People with a “real job” (that phrase is a whole other blog post!) have a boss. When you get to work you have some choice of what to do with your time, but many of the projects are defined for you to one degree or another. Time management in the world of sales and self employment is more difficult because this isn’t as true. Our tasks fall into two categories:
- Immediate client needs (Reactive) – return that phone call, show that house, send that addendum, design that flyer.
- Growing your business (Proactive) – This one is harder to define. What works the best? Networking? Calling your sphere of influence? Calling for sale by owners? Buying leads online and then following up with those leads? There should probably be some sort of marketing plan (which you can always make tomorrow) but in the meantime, isn’t there something under #1 that needs to get done?
It can be a struggle to get to proactive activities because reactive activities are so much harder to ignore! Ignoring proactive activities might work for a day or a week, but there will be heavy consequences in the long term.
Managing time effectively really means that you are maximizing results everyday. You can really only do this if you are clear on what results you are after. If successfully providing a living from real estate for yourself and your family is your result, then make sure that time is devoted every day to proactive tasks. This takes more thought and energy than reactive tasks, so the more structured you can make this, the more effective you will be.
This is a constant struggle, but a few things that have helped me are:
- Make a to do list everyday. Once you have an idea of what tasks need to be done then schedule them, estimating how long things will take you. Allow “flex” time for phone calls or tasks that are time sensitive but you didn’t know about them at the beginning of the day.
- While planning your to do list, make sure to incorporate lead generation activities and guard that time like a bull dog, don’t put it on the bottom of the priorities list just because it isn’t screaming at you like other tasks can. For me, I need to do it first before I’m “allowed” to move on to other tasks.
- While doing proactive activities, limit or eliminate distractions. It’s ok to not return a text for 30 minutes, it really is. Turn your phone off, close your e-mail, shut your door. It’s amazing how much you can get done in a short amount of time when that’s all you’re doing!
If you’re struggling with gaining clarity with what to do in your proactive time that will give you maximum results, give me a call. I’m here to help!E-mail me a Question
Julie Grevengoed,broker/owner of JGR Real Estate