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Finding an Extra Hour Each Day

November 4, 2010

The real estate business isn’t just a 9 to 5 profession. It requires evenings, weekends, and frequent monitoring of email and voicemail, sometimes over the holidays. And yet, to be successful in your profession, you also need time away from your job to recharge. Managing your priorities effectively can give you that time.

Be realistic.
Have you ever booked multiple appointments, only to find yourself late to everything, rushing from one thing to the next? Or guessed that a certain task would take 15 minutes, and then found it actually took an hour? When you are overbooked, whatever you’re doing rarely gets your best effort. As one wise person once said, it really is better to do a few things extremely well than many things poorly.

Practically speaking, being realistic means scheduling more time for each task than you think it will take.

Take control of your to-do list.
If you don’t finish something on your to-do list, what do you do? Move it to the next day automatically? Stop! Tasks change, priorities change. If you don’t absolutely need to do it, remove it from the list, even if you didn’t complete it. It’s okay. Constantly ask yourself… can I delegate this? Delay it? Delete it?

Knowing the difference between important and urgent.
Most people can save about two hours of time each day by focusing on the right tasks. Steven Covey, well-known effectiveness expert, developed a grid to categorize projects.

Most of your time should be focused in the top two quadrants because, whether urgent or not, they are important. Sometimes we spend too much time on projects that are urgent, but bring little value when completed.

If you find yourself in the unimportant quadrants more time than you wish, ask yourself these questions:

– Do I have unnecessarily long phone calls or meetings? Get to the point sooner.

– Am I wasting time looking for papers or other information I need? Schedule time to organize your files – it’s urgent and important if it’s disrupting your production.

– Have I been procrastinating? The answer is yes if you are constantly in the urgent and important quadrant. Be honest – write down tasks you can do sooner so they are addressed before they become urgent.


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