Real estate professionals and jazz musicians appear to have little in common, but the great jazz trumpet player Miles Davis found synergy with his quote on time management: “Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing.”
Davis was far from the only famous person with sage advice about the efficient use of time, and for good reason: It’s one of the few aspects of life over which we have no control. Humans lack the ability to add hours to the day or days to the week, so our solution is to make the most of that which is available to us.
So, look sharp and take our advice for making the most of the hours allotted in each day so you can reap the financial rewards.
- Make best use of technology.Technology provides many great tools, but sometimes we need to be reminded that it works for us, rather than vice-versa. Do not let e-mail and text override your daily tasks be creating a false sense of immediacy: Not everything needs to be responded to at once. Set aside a period or two each day to respond, and if you need to turn off your phone or give your tablet temporarily to someone else so you can focus, so be it.
- Check your environment.Do you have an office conducive to your concentration or are distractions looming around every corner? Some of us may find background noise or music inspiring and motivating while it throws others completely off game. Figure out how you work best and take inventory of your surroundings. Do you have a private office, or do you work in a cube farm? If it’s the former, be clear with co-workers that a closed door means you are hard at work and if it’s the latter, communicate your boundaries. If you have an assistant, use him or her as a gatekeeper, ensuring your day won’t be interrupted when you are cranking through calls or setting appointments.
- Keep your personal life out of the office.We all have the occasional emergency – a sick child, a personal doctor’s appointment – that can only be taken care of during the work week, but it goes without saying you should schedule as much as possible after work hours or on the weekend. One of the pluses to our industry is flexibility: If you’ll be holding an open house on a Sunday, you can squeeze in some errands another day. Learning the art of triage – assigning items different levels of urgency – is a key skill for success.
Finally, plan your schedule out before your week starts, and do your best to stick to it. A foundation of effective time management is one of the most important aspects of your success.