If you’re of a certain age you may recall when the personal computer was brand spanking new to the world and all the promises it held out to us.
It would usher in a paperless society, they said. It will transform our work environment, saving tons of time and making us more productive, they promised.
Sure, personal computers have caused the demise of the video store and we no longer have to stand in line at the bank, but many of us still deal with piles of paper and spend way too much time online.
Both of those (paperwork and the internet) are major time thieves, but they aren’t the only ones you may routinely face during the work day.
Email is supposed to be a tool
A recent Michigan State University study found that we spend more than 90 minutes a day – “or seven-and-a-half hours every week – recovering from email interruptions.”
Have you ever figured out what your time is worth? Take your annual commission amount and divide it by 2,000 (the average number of hours most people work each year, with two weeks deducted for vacation time).
That’s a rough estimate of your hourly rate. That is how much money you lose, per day, by allowing yourself to be a slave to your email. Multiply that out over the course of a year – shocking, isn’t it?
Think about how much more productive you would be with an extra hour and a half each day. Then, stop being reactive when it comes to email. Turn off email notifications and only check for new emails during specific times.
Or, assign email-checking to your assistant. No assistant? Why not?
Social media marketing as a rabbit hole
Yes, social media marketing is important. But it is entirely too easy to stop by Facebook to share your latest blog post and end up chasing shiny objects. Minutes can easily turn into an hour, or more.
In fact, studies by eMarketer claim that we spend 40 minutes a day on Facebook. Add that 40 minutes (if it’s not spent solely on business marketing) to the 90 you lose checking email and you’ve lost more than 2 hours a day to non-income-producing distractions.
If the shiny objects are far too attractive to you, plan on saving your social media marketing for the end of the day. Then, discipline yourself to save the socializing for after you take care of the marketing stuff.
Temptations in the home office
You can’t beat working from home. Wear whatever you want, eat lunch whenever you want and take breaks whenever you please.
It’s a blessing, yes, but it’s also a curse. There are so many distractions when working from home—distractions that can ruin your productivity.
Not only does the pile of clean laundry call out to you to be folded and put away, but other household chores suddenly seem more interesting than the work at hand. Besides, it’ll only take a few minutes, right?
Staying focused on your work can be challenging. If it is for you, try the “rule of 52 and 17.” John Rampton at Inc.com says.
The study apparently found that “the most productive people take a 17-minute break every 52 minutes.” Rampton adjusted the rule to fit his attention span and works “in shorter, 30-minute sprints,” breaking for 5 to 7 minutes.
Set a timer or ask Alexa to remind you when your time is up, but vow to remain focused during the work period. Then you can fold that laundry.
But, there’s more
Home office workers don’t know this but they have a sign on their backs that says “I’m at home so I’m not really working. Feel free to ask me to pick up your dry-cleaning, run your daughter to ballet class or drop your dog at the vet.”
Find a local professional errand runner and keep his or her phone number handy. Every time your sister calls with an errand for you to run, give her the number.
Setting boundaries is actually the key to success. It may take time, but the more often you meet these requests by reminding the people making them that you are working, the less it will happen.
These time-wasters only scratch the surface of what a real estate agent may face during the work day. Add time-wasting clients, disorganized work spaces and cars and working without a plan to the list.
Learning how to be more self-disciplined isn’t easy but it’s critical to the success of your real estate business. Plus, it makes you happy, according to a study published in the Journal of Personality.
“Exerting self-control can make you happier not only in the long run, but also in the moment,” Time.com’s Maia Szalavitz says, citing the study.
Apparently, “managing conflicting goals” successfully makes us feel good. In real estate, it also helps you make more money.
Educate your target market and get them leaning forward to work with you by adding the Free Report, “9 Ways to Get More Money, Less Time, With Less Headaches“ as an opt in to all of your marketing.
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