent. The reason for 3:30 is after you accomplish your pomodoros you get 30 minutes free time. Good time for an outside walk, besides my toy poodle loves this break.
4:00PM: If I am lucky this is only one hour of time but this is back to emails, phone calls, clean up the messes, and look at the to do list to make sure nothing reaches three stars. Three stars equal three days, so I do this on what I haven't got done because who can do everything on time but three days is too much so I focus on two stars first, the one. This way I am more able to look forward rather than back.
5:00PM: This starts the last hour of my business day. The idea of working 80 hours a week has no appeal to me and yes I used to be that person. Now I find that with this structure I can do in 40 hours what it used to take 80 hours to do. Very often this is when my wife and I connect again at our home office and in stead of speaking up one room apart we sit down together. If we don't have important tasks unfinished we can go over our day. yes it is OK to say how was your day without it being a cliche because then it becomes our day. We know we can always do better so this is a great time to put a period on the day.
6:00PM: We head to Whole Foods almost every day because we believe in fresh so dinner is being purchased and we know what we need before we go, our meal plan is also structured, and because this is daily we hit the express checkout. It is close by and by 6:30pm we can read or cuddle, or...I'll stop there. Doing it this way gives us a flexible and fun weekend because we don't believe in the seven day work week. Our business is totally on out of state and out of country investors with bulk sales so we moved out business in this direction to have a great business but more importantly, have a great life. This didn't come easy and is the accumulation of 26 years of trial and error but it is a wonderful place to be.
The Perfect Day Coda: Of course i wish this happened exactly like that every day but staying the course creates more days just like this. We don't have to have clients run us ragged, we don't have to accommodate everyone because we think that is our job. A Farris Bueller reminded us, life is short and enjoy it while you can. So in closing as a 60's musical style person I want to share the perfect song about the perfect day by one of my favorites, Lou Reed.