It’s your time – so take it back, says real estate coach
3 September 2018
Time management is critical in real estate. It can make or break a sale or a relationship. Too often, however, time management (or mismanagement) issues impact on our ability to do a job well.

“’I wish I had more time. I never have enough time’. These laments are a constant in life, especially in real estate,” says Caroline Bolderston, real estate coach and founder and director of Being Bold.

“The good news is, it’s not that there isn’t enough time. It’s that the management of time is often done poorly.”

Planning to plan

“To effectively manage your time, you first need to manage your thinking and your emotions,” says Bolderston.

It may seem obvious but taking the time to plan your day will save you time (and stress) in the long run. 

Realising this, Bolderston developed ten simple steps to time management that are effective and easy to implement.

1. Accept that you have as much time as the next person

“It’s a fact. We all have the same amount of time available to us,” says Bolderston. “Yes, while our lives may be different with varying commitments and responsibilities, how is it that two agents in similar circumstances manage to achieve differently when it comes to productivity?

“It’s the decisions and choices they make within the same time they have available. You have enough time, what are you choosing to do with it?”

2. Plan your ideal average week

“To get the most out of the 168 hours you have available each week, create a broad stroke, high level ideal average week. 

“Clarity around when you will dedicate time to certain activities both personally and at work immediately increases your productivity and ability to execute and focus. 

“Create your template with large blocks of ‘lockdown’ time rather than small, minute detail.”

3. Live by the 80/20 rule and take the pressure off

“Nothing is perfect and never will be,” says Bolderston. “Perfectionism will kill you.

“You may have heard the quote ‘Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction’? I love this and have adopted it with great success.

“It’s not a perfect week, it’s an ideal week. If you live proactively and in control 80 per cent of the time, then you can handle the 20 per cent that’s reactive or imperfect. 

“Planning your ideal average week (as in step two) will certainly help with this.”

4. ‘No’ is the new ‘yes’

“Saying ‘No’ to others is saying ‘Yes’ to yourself. What a powerful concept this is,” says Bolderston. 

“Let’s get clear here, I’m not suggesting you no longer care for others. I am simply asking you to say ‘Yes’ to yourself first. 

“By living your ideal week, you will have clarity on times when you can listen, help and support others.

“Say ‘No’ to the immediacy and suggest an alternative time to help out so you can stay on track to achieve your ideal week and ‘lockdown’ times.”

5. Control your environment

This is all about creating boundaries to support your ideal week,” says Bolderston.

“Once you have your ideal week prepared, it’s time to let everyone know about it. When you take responsibility for how you spend your time and let everybody know what that means, you have a significantly higher probability of sticking to it.

“Agents who implement ‘lockdown’ are consistently building business opportunities at a rate 100–200 per cent greater than those who don’t.”

6. Constantly run your prioritisation filter

“Picture this, you have your ideal week in place, each morning you are scanning your day ahead. It is planned and segmented into ‘lockdown’ periods and face-to-face events. Within an hour or two, new ideas, discussions and tasks arise. This is when you need to prioritise.

“I like Stephen Covey’s ‘Do it, defer it, delegate it or dump it’ approach.”

7. Distractions do not exist

“This is probably my favourite rule,” says Bolderston. “Open your mind to this thought: distractions don’t exist. You are choosing to be distracted.

“You are running the strategy of procrastination which is avoidance in its simplest form.

“Turn off your notifications and alerts. The barrage of interruptions only exists because you allow it. If you were in a listing presentation, would you be checking your emails? No. So erase the ‘D’ word from your vocabulary.”

8. Value your time

“If you were to put a dollar value on your time, what would it be?”, asks Bolderston. “I can assure you I believe my time is extremely high in value. I am careful who I give it to and what I choose to dedicate each hour to.

“It’s my time and I will use it for its best value.”

9. Turn thoughts into actions

“Every day we have thoughts and ideas. Not being able to think straight causes overwhelm and loss of productivity. Therefore, having a strategy to manage this is critical.

“Get the thoughts out of your head the minute they pop up. Utilise technology with reminders and task systems or email yourself your thoughts on the go. You can then action them later.”

10. Language matters

“We are what we think. When someone asks you how you are, do you respond by saying you are ‘So busy’?

“If so, stop. 

“Have you ever wondered what saying that does to your neural pathways and emotions? It creates feelings of being out of control, hectic and overwhelmed.

“Replace the negative word ‘busy’ with a positive word like ‘productive’. You’ll be surprised by how powerful your language is and the instant effects it has on your psyche.”

Making the time for change

Bolderston believes implementing even one or two of these strategies will increase productivity and reduce stress. 

“You must choose focus,” she says. “Remember, it’s your time, so take it back!”

What steps will you implement today?

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