Every minute of the day can be used to benefit your schedule. Every minute. If it means sending out one email or text, do it. If it means taking a quick break to plan your next move, take advantage of it.
In our final article on activity management, we run you through time blocking, a method used to get time back on your side.
Gina Trapani of LifeHacker said that when you work in an environment where interruptions are the rule and not the exception, time blocking reclaims hours you would otherwise spend dealing with distractions.
Time blocking provides a rock solid method to dedicate more time to projects and activities.
One example would be to block off 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Monday through Friday to check email, prepare your task list for the day and return overnight voice messages. During that time, those are the only tasks you allow yourself to work on.
On Monday, block off 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. to review every sale and listing file that you have active. Capture all tasks that are required on those files for the week.
Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., schedule email prospecting. Create a new email campaign through your CRM control panel.
Once you decide on your most important, repetitive tasks, create a graphic calendar. Then, print it out and post it somewhere you'll see it often. This works in two ways. First, it shows your colleagues what times you're busy. It also helps to keep you on track as visually reinforcing your schedule.
After that, add blocks of time on your weekly calendar for face time with clients, property showings and listings.
Stop dropping everything when a clients call, because they want to see a listing. Good agents are often busy. Instead, set up appointments with your clients. This way, you're giving yourself time to complete tasks and projects, while also learning more about your clients.
Let’s keep this simple. Regardless of whether you create a daily or weekly task list, be specific. Knowing the difference between a task and a project is crucial for time blocking.
Don't put “prospecting” on your list for the day. It is too big. Instead, put “schedule lunch appointment with John Doe," a past client that refers you often.
Likewise, do not put “create a new listing presentation” on your task list, because that's still too big. Slim it down: “Revise the 'Importance of Price' section of the listing presentation.”
When your task list is maxed out for the day, understand you only have one, no. 1 priority. That's your starting point, always.
When that is complete, elect a new no. 1 priority. If you start tacking on a second or third no. 1 priority, you begin multitasking and splitting your time.
Focus on the top. Then, work your way down. When you're done, you're done.
A huge part of managing your time is managing your email - that unwieldy beast. Block out a time to pound out all of your emails.
Tip: Add when you respond to emails in your email signature. This lets respondents know when they should expect a reply.
Do not keep 4,327 unorganized emails in your inbox. Move all emails you do not delete to folders. Gina Trapani promotes a three-folder strategy: To-Do, Wait and Reference. This translates into stuff you need to do, stuff you are waiting on and stuff you might want to refer to later.
For real estate professionals, take this concept and adapt it to your work setting. Instead of keeping a folder labelled "Wait," name it an address or individual client. This way, you're sorting everything and keeping it all organized.[/vc_column_text][block_title style="column_title" inner_style="inline_border" title="Conclusion"][/block_title][vc_column_text]As we wrote in parts one and two of this series, time blocking has been a proven method of organizing your time, allowing you to eliminate distractions and focus on one single task. By breaking down projects into smaller tasks, you become more efficient. Focusing on one single task allows you to dive deeply and be more thorough with that task as well.
Now it's your turn: Do you use time blocking? How do you manage your email?