I was at the Missouri Association of REALTORS' Business Conference two weeks ago and ran into many people I know. Many conversations were had and several topics were discussed but the one topic that kept recurringwas that of Time Management. Well, here is a hint..............You CANNOT manage time! You can only manage yourself and the tasks/actions you preform in a day. Let me say that again, you CANNOT manage time. We all need to realize this and start acting accordingly.
Many people are starting to look for tips on time management. With most agents' markets depressed in one way or another, we are all trying to evaluate what we do and how we can do it better since we have a little extra time on our hands. Well, like many others, I have some advice for you. I truly do believe we need to evaluate what we do and how we do it on a regular basis but I also think you need to try and recognize bad habits and work on those as well. Fixing bad habits will greatly increase your chances of being successful in trying to implement new skills or management techniques.
Remember that everyone is different and we each need to recognize those activities that are most beneficial to us and improve on them. Here are a few tips on eliminating time wasters and being able to focus on sactivities that are most beneficial to you.
Tip #1: Be Efficient & Effective
Efficiency means getting a lot done in a short period of time, but effectiveness happens when you also focus on activities that matter to you. Too often we spend a great portion of our day on a task that is quite irrelevant in the large scheme of things. Your email is a prime example. Most people leave their email up all day long. This means that each time you get a new email, it pops up on your screen and you automatically check to see what it is. How many emails do you get in a day? How many of those are pertinent to you making money that day? Trying checking your email just three times a day. This will save you approximately 50 minutes. Try it and see what happens.
Tip #2: Learn to say "NO"
Many of us spend quite a bit of time helping others. There is nothing wrong with that but many of our coworkers strat to depend on us for our help. They start to become lazy and ask you to do the things they are unwilling to learn how to do. It is just easier to ask you for the help and then work on something else while we are doing their task. I help many other agents in my office with technology questions, ad writing, proofreading, and the list goes on. I am only one of two agents in an office of 40 plus agents that has a college degree. (The other agent has a degree in education and was a teacher for 20+ years.) I seem to be the one whom everyone runs to in for help or "fixing" their computer problem. I no longer just fix their problem and then go on. I make sure that the person learns what I am doing to fix the problem and then I tell them that they have the information to fix it themselves next time. This has worked great. Now they are helping each other with small problems and I have noticed that they have a little more sense of accomplishment since they are helping each other.
The "NO" comes in when someone will not take the info you give them and use it. If someone is not willing to learn and help themselves, I am no longer willing to keep helping them. I do not get paid for fixing their problem. I get paid for listing and selling. I want to be a resource of information but I do not want to be the technical support team, and not be paid.
Tip #3: Figure Out Where Your Time is Going
Here is a list of items which can be considered Time Wasters. How much time do you spend on these items? These items will work themselves into your day and before long, you are doing them more than you are doing what you need to.
- leaving to run one errand and then realizing two hours later that you are still running errands
- filing the same papers more than once
- reading emails throughout the day
- reading articles or emails that you really do not care about or pertain to you
- surfing the web with no purpose
- watching YouTube for hours
Tip #4: Decide What Your Priorities Are and Make Time for Them
I cannot stress how important your personal time is. That can be family, vacation, reading, writing, church, etc. If you do not take time for yourself and your family, you will get burned out and you may find that you have alienated your family. This business can consume you and your time if you let it. I love real estate and I am sure the rest of you feel the same way. However, at some point you will need a vacation or at least step away from the business for a short time. What I am trying to say is just make time for those things that are important to you. Decide what your priorities are and follow through with them. If we lose sight of who we are now, there is no way we can keep our eye on where we want to be in the future.
Good luck in all you do and hang in there! It is all a cycle and the market will be good again. Make every day a great one!!!