Being in charge of your own schedule is one of the hardest things about being an independent real estate salesperson.
Do you ever feel like, for instance:
Have trouble deciding what to do first thing in the morning?
Are mired in paperwork and overburdened?
Spend too much time anticipating the ring of the phone?
Lacking any leads?
Without any form of direction, it can seem like we have no control over our time at all because there are so many things to balance and juggle.
When it's time to work, you may intensely focus on one item at a time if you treat your attention with respect. And time can be exchanged for intensity.
How therefore can we harness this intensity for greater efficiency? It is referred to as time blocking. I'm sure you've heard of it, but today I'm going to show you how to use it effectively so that your calendar is always full of enjoyable activities and family time rather than being empty.
I'll give you eight suggestions that will make it simple for you to start time blocking immediately. Let's begin...
Tip #1: At The End Of Every Quarter, Perform A Full Schedule Audit
Blocking off from time to time is the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of time blocking. The question of whether the chicken or the egg came first may sound puzzling. It is irrelevant. Just ACT!
This is a significant commitment because you will give up two hours of your time in exchange for perhaps a hundred hours of it back.
Review your time management from the previous month and make a note of:
- Where you felt your time was most productive
- How much time do you typically spend on each task
- Where you could spend your time more wisely
- When you work best on certain things throughout the day
You must first and foremost decide what your primary objective for the following quarter will be. Decide what you could realistically yet ambitiously do in the following three months if you have a goal for the year (or something even bigger than that). Next, decide how much it would cost each week to get there.
What new procedures or systems are you going to put in place? Now take a look at the activities that have been a waste of time and consider how you could make them more effective. Maybe you could prevent them from completing additional, comparable tasks? Or consider this idea: Could you DELEGATE them, perhaps?
Last but not least, be sure to block out time each Sunday to update your calendar for the upcoming week.
Tip #2: Decide When You Are Not Working
Now for the enjoyable part...
Discuss the following with your loved ones, close friends, coach, or mastermind group:
- Appointments with doctors or others
- Spending time with loved ones
After all, that, let's take it to the daily level and enquire as to what time you will end each day of work. The goal of time blocking is to increase productivity and gain control so that you can eventually work less. Set a period when you "turn off" from work and devote yourself to personal obligations or relaxation.
You should designate one hue specifically for wind-down time and another for leisure time. The goal is to fill every space on your calendar. But don't lose your mind here... Avoid being overly rigorous or specific when planning your leisure time because research shows that doing so may hinder your capacity to unwind.
Tip #3: Use The Same Effective Methods To Begin And End Your Day
The way you start the day determines how much will get done that day. And how you finish one day determines how you'll begin the next.
The optimal times to take your MEDS are during these hours. Which are:
Create a morning routine that suits you and set it up so that it runs automatically the moment you wake up, before anything else. You might mention:
- Running or visiting the gym
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Affirmations to say
- Establishing spiritual ties
We previously agreed that you should have a time when you stop working, but you also need a nightly routine to make sure you get enough sleep to be focused the next day. Here are some sensible choices:
- Imagination while in bed
- Stretching before donning pajamas
- Tea with camomile and a book
Tip #4: Seize Opportunities In The Morning
Although I'm talking about business potential here, your morning routine is for your health and welfare. Consider creating a second-morning routine that begins the moment you step outside the house. You should mention stuff like:
- On the way to work, listening to an audiobook or podcast
- Researching the MLS
- Keeping Current Matters or another real estate news publication
- Using one hour of power to make reservations
- Daily sending of your CMA
- Making a social media post
The most crucial thing in this situation is that you make a decision and then stick to your schedule without missing any appointments.
And yet... Plan to do your most important tasks in the mornings before lunch. I refer to your independent work as everything you accomplish on your own. This leads right to...
Tip #5: Have A Contingency Plan And Reserve The Afternoons For Appointments
Segmenting your day is not only something you should do for the sake of doing it. You sometimes have no control over appointments. They occasionally get canceled, rescheduled, or run over time.
Time blocking may be intended to increase productivity, but if you overbook yourself, you can be setting yourself up for failure. During the first part of the day, keep the structure rigid, but allow for some extra space during the second. You never know what kinds of calls or life circumstances might occur.
Always give yourself enough time to prepare:
- New leads' phone calls
- Meetings lasting too long
- Whatever may be taking place in your life
Additionally, because we all believe in being prepared for everything, make a backup plan in case an appointment needs to be canceled. How are you going to spend that time?
Tip #6: Schedule Time to Work On The Business
Working On your business, the daily tasks you must complete to keep it operating is distinct from this. I'm referring to growth, system optimization, and understanding where you are and how to get there.
- Set aside time each week for:
- Learning experiences (e.g., books, etc.)
- Planning and creating goals
- Talking to your group or recruitment
Tip #7: Color-Code Everything
Although it is a vital component, color coding has more benefits than just making your calendar seem nice. Because you'll be looking at your calendar frequently, it MUST be aesthetically appealing. This is made simpler when the schedule is a work of art that you are proud of.
Spend some time selecting your favorite colors for various jobs. One individual I know actually experimented with pastel hue shades for several hours before she found the perfect combination. It's entirely up to you whether you want to start your day with vibrant, warm hues and transition into colder ones as the day draws to a close.
Since a simple white or red calendar can make all of the chores on it appear the same from a distance, color coding will also make it easier for you to distinguish between them.
A nice illustration of how to color-code categories is shown here:
- Getting up early or caring for your health (blue)
- Family time (pink)
- Working for the company (light green)
- Working IN the company (dark green)
- Slumbering or leisure time (grey)
Tip #8: Establish An Accountability System
Even though I work as a professional coach and spend my days holding agents responsible, that doesn't make me exempt from responsibility.
Although I'm the CEO of my firm, I've given my executive assistant, the authority to manage my schedule and keep me on track (and if you've met Ruby, you know she's more than capable of doing that).
If you don't currently have a schedule enforcer, think about:
- Give your assistant the authority to control you.
- Create an accountability relationship where you speak on the phone every morning and evening to discuss your plans, actual actions, failures, and future improvements.
- Tell your children that if you don't finish all of your time-blocked tasks, you'll give them $50.
- Or yes… Employ a coach
- Become in charge of your life.
I'm aware that this seems like a lot. Do you really want to take the time to plan out every detail of your day, get as much done as you can, and then live in constant terror of your assistant becoming involved?
Pull the emphasis back for the time being. When time blocking, we are compelled to think in terms of hours and days. Consider the month, year, and decade.
This is your life, not just your "time." It matters how you spend it. Without the procedures to make them a reality, goals are nothing more than hollow dreams. It's been claimed that if you have good habits, success will come to you naturally and you won't even need goals.
So choose a time to begin scheduling by going to your calendar. Good fortune.