Always running late? Tired of mumbling to yourself about not having enough time?
Everyone has the same number of minutes in a day as you do, but they may get a lot more done! So what’s the problem? It’s not TIME management, it’s YOU management.
It’s all about having a plan that includes a couple of simple habits that will make an enormous difference in your productivity, profitability and oh yes…the fun factor of your life!
So if you are ready to make a few small changes, here are 12 tips to help get a grip on the time issue:
1. Plan to fail or fail to plan? Start out with some control and take the first 30 minutes of every day to plan your day. This is the most important time to set your focus, make a list of action items and “get ‘er done!” Don’t start your day until you complete this powerful activity. Neen James, expert on productivity says if you invest even 1% of your day today for tomorrow, you will make yourself 10 times more effective. (Folding Time, How to Achieve Twice as Much in Half the Time)
2. Use the power of PRIORITY. If someone offered you all expense paid trip to a tropical destination if you could get your top 3 activities completed by the end of the day, you would find a way to do it FAST! If you are like most of us, your list simply grows and grows. Resist the temptation to get it “all” done and concentrate on the top 3 money-making activities for your day. Just do it!
3. See where the time goes. Use a color-coding system to rate your day. Print out a simple daily hourly planner. (Free ones here!) Get 4 colored highlighters: pink, yellow, green and blue. Here is how to plan for more profitability:
- Block out your personal time with the PINK highlighter. As an example, you might start at 7:00-8:30 AM as personal time and again after 8:00 PM.
- Use YELLOW to highlight that time spent on preparation: preparing CMAs, going on property caravans, local community research, setting up open houses, sending direct mail, video production, etc.
- Use the GREEN highlighter to review the time you actually work with customers or clients, times that result in MONEY! Activities like showing property, making prospecting calls, writing offers, going to closings or working referrals are GREEN time.
- Define the administrative areas with a BLUE highlighter, like attending office meetings.
When you use color coding to see where your time is being spent, you get a quick picture of where your dollar productive activities really are. Block out at least 3 hours of GREEN time a day to make more profits.
4. Set different days for different activities. Try to get into the habit of making mornings and afternoons your prospecting call times, say from say 9-11:00 and again from 2:00-3:00. Use other days to plug in your prospecting activities by types; Monday for web leads, Tuesdays for expired listings, Wednesday for FSBOS, Thursdays for referral follow up with strategic partners and Fridays for past client calls. Set a specific time to check for new prospects on your website at least every other day and budget a fixed amount of time to do so. This will give you boundaries and help get the job done.
5. Get organized! Save time by having your pre-listing packets printed and ready to go except for the personalization letter that you can print from home or office. Keep a few packets in a protected briefcase in your trunk for convenience and speed.
6. Get a good video camera or iPad and start shooting video of new inventory for prospects. It take just a few minutes to introduce your prospective buyers to a new listing and get them involved when they can see for themselves that you are constantly looking for new properties. This saves a ton of time as you can upload in real time, while showing the customers how hard you are working for them.
7. Learn to say NO to interruptions. Put a sign on your door, leave the office and hit a Starbucks, or go to a library to be alone. If you don’t take control of your time, someone else will!
8. Budget time for learning and self -improvement. You can always learn something new to help you expand your skill set. Invest even 10 minutes a day on learning new scripts for objections, or listen to audio books while driving. Investing in you always pays off BIG!
9. Set up a weekly and monthly calendar in advance. This exercise will help you to “schedule” those activities that help promote you as being the resource and celebrity authority in your marketplace. Check the upcoming local community calendar for events that you can “cover” with video or Facebook posts, like local parades, community charitable events, block parties, festivals, farmer’s markets, park programs, etc.
10. Get plugged in. When you plug in the events in your calendar, you are better positioned to write about them both upcoming and reporting after the event. Posting this information and your “review” is editorial content for your blogs, Facebook and Twitter channels. Social media should be a large part of your marketing plan but you really need to understand what you want from your online channels before posting without purpose. Posting resource information will encourage engagement and thus improve your KLOUT scores by helping prospects find you.
11. Find a system. Use a good book keeping system to help avoid the pile of receipts at the end of every month. QuickBooks, Quicken, or Neat Receipts will help you to save loads of time by automagically setting up your reporting for better financial control and tax information.
12. Remind yourself. Use your smart phone’s REMINDER services to help you stay focused on scheduled activities. Siri does a great job of reminding you of daily activities.
And most importantly, do give yourself some “breathing” time so you can avoid feeling overwhelmed and cranky! Make this time different. With small steps you will see HUGE impact. It’s your life….design it to fit YOU!
How do you strategize to beat stress and get more done?