14 Jun Are you spending enough time doing the right stuff?
As with most entrepreneurs, the day and life of a real estate agent is a roller coaster.
With an 87% failure rate in the industry, it’s not hard to guess that this gig can really wear you down if you let it.
Here’s the thing: making a living in real estate takes SO. MUCH. MORE. than showing a couple houses, submitting an offer, and receiving a big fat commission check.
Nope. A transaction alone can take as many as 100 hours of work to complete. That’s everything from showing houses, filing paperwork (ugh), scheduling inspections, working with inspectors and appraisers, communicating with all parties involved, taking a break to hit your head on the wall (just us?), scheduling final walkthroughs, handing over keys, and putting out fires all along the way.
And that’s only once you’ve found a committed client!
Before that, is all the work of setting up your business from the start.
Work like prospecting…a lot of it. Creating marketing and branding that sells. Networking. Doing research and continuing education. And, of course, the fun work of learning how to be your own bookkeeper, ad agency, web designer…the list never ends.
Still with me? I know, it’s a lot!
So with all of these different, important tasks that HAVE TO get done in order to run a well-rounded business, it’s easy to feel some days like we are just spinning our wheels.
How do we know we are doing the right stuff every day?
You know when you get home at the end of the day, and you finally take stock of what all went down, and that nagging voice pops up in your head…
“I could have gotten more done.”
“That was a waste of time. Look what I gave up to do that. So not worth it.”
“Another day, another skipped work out.”
“Did I even prospect enough? Did I speak to enough people?”
I hate this voice. There is no anxiety like the anxiety that comes from feeling like I’m stuck, or haven’t gotten enough done.
But, luckily, it’s just a thought. Just a little story that our ego makes up, just to bring us down.
The problem is, a lot of times we are just spinning blindly through our days, in total “reaction mode”, responding to all the things that feel urgent, and ignoring those big, important priorities.
And even worse yet? Most of the time, we don’t even realize we are doing it!
We are getting A LOT more done than we realize. Just, maybe not the right stuff.
It’s true. Most of us overestimate what we can actually do in a day, and underestimate what we can really do in a year (spoiler alert: a lot can change in a year!).
The fact is, sometimes we are getting a lot of stuff done…but maybe we just aren’t getting the right stuff done.
So what to do? How about this: I have a painless exercise that a mentor taught us to help bring back clarity and put our priorities in focus when it feels like we are just spinning our wheels, not getting where we need to go.
It’s all about having clarity on the actions that actually matter, and determining how much time we are committing to completing those tasks.
Step one: Determine your priorities.
Get real here.
What are your five main priorities, that HAVE to happen every day or every week?
I’m not just talking about the work stuff. Yes, you might wear 40 different hats each week when you’re on the job, but there are other areas of life that are important, too. And those other areas have a way of feeding our spirit in a way that makes us more productive, all the way around.
Your five priorities might be any combination or variation of:
- Love and intimacy (marriage, relationships, etc.)
- Spirituality or Religion
- Education/Personal growth
- Leisure/fun time
- Additional hobbies (I’ve got a friend who’s REALLY into hunting. That kind of thing.)
- Etc. Etc. Etc.
*Now, the business one gets tricky. There are a lot of subsections there, especially with us real estate agents/small business owners. But we will get to that in another post.
Once you’ve determined your five priorities, rate them in order of importance from 1-5. Mine looks like this:
- Health/Fitness (If I’m not taking care of myself, I’m useless)
- Education/Personal Growth
- Travel & Leisure
These change from time to time. As life happens and priorities change, this order needs to shift, so it’s important to swing back and take a look periodically. More on that in a sec.
Step 2: Now, track your activities to determine how aligned (or not) your actions are to your priorities.
Don’t overthink this. Track your activities in 30 minute increments every day for a week. I find it easiest to keep this tracker I created as an editable PDF up on my desktop throughout the week, and update during the day as I pop on to the computer.
By the end of 7 days, you should have a completely filled out time tracker. Some blocks of time will be more than 30 minutes (long meetings or seminars?), but you shouldn’t have any gaps. Even lunch and coffee breaks get a space!
I also like color coding where I can. There are certain activities I do every day (workout, eat, check emails, prospect, writing, etc.) that I will designate a different color each. This way I get a better high-level view and it doesn’t look so overwhelming after 7 days of time tracking!
Step 3: Spot the trends, and start tweaking!
You have something glorious in your hands after 7 days of time tracking.
IT’S DATA. Raw, beautiful, unperturbed data!
No, this is not a time for judgment and self-loathing. This is a beautiful opportunity for you to get crystal clear on where your time is being spent, and how you can tweak things here and there to make sure that your days are in alignment with your top five priorities.
Isn’t that POWERFUL??
One of three things will happen here.
Outcome Number 1: You sit back, looking at all the glorious data, and think, “Wow, I’m a total powerhouse for getting all of this work done! I’m accomplishing much more than I thought with my time. Maybe a few tweaks here and there, and I’m set on my way towards crushing my goals!”
If this is you? Then YOU GO, Glenn Coco! Make your tweaks, pass go, and collect $200. Schedule this activity again on your calendar for 90 days from now.
Outcome Number 2: There are some holes. You spent a bit too much time here, neglected your priorities there. You’ve got some work to do. BUT – you also have a roadmap on exactly where you need to make changes.
If this is you? Take about an hour to plan out what your days need to look like for you to feel satisfied by the end of the week. You’re already on the path towards your higher and more productive self! Schedule this activity again on your calendar for two weeks from now. Rinse and repeat.
Outcome Number 3: You’re a mix of the above two outcomes. You’re crushing it on your business, but there are some areas in your personal life that could use some serious attention. Or, perhaps it’s the other way around? You see some definite room for improvement for prospecting and catching leftover admin work. Perhaps you can delegate some of the admin work to make more room for the needle-pushing tasks prospecting. That way, you will get to address the important work stuff while keeping room for your personal priorities.
If this is you? This is probably most people. Take an hour and start seeing what you can delegate in your business to make room for the priorities that are lacking, and preserve the time you are already spending in the right areas. Schedule this activity again on your calendar for one month from now. Rinse and repeat.
It’s important to make time periodically to do this exercise. It’s SO helpful, and gives such a great pulse on your business and life, without brining a bunch of overwhelming numbers on to the table. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about action.
Your success has everything to do with the actions you take, day in and day out, and how they then affect your bottom line.
Also, don’t forget:
Hoping this gives you the clarity and guidance you need to move TOWARDS your highest and best self!
All my best,
PS. If you want to take your education further with me, check out my signature online business course at www.JoinTREM.com.