1. Think self-management, not time-management. Time management isn't real. You can't manage a second or a minute. Time just is. But what we can manage is ourselves in that time. We can manage our actions.
2. Work by objective, not by crisis. Working by crisis might mean that there is no money in your bank account. Now we've got to go out and list and sell to get some money to get out of the crisis. Working by objective, on the other hand, is having goals, designing who you are, determining your Next Level, and living from that. When you do that, you have less stress. So, the concept is to consciously manage your actions about the goals you are committed to.
Here's an example. Have you ever cooked for a family event? You have so much to do—you must cook loads of food, clean the house, do the laundry, etc. But when you are in action mode, there are no thoughts, judgments, or opinions getting in the way. You do 10 times more in this short time because you're working with this objective, this goal that you're committed to.
Take that concept and apply it to your career. When you're committed to something happening in your career and you're crystal clear about it ... when you've got a real desire to reach the Next Level ... your actions will automatically flow. Time goes by quickly and you get the results to show for it. That's when real estate's not hard. That's when it's fun and exciting—a turn-on.
3. Time management is a system of organized activities. We have this in certain areas of our personal lives; they're called routines. Routines are useful to establish positive behavior patterns that bring about the results we desire. Later in this chapter, I'll give you specific techniques that will help you to build powerful routines.
4. Time can be invested. You can invest your time. It's like when you invest $5 and make $10 back. You can invest five minutes of your time and get back great results. For example, when you're in the office, you can return phone calls, clean your desk, or pick up the phone to schedule listing appointments. What would be the best return on your time investment? My point is, start to look at your time as a valuable commodity. Invest it as you would invest in stocks or bonds—as you would invest in anything that would give you a positive return on your investment.
5. You can't get it all done! This is a truism. You can't. At the end of the day, you're going to still have things that you didn't get finished, so stop trying to get it all done in 24 hours. It's like a rat on a wheel in a cage. We work longer hours, we come home stressed, we unload it on our spouse, and so on. Understand this concept: you'll get as much done as you get done. Period.
6. Do something as opposed to nothing. This is for the procrastinators. Get busy! If you're sitting in your office and you're procrastinating, or you're taking papers from one side of the desk and moving them to the other side and then back again, you're procrastinating. If you're sitting in the office and it's six o'clock and you're trying to think of what would be the most productive thing to do at this time ... you're thinking and thinking and thinking and thinking and you're looking and you're searching I'm saying, "Stop all that nonsense and just get busy!"
7. Live a balanced life. How many hours are there in a week? 168. We have career, family, personal obligations—which includes sleep. According to Alan Lakein, who wrote How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life, a good workweek consists of two 12-hour days, three nine-hour days, and one four-hour day. That's a total of 55 hours per week. Here's the point of this. If you spend 55 hours in business and let's say you have 73 hours personal (including sleep), that would leave you with 40 hours for family. That would total 168 hours. What most of us in the real estate profession do is we work more than 55 hours and then we take the extra hours from somewhere else, typically our family (see Figure 1-1).
8. Work a schedule. In my travels I've met many top-producing salespeople. What makes them top-producing salespeople is that they work a schedule. If something falls outside of their schedule, they do one of two things. Either they'll not do the business or they'll do the business, knowing that
they have to make up for it somewhere else. What I would do if I were you (especially if you're having some struggles at home) is to make up a work schedule from Monday through Sunday and give it to your spouse and your manager and tell them that this is what you're committing to.
In one of my training programs, there was an agent in Austin, Texas, who was the top-producing agent in the whole program for a three-month period. What was really interesting is that he was a part-time agent and he listed more houses than any full-time agent in this program. Why do you think that was? Because he managed his time. I asked him how he did it. He said, "When you can only work from six to nine at night, you have to be busy. You can't take the time, when you go into the office, to talk with people. You have to be productive."
If you set a schedule for yourself and you're serious about keeping it, I promise you that you'll be more productive.
Was this article helpful?