Virtual open houses, digital closings, conversations from behind face masks — what productivity looks like for real estate agents this summer covers new terrain for all of us. All June, Inman surveys the New Productivity: the tools, skills and insights needed to make it work now.
Now more than ever, we need to find ways to minimize the daily distractions in our workday. Between sharing our offices with pets and children to the diversion of all the new virtual shiny objects that promise to make us more productive, it’s hard to stay on task.
Hopefully, you took advantage of all the downtime to clean up your database and put into play a few of the virtual options that are critical for future success. But, now that the industry is opening back up, it’s time to push our new shiny toys aside and get back to work.
As we get busier, it’s essential that we set boundaries and stick to a daily routine. Here are seven ways we can stay on task in a world full of distractions.
1. Schedule your day the night before
Many successful agents have a morning routine full of gratitude exercises and positive affirmations. In the evenings, they make time to go over their schedule for the following day and plan for obstacles that might hinder their productivity.
Look at your schedule every evening, and identify items when and where distractions may occur. Then, create a plan that will help minimize those distractions. Learning to be proactive instead of reactive boosts productivity every time.
2. Avoid the shiny object syndrome
This is especially important now. There are so many new programs that promise to guide us through our new virtual world with ease. The problem is, there is a learning curve for all of them.
Go through any new software or gadgets you purchased during quarantine, and cancel any you know you won’t use. The new virtual world will require some new software, but for the most part, tried-and-true programs can be adapted, and all we really need is a smartphone and a functional CRM.
3. Don’t open emails first thing in the morning
Emails are like never-ending rabbit holes. Save them for after you’ve completed your morning routine and a few tasks on your to-do list. If it’s important, they will call you. For the most part, emails can wait a few hours.
4. Work on your business in the morning and in your business during the afternoon
Research shows that our brains are optimized for peak performance in the morning. We’re more ambitious, self-confident and motivated. But, as the day wears on, our minds tire, and we’re more susceptible to distractions and procrastination.
If you allot time for prospecting and essential business duties in the morning, and schedule people-oriented activities, like showings, in the afternoon, your overall production will go up. If you’re a fan of Ninja Selling, this is part of the program’s secret sauce.
5. Keep your workspace organized
“A place for everything and everything in its place” is good advice. The more organized your workspace, the fewer distractions you’ll have looking for things. This goes beyond the physical space of your office. It also includes your computer’s desktop, email and folders in whatever cloud system you use for work.
6. Stay true to your calendar
Although it’s true that sometimes things come up, this should be the exception and not the rule. Carve out enough time to complete all of your tasks. Schedule some items on the same day each week as a recurring event.
The more consistent you are with following your schedule, the more productive you will be.
7. Say ‘no’!
If you find yourself getting distracted because you say “yes” too much and then overfill your day — stop! Saying “no” is hard for some of us, but with practice, you can learn to do it. You can learn to prevent people from taking advantage of you and your energy.
This doesn’t mean you have to turn things down all the time, but if a request interferes with your day or puts too much on your plate, saying “no” is the kindest thing you can do. It’s not fair to anyone when we spread ourselves too thin.