Would you like to manage your time more effectively? If so, the first step is to dump five common time management myths that can undermine both your business and your personal life.
Everyone has the same 24 hours per day. The question you must answer: Are you in control of how you spend your time or are you constantly out of control?
If you are interested in having a more profitable business and more time for your personal life, ridding yourself of the five common time management myths listed below is a great way to begin.
Myth No. 1: You can manage time.
Truth No. 1: No one can manage time. You can manage yourself and your choices only.
There are hundreds of books and articles on how to manage your time. Almost all of them have at least one thing in common — they’re about how to cram even more into your busy day. A better approach is to look for ways to do less and accomplish more.
When you view time as an external that must be managed, it’s common to feel as if you are constantly racing the clock. "Time" is in control — not you. To take control, view your day as a series of choices.
Feeling that you have a choice in terms of how you use your time is critical. When a person loses her sense of control, the body releases cortisol, a major stress hormone. Excessive amounts of cortisol, and "learned helplessness," have been linked to a variety of health problems.
Myth No. 2: I have no time for down time.
Truth No. 2: You can’t afford not to take time off.
When you push seven days a week or work really long hours, it’s the same as running your car 12 to 14 hours per day. Sooner or later you need to replenish your fuel. The only proven way to do this is to take time off.
In coaching, we describe the warning signs that you’re not engaging in adequate amounts of self-care using the following model: First you get the feather, then you get the bat, and then you go splat!
The "feather" is the little voice inside that says, "I should have said no to volunteering to cook for the office party — I’m so tired."
The "bat" occurs when you become ill with the flu, have an abscessed tooth, or some other issue that knocks you out for several days.
"Splat" occurs when you have a major illness, a car accident, or some other major problem that completely prevents you from working. For example, if you had been rested, you wouldn’t have run the red light, hit that other car, and been laid up with a broken ankle for three months.
Myth No. 3: I have to be available 24-7 to succeed.
Truth No. 3: You need to be in regular contact, not available every minute.
Your clients want to hear from you regularly. If you update them at the end of the business day with the latest activity on their listing, the new properties that have come on the market in their price range, or what is happening in terms of their property that is under contract, there’s little reason for them to contact you until the next business day. Unless something very unusual is happening, virtually all real estate issues can wait until the next morning when you are back at work.
Myth No. 4: I’m the only one who can do it.
Truth No. 4: Delegation gets the job done faster and often more competently.
A major trap that keeps agents from hitting peak production is their belief that they’re the only ones who can accomplish what needs to be done. Each person has a set of strengths and weaknesses. Rather than trying to do everything well, identify what you do well and then delegate the rest.
For example, many top agents are terrible when it comes to paperwork. They often make careless mistakes. Rather than wasting their time attempting to slog through all the details, their time would be better spent doing what they do well — bringing in more deals.
By delegating the paperwork, they will actually be able to close more deals because they are spending more time on what they do well. Moreover, an assistant who enjoys this type of work will handle the paperwork more effectively.
Myth No. 5: Taking time off will cause my business to decrease.
Truth No. 5: Taking time off creates room for new business.
Have you ever planned a two-week vacation? What happened a few days before you were scheduled to leave? If you’re like most agents, your business picked up substantially. In fact, you may have been tempted not to go on your trip.
The law of attraction says that to attract new business you must have room in your schedule for that business to appear. When your schedule is always packed, your production will be limited to what you are doing now. Try taking one day a week off each week and cleaning out one closet. Don’t be surprised when a lot of new business shows up.
While no one can manage time, managing the choices is the secret to creating great results in both your business and your personal life.
Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, trainer and author of the National Association of Realtors’ No. 1 best-seller, “Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success.” Hear Bernice’s five-minute daily real estate show, just named "new and notable" by iTunes, at www.RealEstateCoachRadio.com. You can contact her at Bernice@RealEstateCoach.com or @BRoss on Twitter.
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