Managing Your Energy and Your Focus; It's Not About Your Time.

Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

tj nelson realtor

Through many books, classes and my coaching with Brian Buffini founder of Buffini & Company , I've received my Masters Degree in Time Blocking and Energy Management.


There are many of you that are so self disciplined and organized, my post will be a refresher at best, but those of you who are like me that struggle with this discipline daily, you will find some nuggets in here.


We only get so many heartbeats, so many summers, Christmas Holidays, annual vacations and so on. Assume you'll all live to be 100; how old are you today? Subtract your age from 100 and that is how many remaining birthdays remaining to celebrate with your family, wedding anniversaries with your spouse and that's how many years you have left to realize your full potential. "What will you do with this one wild and precious life?" asked poet Mary Oliver.


When you look at it that way and realize we won't all live to age 100; how we spend our time becomes quite important, almost urgent, pending your age, genetics and current health. Ask yourself, "How will I spend my remaining years?  Will it be with "I'm glad I tried that!" or "Maybe someday." ?


We don't really manage time, since we all get 24 hours per day and that is a man-made notion in itself; the measure of time. The energy we bring to each hour and the priority and focus we dedicate to each hour is what produces results and provides us with more energy!



More energy, how?

Making choices!

Focus on one choice at a time.




Have you ever gotten a rush from furthering a big project down the pipeline to completion? Or a few smaller projects checked off the list? That sense of accomplishment and if you've prioritized well, that sense of time well spent gives us a little extra jolt; a sense of accomplishment and highest and best use of your time.


I am a fan of time blocking and (activity)-score keeping. I block out periods of time in my day for dedicated projects and each project has a points value. 

Here's an example, the points are arbitrary, so is the finish line; devise your own system that makes sense to you:



Day off = 100 points

Cheat on the Day Off = -100 points (so commit to one true day off)

Showing Property 7.5 (per home)

Marketing Projects 3

Morning Break & Walk 1.5

Networking Events 1

Writing Offers 5

Calls to clients 2.5 (per message)

Calls to clients 5.0 (per conversation)

Lunch with Client  25

Lunch with Networking Partner 15

Calls to prospects 2.5

Returning emails 1

Meeting with Clients 3

Meeting with Networking Partners 2

Afternoon Break & Walk 1.5

Podcast 2

Toastmasters 2

Listing Appointment 15

Listing Agreement 25

Open Escrow 50

Close and Escrow 50

...and so on.


Points are what I assign to my daily duties, so I can score their value, hence create a priority list. Everything I should be doing in a day or a week, I list and assigned points to it. I learned this through a previous real estate partner of mine at Fusion Real Estate in Sacramento, CA; it took a while to wrap my head around it, but it caught on and motivated me.


It's based on the 20 Mile March Principle (a historical event).


Here's a great video that explains it too:


It became a competition with myself on how soon in my day I could score 100 points. 100 points meant I could close up shop for the day, no matter what time it was, because 100 points represented "down tools" (enough was accomplished today) that would generate new business or further existing business or implement new ideas.


The sooner I could hit 100 points, the earlier I left the office. Now I know what you are thinking, "Suppose I'm done by 10am on a Tuesday? I can't walk away from the office, calls and emails come in still!" Yes, but this is where I share the energy management.



First of all, the soonest I've ever finished is about 2:30PM, it's not as easy as it looks to score 100 activity points. The harder activities are worth more and I naturally avoid what's hard. But, some days I do take the early leave and enjoy time with my bride or go for a hike with my dog, etc. I may let all remaining calls go to voice-mail and then just do a last round of returning calls & emails before dinner, but I got a couple hour recharge in between.

Other days I don't get home until after 6PM, because some days it's harder to score 100.

 Thomas J Nelson Realtor


Activities like opening an escrow are worth (50 points), but texting or leaving a message vs. having a conversation only (2.5 points) is a lower value than calling and actually having a conversation (5 points) . The points and the total you consider the end of your day is up to you, the habits they develop are what the goal is.


No more wasting away the day, working late because from 11 am -2 pm I blew it with low level tasks. Taking a listing is worth 25 points, showing property is worth 7.5 points each, but social media personal messages are only worth 2 points and posting an business related article is worth 1 point. Posting non-business is -1 per post. These are my disciplines, you create your own; you know you best. I just make the tasks that get me to a closed escrow most effectively the high point value activities and the time bandits get low to no points.


Oh by the way, I did go home at 2:30PM that day, it felt so good, no guilt! I took a swim, walked my dog and then checked my voice-mail and emails, returned a few that needed it and then I stopped again.  I went outside and read one of my CRS magazines and 3 chapters of a business book, then took my bride to an early dinner. See the benefits? A full day of work done by 2:30pm and a minor check-in before dinner and I got to squeeze in some exercise, reading and a date.


See, I'd already completed my whole days work by 2:30PM, I then got in some exercise, spent time with my dog, reading and a nice evening with m bride Ailina, only needing to check in once more at that point to feel good about closing. Most of you that can not imagine doing this, it may be you're business is running you, instead of you being an owner running it?


But, tomorrow I was back to zero points and had to re commit to 100 points. Next day, start again on the high points priorities, but it's a new day, new challenges, that next day took me until 6:30PM to complete my 100 points due to interruptions, but then I went home at 6:30-down tools.

 Thomas J Nelson Realtor

Bonus: If I do 120 points today, I need only 80 points tomorrow and maybe I do that to plan more for an early day off rather than leave it to chance, should I want to ensure being off work by a certain time.


Here's where the energy kicks in: I'm getting more done on this points system and time blocking my day than I was without it.

I'm reaping the benefits of more energy because some days I get to go home earlier than others, which allows me to power through the later work days since they are fewer.

I'm also getting more done personally, from exercise to more relaxing work like reading and then bonus time with my family. My home, my office, my head-health and my body-health all need to be at their best; they are the four legs of my stool (life) and if is broken, the other three are affected and my stool (life) is off balance or worse, topples over.


Time blocking fails because you fail to Foxhole. See, you need to dig in and protect your time blocks. This means working in a place that prevents the time bandits from finding you.

You need to have all your resources needed to accomplish your time-blocked activities in your foxhole already so you need not leave it.


Thomas J Nelson Realtor

Finally, you need support, a foxhole buddy that has your back to stop the time bandits from flanking you: Staff, a spouse, a business partner that can field your calls and emails for that period of time.

For some of you on your own, that is your auto-responders and voice-mail with specific instructions that assure callers you'll get back to them by 11 am for example. It takes discipline and that discipline is being eroded by the weapons of mass distraction we call smart phones.

Ultimately you need to see the value in what you accomplish when you have blocks of uninterrupted hours to focus on your business, your marketing, your prospecting, brainstorming and so on. You can also have dedicated hors to return calls and e-mails. You do not need to answer your phone or email every time it rings. Unless you are a heart surgeon or a SEAL team, people can wait an hour.


You can remain mired in the minutia with the Turkeys on the ground or you can get focused and soar with the eagles; the view is better up here though!


It's Finally Here!







  1. Image courtesy of photouta at
  2. Image courtesy of etaphop photo at
  3. Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
  4. Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at


Posted by

REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, ePro, Certified:Military Home Specialist,

Certified: Luxury Home Specialist Podcast Host, Author & Keynote Speaker


Brokered by Big Block Realty

Do You Know The Market Says Your Home is Worth?

CA-BRE# 01261476, since 1999  (My Team)

 "Oh by the way, I'm never too busy to serve you and your referrals to good people like you."

 mobile: 858-232-8722 / e-fax: 650-240-0717 

 Sunroad Corporate Center: 4445 Eastgate Mall l Suite 200 San Diego l CA 92121

RCS-DivorceSouthern California Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists (CRS)

                               FaceBook    Twitter     LinkedIN     YouTube     Instagram
    Serving: La Jolla * Downtown * Coastal Properties * Metro SD * Seniors & Military-Rebates!
Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Real Estate Best Practices
Ninja Nation
Dedicated Bloggers
Addicted to Active Rain
la jolla real estate
san diego real estate
time management
time blocking
energy management
thomas j nelson realtor
20 mile march

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Thomas,
This is very interesting.   I can see the sense of all this... consistent effort.  I was particularly struck in the video with the following statement that we should have:
"The ambition to achieve and the self-control to hold back." 

I am curious how days off fit into the plan? 

Apr 01, 2018 03:24 PM #1
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Congratulations!  You've been Featured in BananaTude

Apr 01, 2018 03:26 PM #2
Ron Buck
The Ron Buck Group - Laguna Niguel, CA
Associate RE Broker at Keller Williams Realty

Thanks Thomas, this is really great. Very practicle.

Apr 02, 2018 06:37 AM #3
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Very cool premise. We do time-block, but this is an interesting model, I'm going to ponder it further. D 

Apr 07, 2018 08:04 AM #4
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D

& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast
Referrals & Sales-free Help / Info Here.
Spam prevention