How Are You Spending Your Time?

By
Real Estate Agent with EXIT Realty Legacy

We've all heard and said it: "Yup, time sure does get by fast." A cogent observation indeed. Time is probably the single greatest gift and resource any of us have and yet how often to we loose track of it, and look around wondering where it went.

I propose that a better question to ask is, "How did I spend it?" Wouldn't it be great, at the beginning of every day, to always have a clear & firm idea of what you are going to accomplish that day? And, at the end of each one, to be able to look back and KNOW that you spent it well?

Time management is nothing more than event control. Control your events, and you've managed your time. I know -- stuff happens -- unexpected stuff. And that can and does disrupt the best-laid plans. But, you'd be surprised how much of that you can eliminate by simply habitually making, scheduling, and working a plan. So, in that vein, here are few thoughts:

First, I urge the diligent use of some type of scheduling tool, whether it be a PDA, a Daytimer, (or Franklin Planner, if you prefer) or even a simple pocket calendar like one of my best (and most technologically inhibited) friends who's been in real estate going on 30 years, still uses and keeps tucked in his hip pocket to this very day. It doesn't really matter, as long as you have and USE something.

Then, using that tool, build a Categorized Daily Schedule. Ideally this schedule will be built around your business plan. We all have one of those -- right? It will include categories like Income-Producing Activities (you know, prospecting, door knocking, listing appointments, contract writing and the like), Communications Activities (playing phone tag, answering emails, sending cards & letters to clients, prospects, suspects, etc.), Maintenance Activities ( updating files and other such paper work) and so forth and so on.

Next, there's another thing I think just about every REALTOR on the planet has, and that's a "To Do List." Some of us keep them in our PDA's or our computers. Others scribble them on scraps of paper and struggle to keep track of the paper. Still others just try to carry them around in our heads. And, if you're anything like me when I operate in that mode, the list just tends to get longer and longer, while relatively little of it gets done.

However you keep that list, here's what you must do with it in order to become an effective time manager: Simply put your To Do List . . . IN your newly-created and categorized Daily Schedule. That's right, take each one of those little "to do" items and place them firmly within an appropriate category and time slot IN your schedule. See, that pins the occurrence of that particular event to a specific time, and voila! It gets done.

Now that all segues nicely into the last point I want to make here this evening. That is: Become a Do-It-Now person! (If you haven't already, that is.) What I mean by that is, when it's time to do something -- whatever it is -- do it and do it right now!

Doing it right now is the opposite of procrastination. Procrastination steals energy -- emotional energy -- and thereby diminishes momentum. We all know what it's like to have those little (or big) half-done or undone chores nagging away at us, disrupting our peace of mind and just plain making us tired. I once heard a lady say that nagging is very much like being nibbled TO DEATH by a duck. And, I do believe she nailed it.

So, in closing, may I simply summarize with the following:

1. Time Management = Event Control

2. Develop a Daily schedule designed around your business plan.

3. Commit to your schedule!

4. Be Task Oriented - put each item on your “To Do” list IN your schedule.

5 .Schedule Breaks and Down Time.

6. Track how you spend your time – task by task.

7. Analyze how you spend your time.

8. Adust your schedule so that at least half of it is focused on income-producing activities.

9. Procrastination steals emotional energy.

10. Become a Do-It-Now person.

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Kaleb Kunz 09/27/2008 11:01 PM
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Rainmaker
327,873
Dinah Lee Griffey
Windermere Peninsula Properties - Allyn, WA
Managing Broker Windermere Peninsula Properties

Great point. I should be upstairs with my kids right now instead of Blogging! Thanks again!~

Sep 27, 2008 10:39 PM #1
Rainmaker
583,238
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

I think time management is the biggest hurdle for all of us - I know it is for me.  I am about halfway through a 12 week training program in which time management and scheduling is a big part.  I can do everything else they want me to do with very little trouble, but the schedule I plan is never the schedule of what I actually do at the scheduled time!  I'm improving, but the things that throw me off are interruptions and distractions.  I have developed some tricks to deal with them and now it is just a matter of developing the habit and not getting sidetracked.  Sounds easy, but isn't so easy.

Sep 27, 2008 10:39 PM #2
Rainer
28,517
Tina M. Haugen
Century 21 Martinez & Associates - Las Vegas, NV
REALTOR, CFAC, SFR

thanks for the tips

Sep 27, 2008 10:42 PM #3
Rainer
32,711
Kaleb Kunz
Logan, UT

Loved the tips! This one's getting reblogged for sure!

Logan Utah Real Estate

Sep 27, 2008 11:01 PM #4
Rainmaker
489,778
Sergio Rebollo Jr.
Real Estate TeamMates - Miami, FL

time management is tough but you cannot go without a reasonable TO DO list every day in the morning to keep you on track.

Sep 27, 2008 11:02 PM #5
Rainmaker
175,396
Leander McClain
North East, MD
Cecil & Harford County Realtor

Dave,

How are you my fellow EXIT Realty associate.  Good to see you out here in the rain. 

Time is a precious commodity.  Everyday, God blesses us with another 24 hours.  How we use that time is up to us.  We can be productive or we can squander it.  I believe you have given some great tips on how to be productive.  Thanks again.

Have a great day

Leander

Sep 29, 2008 06:37 AM #6
Rainer
12,231
Dave Hamill
EXIT Realty Legacy - Prescott, AZ
Prescott, Arizona Real Estate

Dinah, Susan, Tina, Kaleb, Sergio, & Leander -- Thanks folks for taking the time to read the post and give so much positive feedback.

All the best of success and happiness to all of you out there in the "rainy" world of real estate!

Dave

Sep 29, 2008 09:18 AM #7
Rainmaker
489,778
Sergio Rebollo Jr.
Real Estate TeamMates - Miami, FL

Dave and Leander....I didn't realize that you were also part of the Exit family!!!  Glad to see that!!!

Sep 29, 2008 09:32 AM #8
Rainer
50,511
LS Rogers Realty
LS Rogers Realty - Richardson, TX

Wonderful tips. Time management is our daily hurdle. And now adding AR to the menu..... Oh my!

Sep 30, 2008 06:08 PM #9
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Rainer
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Dave Hamill

Prescott, Arizona Real Estate
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