10 Tips on How to Better Manage Your Time
Being a successful real estate agent takes more than market savvy and a winning personality. Because real estate is a fast-paced business with huge amounts of paperwork flying between multiple parties on multiple deals in any given week, excellent time management skills are a must if you’re going to get ahead of the competition.
If you frequently feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day to complete the tasks at hand, you need tricks to organize your workload and use your time effectively. Implementing better task flow routines will reduce your stress level and maximize your productivity.
Here are 10 tips on how you can better manage your time.
1.) Delegate strategically.
We all sometimes take on more work than we can complete promptly. In order to avoid stress and burnout, it’s important to delegate appropriate tasks to your subordinates. Not only will this communicate to your staff that you trust and value them, but it will also set a good example for them as they make their way up the ranks.
2.) Prioritize daily.
When you arrive at your desk, review the items on your plate for the day. Take a moment to prioritize items on the list on a scale from 1 to 4, say, where items marked 1 must be completed urgently and items marked 4 could wait a few days. Then work your way through your list in descending order. This will prevent you from losing an urgent task in the shuffle.
3.) Set up systems to manage incoming tasks.
During your workday, you’re going to receive incoming work that needs to be turned around quickly. Make sure you and your staff have systems in place that will tag and add these tasks to your prioritized list for that day.
4.) Stick to a schedule.
Once you’ve established a schedule that has you answering emails from 8:45 to 9:45, it’s important that you stick to your intended schedule as much as possible. Once you start making excuses to shuffle your day around, it doesn’t take more than a week or two for your once carefully arranged days to slip back into a flurry of chaos. Guard your schedule preciously; it’s a fundamental step toward true success.
5.) Don’t multitask.
Bad news for those of us who pride ourselves on our multitasking skills: research has revealed that while human beings can switch rapidly between tasks, it’s impossible to give your attention to more than one item at a time. With this in mind, it’s far better to dedicate an uninterrupted few minutes to a task than to interrupt your own flow repeatedly by splitting your brain’s resources.
6.) Establish deadlines and respect them.
Just like your schedule, your deadlines are only going to reduce your stress if you truly stick to them. Front-load where possible so that there are fewer items on your list as you approach hard due dates.
7.) Reduce your stress levels.
During your work week, try to eliminate habits that add to your stress levels. Is that pile of paper on the corner of your desk bothering you? Find a better system for handing incoming papers. If checking the news sends your blood pressure skyrocketing, don’t check it before or during your work day. Give all of yourself to the important tasks at hand.
Mindfulness meditation, exercise, and spending time with your loved ones can all be excellent ways to reduce your daily stress.
8.) Take care of your body.
An unhealthy real estate agent simply isn’t going to be the most competitive agent in the game. On the other hand, sleeping 7 – 8 hours a night, eating your fruits and veggies, getting enough exercise, and hydrating throughout the day are all healthy habits that can help propel you to the top. A healthier body is going to focus better, work harder, and make better use of the most productive hours in the day.
9.) Embrace the power of “No.”
Sometimes the best way to prevent overload is just to say “No” when it’s appropriate. Learn to pay attention to subtle cues in your body: increased heart rate, tensing muscles (especially in the jaw, neck, and shoulders), or held breath can all be cues that your brain is telling you, “This task is going to stress me out!”
When that happens, it’s best to be straightforward and kindly, yet firmly, refuse. There is nothing wrong with saying no, but flaking after committing can do real damage to your reputation.
10.) Communicate about progress proactively.
Even with your best efforts, there are times when you’ll run into delays or experience setbacks. When that happens, prevent a wall of inquiries by reaching out proactively and letting the affected party know that the timeline has changed. Most of the time, this simple, considerate act will smooth ruffled feathers and preserve a positive professional atmosphere.
We hope that this list of tips will help you manage your day-to-day with a bit more zen. Begin by creating a comprehensive list of tasks, prioritizing them, and delegating where you can. Next, schedule tasks, set hard deadlines, and schedule some well-earned breaks.
Avoid distracting habits like multitasking and checking your phone compulsively, and you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing more, improving your professional reputation, and bettering the working relationship between members of your team. Stick with it, and in less than a month, these routines will have become habit for you and your maximally productive office!