Can You Be Successful Without Time-Blocking?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with 3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. #9001154

An agent from a FB group I read up on often asked, "Who is Successful here without TIME-BLOCKING?"

Here is my response (& adding to it):

First of all, "SUCCESS" is like beauty. Its definition truly lies within the person defining it. Some people define success with 150 transactions a year, some think 20 is great. Then some define success is having relatively balance work-life. There's no right or wrong answer. It's just how you define it.

I also believe that your definition of SUCCESS also depends on what life season you are in. If you have young kids and started this business the past 2-3 years, perhaps 25 transactions is pretty darn good. Or if you have tasted enough lobster, you may want 25 transactions a month, you've been in the business for 25 years, you have a team behind your back! 

I've also learned over the years that different people do well with structure and some find it very restrictive. 

On a personal note, I come from a detail-oriented and analytical background, so structure gives me security. I thrive in it. 

The bottom line is this:

In order to be sucessful (however you define it), the higher the monetary success, the more structure you need to give it. The most successful business owners AND entreprenuers don't fly by the seat of their pants. They may not assign each every minute to a task, but they have some form of structure. 

Also, the longer you do something, the more you know what to expect of your "season in business".

Although you may have assignments on what hour doing what activity, here's another big lesson: BE FLEXIBLE.

If your client can only see a property at 9am that day, and you have lead-generation scheduled at that hour, do you say "NO?" or Do you say "YES" only to set 1pm (your usual "green showing time") as your lead-generation task? 

If I learned one thing in 2018, it is to be FLEXIBLE. So much good can come out of it from a task-oriented, time-planning person like me.

Here is the link to my time-block. However, things have changed since I created it. I've seen then made it public just as an example. You can click on the link see the actual time-block.



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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

I have a to do list, but don't time block. I may give it a whirl. Geez, I've been getting up around 3:30 to 4:00 am lately - not sure how you consistently manage 3:00AM - Impressive, Loreena. D 

Dec 18, 2018 07:30 AM #19
Matt Brady
Finance Of America - Del Mar, CA
Lending With Competence And Character

When I was younger I could remember every client and their families. I could prioritize and never drop a ball. Now I need some planning and organization to make sure everything goes smoothly. Even if you cannot hit every time block, writing down the plan is probably the biggest advantage.

Dec 18, 2018 08:21 AM #20
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Different strokes,  different folks. As in "success"  the definition and the method can/does vary. A good post especially as we transition to a new year.

Dec 18, 2018 10:40 AM #21
Bob Force (REALTOR®)
Weichert - McKenna & Vane - Mount Airy, MD
The FORCE in Maryland Real Estate

I remember a managment class in College where the topic of the day was - 'PLAN TO PLAN'.  

Dec 18, 2018 11:38 AM #22
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

We definitely have some time blocks that we do not allow other items to interfere with.  We have found that it is really reasonable to not accept one off appointments during other important times of the day.

Dec 18, 2018 11:48 AM #23
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Time-blocking seems like a hot topic these days. I have a work-flow that I follow, but I don't block. I've found that running two businesses is too unpredictable to become to rigid with my calendar. Time-blocking might be a luxury in my world. 

Dec 18, 2018 01:17 PM #24
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Hi Loreena and Michael - time blocking with flexibility is what works for me. I need a plan, structure, but realize that important things will come up which need attention. I usually revise my time block several times a day, but things rarely fall in the cracks, just get shifted to fit.

Dec 18, 2018 07:18 PM #25
Shabnam Nemati
Pacific Union | Compass - Palo Alto, CA
Live Love Sell Real Estate SF Peninsula

Great article. I am a little surprised that you wake up at 3 am and work out at 3:30 am. Is that accurate?

Dec 18, 2018 08:11 PM #26
Heidi Johnson
Heidi Naturally - Greenwich, OH
Educator providing healthy tips for busy moms

I love this idea of time blocking and the idea of marking off if you actually stuck with it.

I can plan all kinds of things and then get distracted by something more interesting and the hour I was supposed to be working on something is now gone and spent on something else.

I will try this idea of checking off when the time block gets done and see if this helps me stay on track better. Thanks for the post!

Dec 18, 2018 09:08 PM #27
Rhonda Burgess
Southern Living Realty Partners - Smyrna, TN
Moving to Nashville TN Real Estate Specialist

I have never done well with time blocking. I do much better with my list of top priorities that have to get done and then I get to the lesser important things if time permits.  Glad to see it works well for you. Nice post. 

Dec 18, 2018 10:18 PM #28
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty 914-419-0270 (NY),, (MT) 406-270-3667, more information to be provided shortly - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I time block for the first few hours of the day (5am-9am) but the rest of the day is fluid, unless I have appointments. That seems to work well for me, at least for now. Thanks for your post!

Dec 19, 2018 02:52 AM #29
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

I woke up at 4:30 this morning in a sweat.  Was I late for my workout??

Actually, you have some great points about how we schedule our time in the 'seasons' of our lives.  VERY GOOD!!  Thank you.

Dec 19, 2018 05:10 AM #31
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Very good points to consider.  Someone just starting is hungry for business while us seasoned folks are fine with 20 - 25 transactions a year.  I think we also need to look at our niche. If we have a niche that brings us business and we age with that niche, how does that effect our production?   

Dec 19, 2018 08:00 AM #32
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

I like to do time blocking. But my mind will wander as soon as I get bored so to help me, especially with tasks that either I hate to do ( taxes and IRS stuff), or things that I like to do but should not spend all day doing (organizing a room or a closet, etc or doing research) or working on projects for Loreena:) ) I use the Pomodoro Timer technique and turn my Pomodoro on for 10 minutes or 20 minutes depending on the project. I am not allowed to do anything else while I hear the ticking of the clock. When it stops, I stop. It works best for me since I have a to do list that is more than a mile long:). 

I love using Trello for project mananagement and it is our business management tool for the company.  I met with a business consultant of big companies like auto manufacturing companies and he requires all his clients to use Trello, even for loading docks, etc. He said we are on the right path in using Trello for our company. 

There is a difference between time management and time blocking. There is really no such thing as time management. This is why most people fail in it. 

A great book to read is: The Big Leap. 

It talks about working only in your zone of genius and also on looking with a different outlook on time, one in which you create your time instead of time controlling you. I am still learning about this and can't wait to embrace it more.

There is also no such thing as balance in life the way many people try to achieve that. Just like when you have a baby - your life changes. It revolves around your baby. You get little sleep, you spend time caring for baby. There is no time to do all the rest of your stuff therefore you don't have that 'balance'. Same thing when starting a company. Same thing when one gets sick. Same thing when you need to care for an aging parent, etc. It is all about - there is time for every season under Heaven. 

Dec 19, 2018 09:36 AM #33
Julie A. Black
KAUAI DREAMS REALTY Kauai Real Property Specialist - Kapaa, HI
CLHMS, CRS, GRI, Realtor, Broker

You get upat 3;00am in the morning? I'm having a hard time getting past that. But love your time blocking and organization.

Dec 19, 2018 12:26 PM #34
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

plan you work work your plan.....  so if you get up at 3 Am what time do you go to sleep 7Pm?  

thank you for sharing!

Dec 20, 2018 12:59 AM #35
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

Shabnam Nemati/ Julie Emerson I do get up at 3am M-F to start with my “me time” with the Lord. I run/ train for marathons almost yesr round. And I young kids. So I start my day pretty much filling in my cup so I can deal with everything else that comes my way,

PS: I sleep in weekends around 4/4:30a although on long run days, I get you st 2:30a.

PPS: I sit in bed after the kids are in bed. Then I take another 1.5 hrs to catch up or read. I watch the 9pm news. Then head to bed (9:45-10pm)

Dec 20, 2018 02:01 AM #36
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I agree on being flexible.  You can have your entire day planned...then get a call from a lender saying your buyer isn't going to be financed and has to cancel a deal! Or some type of similar crisis that needs your immediate attention.  Sometimes you have to catch up on that to do list at 10pm!

Dec 20, 2018 08:53 AM #37
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Depends on how much time you must spend to achieve your goals and objectives, doesn't it? So, you can be successful without blocking out time but without a plan, it doesn't matter what you do.

You wouldn't have conflicts if you time block your work schedule. Learn to be in control of your time and let your clients and prospects know your business schedule when you engage them. My time schedule can be flexible but usually not, since I plan for the entire year in advance. Want to meet, let me check my calendar? Successful people like doing business with busy people, don't you? 

Dec 31, 2018 12:44 AM #38
Lynda White
Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How - Louisville, KY
Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty

I was scrolling through older emails and found this on the Active Rain Daily Drop and it caught my eye. Some people are planners and some are not. I LOVE to plan, not as good at implementing but it's something I strive to improve on every day. I love love love the Trello time block and plan to use it. Thanks for the link! <3 

Feb 01, 2019 07:41 AM #39
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