I recently published an article about how success isn’t always glamourous. There was a lot of interest in seeing some examples of how to organize your time to get the most important things done first.
I want to start by saying that if you haven’t read Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller, I’d start there. Keller will help you understand where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there.
Once you have set your priorities, you’re ready to start doing the work. Time blocking can help.
Why Time Blocking?
When we have an appointment with someone else, we protect that time and make arrangements to ensure we arrive. We make sure we’re on time. We arrive ready to go.
Time blocking is a way of taking advantage of this prioritization by setting appointments with yourself. When you do this, you will not only be more faithful to your priorities, but you will have fewer interruptions.
Someone who looks on your calendar won’t see what you have scheduled, but they will see that some time is blocked out and they’ll work around that in meeting with you.
How to Make It Work
Some Realtors® have tried time blocking but discarded it because they didn’t think it worked. Everything seemed to bleed over into other blocks, and they found the control wasn’t there.
With a few tips, however, you can make allowances so that time blocking does work for your real estate business.
Technique #1: Block a Few Things a Day
It’s helpful to start small and just block a few things a day until you get used to the process. This helps prioritize your key tasks for times you have the most energy, while leaving plenty of “white space” for things that come up during the day.
To use this technique, think about what time of day you’re at your absolute best. Block 1.5 – 3 hours during this time for your most important task. Your most important task is the one that brings in clients. Cold calling, door knocking, following up with leads online, and more.
Avoid the busy-but-not-productive tasks, such as:
- Checking email that isn’t from prospects
- Spending time on social media in a way that isn’t directly related to getting leads
- Errands and paperwork
- Organizing your office
Once you’ve completed that time block, you can pursue the rest of your day knowing that you had one block of highly productive time that will build your business. Over time, you can add more blocks, always leaving plenty of room for unexpected events.
Technique #2: Time Block Your Whole Day
Many people who try time blocking jump straight into trying to break the whole day into blocks. This often leads to failure because most people’s ability to estimate time is far from perfect.
When you block your whole day, you run a high risk that something will run over, causing a domino effect of missed blocks. You may feel stressed, unaccomplished, and frustrated. The fact that you did get a lot done can be lost in a sea of things you weren’t able to do.
If you do want to time block your whole day, make sure you follow these tips:
- Remember to time block time to eat, and time for breaks
- Include blocks for regular family events: children’s games, date nights, and family dinners
- Make your blocks longer than you think you need, to help avoid overruns
- Put your most important work during high-energy times
- Plan administrative tasks during low-energy times
Over time, if you’re willing to practice, refine, and edit, you’ll find a way to time block that works for you. When you do, you’ll have more confidence in your productivity, more focus on your marketing, and a thriving business.
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