If your to-do list has items that have carried over for weeks…or months (you know who you are!) then it’s time to give your schedule a good overhaul. In our fast-paced industry, effective time management isn’t a skill, it’s an absolute necessity, and we often feel like there’s not enough time to get things done. Juggling meetings, admin work, showings, marketing, and networking events on top of your responsibilities at home, family, and social life can seem impossible and overwhelming. Use our guide to find more time in your week and take back control of your schedule!
Identify and schedule the high-priority items that contribute directly to your business goals. It can wait if it isn’t a big lever in moving the needle forward for you. Schedule and knock out your most important and urgent items first like prospecting, following up with potential clients, working with active buyers, and promoting your active listings. By making sure these items are done first, it ensures that you are propelling your business forward even on days when the whirlwind takes you off course as the day goes on. Using time blocks is a great tool here to reserve those AM hours for the most important items.
🚫 Eliminate Unnecessary Meetings
Look, just because you’ve always had that meeting every Wednesday at 10 AM, doesn’t mean that you ALWAYS have to have it. Take an honest look at your recurring meetings and determine which ones can be shorter, less frequent, or (gasp!) just an email to communicate.
You can still be that hands-on, there-for-you-every-step agent and have help. When you go to the doctor the woman who is wearing the white coat performing the exam isn’t the same person checking you in, filing your paperwork, and collecting your co-pay and you don’t respect her any less, do you? Sort out which items absolutely need your voice and your brain and create a system to delegate the other items. If you aren’t in a position to hire someone to delegate to, team up with others to create a position and share the cost!
📱 Embrace Technology
Leverage your CRM software (cough, Follow Up Boss,) scheduling tools like Calendly, and task management apps to help you streamline your workflow and focus on building relationships and closing transactions. Ensure that your system is simple and there are no redundancies. For example, I didn’t realize that I was attempting to keep up with both a digital AND a paper calendar for a while (DOH!) and found time when I just committed to the digital one. Commit to one source of information and share it with those who also need that information.
📅 Set Realistic Goals and Deadlines
If you’re finding that you are pressed for time, STOP telling people that you can have that to them by tomorrow and painting yourself into a corner. If you are scrambling to get things done, change your auto-response to be “I’ll have that to you next week” or “I’ll have that to you in two weeks.” Your clients won’t balk at a clear timeline, even if it’s out of your comfort zone, and will let you know if they need something sooner.
🚧 Establish Boundaries
As a recovering people-pleaser, I appreciate how hard it is to say no. What if they stop inviting me to hang out?! What if they find another agent?! As difficult as it is to start saying no, it’s equally empowering to keep promises that you’ve made to yourself. Determine which boundaries are going to help you find more time and more ease in your week and stick to them. It’ll feel so good and they will still want to hang out with you, I promise.
📏 Use Some Rules to Help You Build a Practice
This helped me a lot and I use these regularly, first up is The Two Minute Rule is that if you can accomplish the task in two minutes or less, go ahead and do it. I love this because it sometimes took longer to pull up my to-do list and add the task and the date it was due than to actually knock out what needed to be done. The next one is always running through my head: Don’t Put It Down, Put It Away. Instead of putting something down on your catch-all counter or where it doesn’t belong, walk over to where it belongs and put it away so you don’t have to touch it twice.
🍑 Whole-A** One Thing
This one took a while for me to embrace because I just KNEW that I was being more productive by doing ten things at once. But by slowing down and giving things my full attention to complete them one at a time, I’m actually way more productive than I ever was and I feel so much better about my workday since my brain isn’t trying to do multiple things at once. I still catch myself doing three things simultaneously, but after about a year of practice those momentary lapses are brief and I get myself back on track quickly. Whole-A** one thing instead of half-a**ing multiples and see how your clients (and loved ones!) respond when they finally have your full attention.
🚬 Scrolling is the New Smoking
This probably should have been the first one on the list as it’s likely the most obvious. As much as I hate to say this because it means I need to take my own advice, but you can easily find hours and hours in your week if you ditch your scrolling habit. Take stock of exactly how long you are spending on social media each day vs how long you actually need to be on social media to promote your business and take measures to break your habit. Turn on the time limit and stick to it to use your newly found time to accomplish more of your important items with ease. This also helps you with whole-a**ing one thing at a time AND keeping those promises you make to yourself as you build firm boundaries.
🤔 Regularly Evaluate and Adjust
Overhauling your schedule is something that should be done regularly and I’d recommend at least twice a year to stay ahead of feeling rushed and overwhelmed. Set yourself a reminder and trim the fat regularly to stay in control of your schedule and time.
Last, some of these items may be harder to implement than others. Old habits can be difficult to change so give yourself some grace when you slip back into something you are attempting to stop. Progress isn’t a straight line, just get yourself back on track and do better moving forward.