Real estate is an incredibly demanding, always-on career. There is a need and an expectation to immediately respond to every email, text, phone call and social media post. And while it’s great to be dedicated and hardworking, it can be easy to fall into the trap of what I call “reactive mode.”

When reactive mode becomes the norm, you tend to lose control of your carefully planned schedule rather than controlling the outcome. This can result in missed opportunities, a lackluster pipeline, and ultimately, lack of enthusiasm for the task at hand — in other words, doing lots of work with little to show for it.

To avoid this, structure and consistency are key.

Below are five tips that I live by every single day. They have helped me establish structure in my daily routine, build a successful career in real estate and continue to push beyond the limits of what I previously thought possible, or even comfortable!

Knock out the tough stuff first

Prioritizing will help you gear up for a more productive, energetic and creative day. Too often, we shelf our most important tasks until later in the day, which results in our least favorable tasks spilling over to the next day, and the next, and so on.

Research shows you are more likely complete tasks, assignments, chores, even your workout — those items you consider the least favorable on your list — if you accomplish them before lunch, while your resolve is at its highest.

Setting your priorities the night before and blocking that schedule will also help you stay on task for the next day. Before going to bed, make a list of what you need to accomplish the next day. Rank everything in order of importance. By doing this, you set yourself up for an effective morning and a successful day!

Cultivate the right frame of grind

Many people talk about the importance of achieving their goals, but get stuck in “planning” mode rather than “doing” mode. To push out of the former and into the latter, put your goals in the right frame of grind.

What does that mean? Preparing your mind for the day should be on your list of most important things to do. Before you look at your phone or react to anything, take some time for personal development. Set your day up for success, even if that means getting up extra early.

Every morning, as soon as I wake up, I read my devotion for the day and set my intention for what I’d like to accomplish. I visualize the outcome I’d like to see. I also sit quietly for at least 10 minutes in meditation. Allowing myself those 30 minutes a day has helped me quiet my mind and focus on the tasks that are most important.

Clarify your direction

What is your “why?” You must have a clear sense of where you’re going and visualize how you’re going to get there. Many people struggle when it comes to direction in life and can get lost along the way.

Any time you set out to accomplish a goal, big or small, you must be extremely clear about the results you desire, and then visualize getting there. Where do you see yourself in 12, 24 or 48 months? Create a vision board and hang it over your desk to remember your “why.”

Block your schedule

Are your goals, the things you are passionate about, or even your lunch dates on your calendar? Without scheduling time to accomplish a goal, big or small, or figure what your day or week will look like, you are in “reactive mode.”

If you are simply reacting to the world around you, you lose your sense of purpose and may accomplish nothing at all. I even have time on my calendar blocked off to block off my schedule, which has made me so much more productive!

There are, of course, some days when things may all fall apart, and that is to be expected. But with a basic structure in place, I can quickly recover because I know where I went off track.

Go for the “no”

Whether you’re brand new to the real estate business or in the top one percent in your field, you absolutely must cultivate a habit of calling people every day. If you don’t, the pipeline will eventually run dry.

When asked, most agents will tell you that they don’t make calls because it makes them uncomfortable and they fear rejection. I encourage you to seek out and even embrace the “no.”

Most of us in sales have no doubt heard the old adage, “every no leads you that much closer to a yes.” It’s true! If you continue to add genuine value, becoming a resource for individuals who will one day be ready to buy or sell, that “no” will eventually become a “yes.”

Being consistent and strategic with a schedule is not easy in the beginning. It takes determination, constant adjustment and the grit to do things even when you don’t feel like it. But keep in mind that as you build this framework, you are cultivating habits that will bring you one step closer to making your goals a reality.

Tiffany Williamson is the COO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Go Realty in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Follow her on Facebook or Instagram.

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