Overworked by Information Overload

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty 0575737

OverworkedI know REALTORS can relate to information overload with having to process something like 192 pieces of paperwork from listing agreement to closing documents. But any kind of overwhelming feeling with information is true across all fields of business today and even into our personal lives with 400 channels to choose from with your satellite TV provider to how many songs can you stuff into your iPOD. The speed with which information is coming at us these days is certainly overwhelming and not slowing down at all. So how do we sanely manage all this? There certainly isn't one answer, or even an ability to truly be able to do it. But here are a few thoughts to bring some peace and order back into your life.

Email: Delete early, and delete often garbage email. Learn to scan subject lines to open the most important ones sooner rather than lately. Write brief replies only to the sender. Create PST folders to move mail into categories. Read email throughout the day, not allowing it to build up. Check your Blackberry or PDA for urgent messages and text back quick replies.

News: read online, read print, whatever works best and fastest for you. Bookmark all your favorite sites. Learn to scan headlines and read first sentences of paragraphs. Subscribe to a handful of your favorite blogs via RSS feeds.

Social Networks: Be selective with Active Rain, LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, Tweeter, etc. You don't have to belong to all of them. Who has the time?

Time block: Allocate time for work, exercise, volunteering, YOUR personal time, entertainment, family, church. Don't give all your time to information overload and checking email till 2 a.m. in the morning

Remember the 48 hour rule: Act on something in 48 hours or it will never get done, or know you have let that one slip by which is ok too.

Disconnect and unplug "occasionally" for a sanity break: It may be a half day or full day or on vacation. But know it all will be there in an overwhelming sense when you get back. But this idea is good for you. Refresh and re-charge.

Multitask well: Learn that it is "ok" to be triple or quadruple booked at the same time, and then you pick the priority "one" based on what you value. Be comfortable in being overbooked. Everyone else is too.

Time: It all is about time. You only have so much in a day. Balance things out and don't let the information overload freak you out. Laugh about it, and discuss it with your co-workers. Mess up your hair and scream. The sun will still come up tomorrow. Who knows? Maybe you will feel like fishing in the morning and you'll leave your cell phone back in the car at the boat ramp. Or throw it in the water. Above all, enjoy your life!!

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Ambassador
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Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production
This is great advice.  I don't think that a lot of people know the intricacies of this.  I know that I'm way behind the 8-ball then too.
Mar 01, 2008 02:15 AM #11
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Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection
Gary - I too agree that this is great advice, there is just so much to pay attention to, but with good time management it is oh so important to have down time.
Mar 01, 2008 02:22 AM #12
Rainmaker
209,487
Audrey June-Forshey
RE/MAX Realty Services - Darnestown, MD
GRI, Gaithersburg, MD
Gary, Great advise.  Good time management skills are so beneficial.  I need to brush up on mine!!
Mar 01, 2008 02:33 AM #13
Rainmaker
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marti garaughty
garaughty.com - Montreal, QC
a highly caffeinated creative type...
 Hi Gary, this post rings true for me these days, I'm in the process of clearing out a serious email backlog from more than 48 hours ago, yikes!!!! Have a great weekend...
Mar 01, 2008 02:42 AM #14
Rainmaker
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Lindsay Pendleton
Relocating To Baton Rouge & Surrounding Areas - Baton Rouge, LA
Marketing Agent - Property Management in Baton Rou

Great Tips, Gary!

Disconnect and unplug "occasionally" for a sanity break: It may be a half day or full day or on vacation. But know it all will be there in an overwhelming sense when you get back. But this idea is good for you. Refresh and re-charge.

This is something I must force myself to do. I go to sleep and dream about computer screens! lol

Mar 01, 2008 03:17 AM #15
Rainmaker
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Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Gary, time management is so important today. Technology is great, but sometimes we think it forces us to be available 24/7. "Disconnect and unplug 'occasionaly' for a sanity break. . . ." Good advice.

Great Post!

Mar 01, 2008 04:18 AM #16
Rainmaker
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Paul Viau
Nova Scotia Real Estate Blog - Halifax, NS
Nova Scotia Real Estate Blog + Photo Services

It gets overwhelming sometimes but think about what we would do without the technology.

 

Mar 01, 2008 04:29 AM #17
Rainer
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Keith Perry
Coldwell Banker - Hiram, GA
REALTOR - West Metro Atlanta

Taking time to smell the roses works well too. Great post Gary.

Mar 01, 2008 04:37 AM #18
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Linda Futral
Newnan, GA
Great advice Gary.  All to often I find myself forgetting me, lol.
Mar 01, 2008 12:41 PM #19
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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Marey: Letting go is a key to balance.

Larry: Organization can get out of whack easily these days.

Jennifer: I like "planned" down time.

Audrey: Managing your time is not easy I think for any of us.

Marti: It doesn't take long to fall behind.

Lindsay: They say in the evening stay away from the computer an hour or 90 minutes before going to bed, otherwise you will be dreaming about work.

Michael: 24/7 while it sounds responsive is just crazy!

Paul: Technology does have its pluses like how fast it can connect us to each other when we need to.

Keith & Robin: A good part of life SHOULD be about smelling the roses.

Linda: We have to stop and ask ourselves what are we doing sometimes?

 

Mar 01, 2008 01:46 PM #20
Rainmaker
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Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro
Gary, Great Advice!  I really need to learn to delete that email faster.  If I let them go for just a few days it takes me hours to get them all cleaned up and that is not a good use of time. 
Mar 01, 2008 02:18 PM #21
Rainmaker
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Lynn Johnson
Coldwell Banker Home Connection - Owatonna, MN
Owatonna, MN Real Estate
Gary - Good tips to keep in mind.  I tend to multi-task a bit too much and am working on being "present" and in the moment a little more.
Mar 01, 2008 02:48 PM #22
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Mike Norvell Sr
Morris Williams Realty - Leesburg, FL
Norvell Consulting Group
Good advice to live by Gary, I struggle to keep things in balance too
Mar 01, 2008 02:58 PM #23
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Deb Brooks
Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX
Gary, if we could just take your advice to heart we would all live longer and happier. In fact our hearts thank you. BTW, what's personal time? Later in the rain~Deb
Mar 01, 2008 03:20 PM #24
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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Marchel: DELETE is good!!

Lynn: Being present in the moment is the best way to live and you will become a better listener.

Mike: We all struggle with balance, you are not alone.

Deb: Personal time? I think we fit that in from driving back from the fitness center and eating dinner. Maybe listening to your favorite song on a radio station in the car? You are right, it is hard to find time for YOU. But do try!!

Mar 01, 2008 03:58 PM #25
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital
Gary, we can get too many reminders of all of the great points you've made here!  Thanks.
Mar 02, 2008 12:19 AM #26
Rainer
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Barbara Argo
Mountain Investments of North Georgia - Blue Ridge, GA

Gary, Thank you for the warm welcome and for the great points you make about using our time wisely.

Many - MANY - times I feel overwhelmed by all the info RE agents receive.  It's hard to balance!

I see real estate agents working 24/7 and becoming frustrated and burned out. 

Thanks for reminding us all to set boundaries.

 

 

Mar 02, 2008 03:00 AM #27
Rainer
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Dana Forster
AHome4Sale - Fredericksburg, VA
Realtor, A Home 4Sale Inc, Va
Gary, Great Advice. Technology overload has sent me into a paralysis, not sure which way to go.  Thanks for the tips.
Mar 02, 2008 03:13 AM #28
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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Patricia: Any technique that cuts down on the overload I think is something to try.

Barbara: Who can work 24/7? You have to have a life.

Dana: You are right, just technology itself causes much overload along with increased paperwork caused by laws and new processes.

Mar 02, 2008 05:11 AM #29
Rainmaker
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Jackie - computer-training-atlanta.com
770.498.7333 - Atlanta, GA
Learn to leverage technology to get more done.
Gary - I have never heard of the 48-hour rule but it really rings true. Thanks for the tips.
Mar 02, 2008 09:59 AM #30
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