Three Easy Steps to Better Time Management
Suggest a terrific daily routine to someone, and more often than not you will hear “I don’t have the time.” Whether we are talking about exercise, finding time for children, prospecting and lead generation – there is almost always “time.” The issue really is what a person is doing with their time each day to be as productive as possible. After all, doing the most with the time we have is the goal right? Effective time management is one of the most important keys to managing your business, your life, reducing stress, and improving an overall sense of accomplishment.
Whether you sell real estate for a living, manage mortgage files as a processor, or simply want to find more hours in the day this post is for you. We all think it, we all say it, “I just don’t have the time.” Or “there are just not enough hours in the day.” But that’s just it, yes there are…if you know what you want. Taking an organized Time Management seminar is a very good idea, and I highly suggest it. However, even starting small with these three easy tips will help get you on the right track to a more effective day.
Step 1: Establish Goals
You have no idea how you are going to manage your time if you don’t know what you are trying to accomplish. I mean that down to the hour, the day, the week, the year, and your life! If you wake up every day and just do whatever you do, the day is owning you – you are not owning the day! Here is what I mean:
Set daily goals. Establish priorities. Get it done.
Simple right? Everyone has daily responsibilities, limitations, and problems that have to be solved. Whether it is clocking in at the office at 8am (kill me!), dropping the kids off at school, or the plethora of soccer games and ballet practice everyone has things to do. However, unless that is literally your only job then how are you going to find time to sell real estate? How will you contact those potential insurance clients? HOW?
Goals. Figure them out. Set them up. Watch them fall.
Every day I have my schedule managed down to the minute. Yes, that is how meticulous I am with setting each day and what I am going to accomplish. The reason? It works. It gets me through…and makes sure that in advance I am planning to succeed and blocking time for what is really important.
Step 2: Eliminate Time Wasters
I cannot tell you how much I hate traffic. Or the “unannounced” meeting with a colleague or family member. Don’t take me for a jerk, I certainly am not regarded as such, BUT my time is very important to me. I have to get things done. I have priorities. So, each and every day I work to eliminate things that literally are a waste of time. Time management, for me, is getting to everything every day – but in an organized manner and according to plan.
Here is an easy example: Have you ever found yourself watching a movie that you stumbled upon while flipping the channels? Yeah, THAT movie you have already seen 100 times. I bet you’ll tell a friend later that you “just didn’t have time” to get something done. Really? REALLY?
It starts with being honest with yourself, then you track it. Sit down, write down what you did all day every day for a week – down to the minute. I think you will start to see patterns, and amazingly you will “find time.” Does it mean you cannot watch movies or have downtime? Of course not…but schedule that in. Especially on days where you plan to be productive and make money. Understanding how you actually use your time, and eliminating things that are truly time wasters, is an important step to better time management.
Step 3: Operate in Blocks of Time
A great example of doing this wrong is the real estate agent who sits at their desk and answers emails all day. All of us know the feeling, we have 100s of emails in our inbox and not enough time to get to them all. Here is the thing – there is a difference between being busy and actually getting things done. Anyone who works in sales of any kind, or is an entrepreneur, can find a way to be busy all day long and accomplish nothing to grow your business.
For instance, if you are a real estate agent what is your most important task each day?
For instance, if you are a real estate agent what is your most important task each day? If your answer is anything but prospecting or lead generation, then in my opinion you are wrong! The activities that bring in new business should always be in the most important category, and then everything else comes after that. Show me a high producing agent, and I will show you some sort of system they have devised where they will reach out and prospect or farm on a regular basis. This is essential in the real estate sales business, everything else comes after that.
Therefore, if today is a “work day” and you are a real estate professional – sit down and make a priority list for the day. Then, and only then, place those tasks on a calendar and assign a certain amount of time to each. Work your way through the priorities and the time slots, and it is almost assured that you will have a more productive day. If you don’t get to something down the priority list, that’s ok because it just isn’t that important! You’ll get to it tomorrow.
What you will discover by time blocking is that it helps you organize days, weeks, months, quarters – LIFE and you will begin to discover how long you need to accomplish the most important of tasks needed to be successful. You can answer every email, all those texts, and even call everyone back daily if you set it up in an appropriate block of time. You’ll be amazed how much this will free you up from being attached to time wasting things like email and get you into what really helps you take your business and your life to the next level!