5 Steps to Maximize Your Productivity
Real estate agents are always looking for an edge, some way to enhance their productivity and effectiveness. But often, they can feel overwhelmed with to-do lists that seem to grow exponentially, obscuring any sense that important things are getting accomplished.
We suggest you consider these five steps to improve your productivity:
TRACK TIME SPENT ON TASKS
If you’re like most people (of course, you aren’t), you do a poor job of estimating and reporting how much time you spend on tasks. In fact, research indicates that less than one-in-five people are able to accurately estimate the passage of time. Today, more than ever, we are bombarded with tasks that can easily double as play and become major time-sucks. Let’s take social media. If Facebook is important to your prospecting efforts, you are going to want to monitor your feed daily. But it doesn’t take much for that daily monitoring process to devolve into a wholesale, social media “catch up” session. Stay focused on the task at hand and don’t get lured into what can be fun and entertaining.
TAKE A BREAK OR FOUR
The longer the tasks, the more difficult it is to maintain concentration, which ultimately erodes both productivity and quality. Schedule numerous breaks throughout your day. Seriously, schedule them as you would a meeting or conference call so that you get that reminder on your phone saying: “Take a break at 2PM.” A break will not only energize you. It will also improve your concentration and performance. And by all means, don’t spend your precious break sitting at your desk checking email or Facebook. Get up, move around, walk the halls, if you’re at home, walk the dogs, get some fresh air.
CUT BACK ON MEETINGS
According to a study by Atlassian, the average American worker spends more than 30 hours each month in unproductive meetings, which translates to nearly one lost day each week. There is no question meetings are the biggest drain in productivity and profitability. Yes, we need meetings. But if you’re the person in charge, ask yourself some simple questions before sending out that Outlook schedular. Is this meeting imperative to our operation? Can we gain the same benefits through emails or maybe a quick, focused conference call? Your team can be doing more productive things instead of spending hours in meetings.
ABANDON THE QUEST FOR PERFECTION
We’ve all done this: spend hours (days?) working and re-working a simple email in search of just the right closing line, Why, because most of us have a flimsy, irrational illusion of perfection, the notion that by spending an extra hour looking for the right words, we will somehow appear as superstars to our fellows. The key to almost any task is to crank it out as quickly as possible, then move on. Indeed, certain tasks (a major presentation) require a certain degree of thoughtful contemplation. But the truth is, you’re better off pounding through a rough first draft quickly, then re-visiting and refining your original thoughts, perhaps incorporating comments from your team members.
STOP TRYING TO MULTI-TASK
Despite plenty of research, most of us still hold on to the myth of multi-tasking, believing OUR way is the right way. Well, we hate to break it to you, but YOUR way isn’t better than anybody else’s because our brains (all of them) are not hard-wired for multi-tasking. The research shows that attempting to several tasks at the same time can result in lost time and productivity. So, stop the insanity and focus on one thing at a time.
Every agent wants to be more productive. But most of us also believe the myths we’ve been fed about how to achieve greater productivity. In reality, speed is not the answer. Slow down, take breaks and focus on fewer things if you really want to drive your productivity.