If you're in real estate, your days are often unpredictable. The key to being a more productive agent is figuring out how to get back in control of your day. Success is achieved one day at a time...but only if you spend each day on meaningful work.
That doesn’t mean working 60-hour weeks. It doesn’t mean running on four hours of sleep. It’s not about working more—rather, it’s about making each minute that you are working count.
Here’s how I suggest doing that:
1) Identify when you are most focused.
According to Dan Ariely, the two most productive hours of the day are right after we wake up. Some successful entrepreneurs say they are most productive Friday evening, in the middle of the night, or at lunchtime.
Spend a week paying attention to when you feel most focused and alert. Then block out that time each day to spend on your most cognitively demanding work that will impact your real estate business.
I like how author Tony Schwartz puts it: “Manage your energy, not your time.”
2) Develop a morning routine
One of the most transformative habits a real estate agent can adopt to boost productivity is to develop a great morning routine. This should be something that you can do repetitively every morning, and it should precede when your actual day’s work starts.
If you’re one of those people who is most productive the first two hours of the morning, go ahead and get some work done, follow up on your new real estate leads, but then dedicate the third hour to your morning routine.
Get inspired by these morning routines of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs:
- Throughout his presidency, Barack Obama started each day with a workout, followed by breakfast with his wife and daughters.
- Bill Gates spends an hour each morning walking on the treadmill while watching instructional videos from the Teaching Company.
- Arianna Huffington practices yoga and spends some time setting her intentions for the day.
For more ideas, check out mymorningroutine.com.
3) Develop an evening routine
An evening routine is just as important for productivity. Dedicate an hour or two of your evening to an activity that helps you transition from the work day to a state of relaxation...which will result in a good night’s sleep.
An article by Entrepreneur.com on the evening routines of successful entrepreneurs offers some great ideas:
- Reflect: Take a cue from Benjamin Franklin and end your day with reflection, asking yourself, “What good did I do today? What improvements can I make to get closer to my goal?”
- Plan: Take some time each evening in your CRM to review your schedule for the following day and plan your top priorities.
- Do something you enjoy: You work hard for a reason—so you can have the resources to enjoy your life. Make time each day for family, friends or hobbies.
4) Stick to your morning and evening routines…no skipping.
This isn’t an either-or option—one doesn’t work without the other. Skipping your evening routine will mess up your sleep and make for a crappy morning. Skipping your morning routine will hurt your productivity throughout the day, throw your schedule off-track, and prevent you from properly engaging in your evening routine.
Keep it going on the weekends, too. That way, you won’t be frazzled and unprepared when Monday morning rolls around.
A real estate agent’s work schedule fluctuates so much throughout the week. That’s why you should use the early morning and late evening to have stricter routines, then allow your day to be flexible.
5) Set MITs.
We constantly create unrealistic To Do lists for ourselves. We include things that are never going to get done, and all that does is cause unnecessary stress.
Author and productivity expert Leo Babauta is an advocate of MITs—Most Important Tasks. Every morning, he decides on the three things that he must accomplish that day. Just three. And he makes sure that at least one of those MITs is something that will move him closer toward his long term goal.
Whether you decide to set your MITs first thing in the morning (as Leo does) or the night before, this is an important part of boosting your productivity. (You could even put these goals into your workflow software).
By figuring out when you’re most productive, developing (and sticking to) morning and evening routines, and prioritizing your Most Important Tasks, you can take control of your day and be a more productive real estate agent.