Time Management: Do You Have Enough Time?
Time. It’s the most important resource you have and you don’t even know how much of it you have left! So why do so many of us WASTE it? Why do we feel we don’t ever have enough?
Well, how carefully are you managing it? I know agents who have multi-year financial plans. They know exactly how much money they need to retire, or invest in real estate, or put their kids through college, yet they can’t tell me how many hours of time they have available tomorrow. Why? Because they don’t even try to keep track of it!
These agents are BUSY! They run around all day like the world is ending, making calls, sending emails, attending meetings, and a million other things. They are frustrated with how often work disrupts their fun with friends or family. They are burnt out with how much they have to do to earn each dollar that comes into their pocket.
Stop Blowing Off Your Time Management
Sound familiar? I hope not! But if it does, I’ve got a suggestion for you. Stop blowing off your time management! I know it sucks, sitting down each week to meticulously map out exactly what you need to get done and putting it in the schedule. Is it really better to try to hold it all in your head though? I’d imagine it isn’t. In fact, I know from personal experience!
I used to be that guy. I had a million commitments floating through my head any given day. It was so much to track that I’d sometimes miss meetings entirely! While I was “busy” I wasn’t getting the results I thought I should.
What Has Changed?
I started making a list of every single thing I needed to do the next week, including the nitty gritty details like getting a healthy lunch or working out. Then I’d mark off how long each would take next to it in increments as short as 15 minutes but typically half or whole hours. From there I’d decide which ones were the least flexible (such as recurring team meetings, trainings, open houses, etc), which were somewhat flexible (like a meeting with a colleague that I hadn’t set yet or grabbing lunch), and what was completely flexible (like doing the laundry or making my schedule for next week. Yep! Scheduling goes in the schedule too!).
Once I had the list I’d add up all the hours of work and remove things if it was too much, keeping in mind that some new things will pop up so I need to leave space for them. Before even putting it all into my calendar I’d take a big sigh of relief, because I already knew I could get it all done! Imagine starting every week with a sense of confidence that you’ve got every base covered! It’s a game changing experience.
I’d then add the least flexible items to my schedule followed by the other categories. Doing it in this order ensured I never had to move things around as I made the schedule. Then, just execute it all week!
“I’m Too Busy”
Now, some of you are probably thinking “sure, that worked for you! But I’m SO BUSY! I get calls all the time that interrupt my best laid plans! There’s no way to plan a week like that.”
But that’s simply not true! You just need to allow for more flexibility in those cases. Put less on the initial list, or add things you think will happen but don’t know for sure yet. You can always move them around as the week progresses! By seeing your works as visible blocks, some of which are flexible, you learn to adjust them to incorporate new projects.
For instance, if you planned to create your weekly marketing video on Monday from 3-5 PM but got called to do a showing, just open the schedule and move the video! You should leave plenty of buffer time (white space) in your schedule to account for those challenges. Find a two hour slot on Tuesday or Wednesday and move the video project to it. Do that before leaving to do the showing btw! Once it’s moved you won’t have to worry at all about when you’ll get the video done.
And that’s it! It’s about an hour of work each week that will drastically change how you feel. You’ll get more done in less time with less stress and more confidence. Isn’t that worth an hour of thinking through what you need to get done next week?
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