I have been writing these “lists” since 2018, and typically, they are my most well-read articles of the year. I’ve always been cautious about recommending a few things that are satisfying to check off and a few things that challenge your character.
This year, as I eat my leftover Halloween donut and sip my coffee, I approach this list differently from years past. After this year, I honestly feel there is a clear “before” and “after” in our business. I’ve thought long and hard about what I will put on this year’s list in hopes that it might offer a bit of perspective as we head into a new year and a new chapter in our lives.
1. Survey your leadership
How has your organization adapted and handled stormy waters? Take a hard look at how they have adapted and the tools they have offered to help your business. Company culture is more important than ever. If your leadership did not step up, it might be time to research other options to transition your business to next year.
2. Clean up
Deep clean your vehicle, and invest in creating a PPE and cleaning kit for the trunk of your car.
3. Evaluate your work from home office space
What do you need? Splurge on a few items that will make it a little more comfortable: noise cancellation headphones, an adjustable standing desk, a Ring light or Softbox light to make those Zoom calls a little more comfortable.
4. Give up on the idea of work-life balance
Work to find a “blend” instead. There will be times when certain parts of your personal life or professional life will have to take the front seat. A routine that works one week will completely fail the next. Blend, and be flexible. Write it down, and stick it on the fridge.
5. Give back
Those of you who have had an incredible year of increased transactions, make sure to replenish reserves and give where you can. It’s been a tough year for many people across the country; enjoy the fruits of your labor, but also remember to be humble.
6. Take a look at your living situation
You have been helping people move and make changes all year. Would a change of residence benefit your lifestyle right now? Think about how your home is impacting your business. Optimize it for success.
7. Get organized
Ready to “delete” 2020? Start with clearing out your email and files and making room for new opportunities.
8. Consider getting a new headshot
If suits, ties, high heels and power dresses have been collecting dust in your closet, it might be time to rethink traditional sales attire. I would match the clothing for a headshot to be a little closer to how you are meeting clients and showing homes in real life.
9. Treat yourself to an excellent cooler for the car
Packing meals, snacks and cold drinks can keep you rolling on busy days. I don’t know how many agents I have seen posting about eating gas station food between appointments. Treat yourself better and plan ahead.
10. Go for a walk
Figure out a way to walk more. Get off the Peloton at least a few times a week, and get some fresh air. Einstein swore by it.
11. Read more
12. Start a journal
To say that we live in interesting times is an understatement. Take five minutes a day, and brain dump a few thoughts.
13. Review your marketing from the past year
How much canned versus original content did you use? Does any of it actually tell readers what it’s like to know and work with you?
14. Consider a social media detox
How many hours are you spending “doomscrolling”? Stop it!
15. Review your social media posts from the last year
Clean it up, and adjust privacy settings. Commit to doing better. My rule of thumb is this: If you had to print that social media post or comment out and wear it when you went to the grocery store, would you feel uncomfortable?
16. Make sure you’re in the loop
Go to your email and search for everything your broker has sent you this year. Have you missed anything important? Call them with questions. Be accountable.
17. Don’t ghost your associations
Your local, state and national associations still need volunteers. Call, and get involved.
18. Don’t sleep on the power of transparency
Mistakes happen. Hiccups are abundant in transactions right now. Make calls, state the facts, and offer solutions.
19. Make a plan
If long-term planning feels overwhelming, ditch it. Go by the week or month. Put everything on a digital and a physical calendar. I know it’s a little extra work, but it helps reinforce staying on track.
20. Take care of your mental health
We are in month 11; if you are burnt out, drinking too much, not sleeping and having secret emotional breakdowns, get some help. You cannot fill from an empty cup.
21. Forgive yourself
That’s right. Give yourself permission to take that burden off your shoulders of feeling guilty, unorganized, grumpy or messy. You haven’t accomplished the goals that you set for yourself this time of year in 2019. This year has been a demolition derby, and if you have made it this far with your health and safety intact, that is a win worth celebrating.
There are many opinions right now about the who, what and how of executing business in the future. Remember that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option. If you are uncomfortable and unhappy, do what you can to make meaningful change in your personal life. You got this.
It might feel like you have to work twice as hard to get half as much done, you might not win every day, but we have tomorrow. We have tomorrow; we have things to do and people to take care of. Keep your moral compass close to your heart, and 2021 will be just fine.
By day, Rachael Hite helps agents develop their business. By night, she’s tweeting and blogging. Feel free to tweet her @rachaelhite.