In our productivity-obsessed culture, we're biologically wired to have anxiety over the future. We’re constantly thinking about (and often worrying about) the next task at hand. And we set these astronomical goals for our businesses that force us to focus on more rather than better.
Many real estate agents focus on generating more leads. Allow me to humbly suggest a sustainable alternative:
My own focus of late has been to stop measuring my days by degree of productivity and to start experiencing them by degree of presence. I try to give each task my full attention, whether it’s talking with a customer or taking a quick bike ride.
As a real estate agent, the ability to be present is a valuable skill (and it takes practice). When you’re present, you’re able to connect and communicate with people in an authentic way—and this has become a rare commodity.
What Happens When You Live (And Work) In The Moment
What if, while you were having a lunch meeting with a client, you gave that person sitting in front of you your full attention? What would happen if, instead of nodding your head and only half-listening while you mentally prepared for your next meeting, you focused on being present?
You would be a more attentive listener. You would ask follow-up questions that would help you learn more about them and understand their perspective. You would read their body language and pick up on things not being said. You would be able to provide better answers. You might even discover some uncommon commonality between the two of you (a shared love of miniature schnauzers? born in the same small town?) that would instantly create a connection. You would make them feel valued—not just one of many appointments in your busy schedule, but someone you actually enjoy sitting down with and talking to.
This is the stuff that builds strong relationships. This is why being present matters more than being ‘productive.’
(And the funny thing is, when you focus on the present, you’ll actually be more productive, because the task at hand will be garnering your full attention. There won’t be any distractions to slow you down; you will have achieved the elusive flow state.)
So the next time you call up a client, if your first instinct is to multitask—to check your email or clip your toenails while you talk—resist.
Instead, give the moment your full attention. Give the relationship your full attention. Be present.
This blog post was originally published on October 9, 2017. It has been updated for comprehensiveness.