Recently a book I was reading said the key to losing weight is drinking more water and eating less. The author pointed out that it really is that simple. Cut the gimmicks, the special diets, the concerns over macros and getting certain vitamins. Just drink half your body weight in ounces, and burn more calories than you take in.
Hmmm. Not much to overthink there. Could it be that simple? I dunno. Maybe.
And if that solution actually works, then maybe there is an easy solution to another age-old problem: Time Management.
It could just be that time of year, or it could be coincidence, but over the last two weeks I’ve had four people talk with me about their time management skills.
This isn’t a new topic- agents have been wanting to work on this skill for years. They’ve tried everything- apps, google reminders, time blocking, sticky notes, binders, notebooks, new routines, reading books… you name it.
Sometimes they are successful, but most of the time they fall back into their old ways.
But one such conversation changed my perception. My colleague was talking to me about everything he has to accomplish in a day. He wears at least five different hats at all times, and although stressed, he still gets everything done. Every. Single. Day.
Well, maybe, just maybe, it’s ONE simple idea that could change everything.
Maybe it’s simply Doing what you say when you say you’re going to do it.
Let’s think about this. If you promise a seller that you will get new comps over to him by tomorrow afternoon, and you vowed to stick to your word, could you make sure you got it done?
If you promised a buyer that you would update their search within the hour, could you commit to accomplishing that?
If the title company said they needed the seller’s mortgage payoff asap and you promised it by noon, could you find a way to get that over to them?
By following through on your promises to other people, you are forced- without thinking- to have better time management skills. Over time, you learn how long something takes to accomplish.
For example, I instinctively know how long it will take me to prepare for a listing appointment, write a purchase agreement, or show a house. I know how long my commute is, how much time it takes me to eat lunch, and even how long it takes me to get ready in the morning.
I know all this because I’ve honed my time management skills over the years because my day is not over until I’ve completed everything I promised everyone I would complete. So I work hard to get it all done in the shortest amount of time possible.
So many times I hear people make empty promises to clients knowing full well it will never be done. Like my hat-wearing colleague, your word should be your bond. Your truth.
Don’t tell a client you’ll call them later this afternoon when you know you’re scheduled to be in a three hour meeting. Instead say, “I have a crazy afternoon. Can I call you tomorrow around 9?” and then actually do it.
Be kind to yourself. Learn to say no once in awhile, give yourself more time to complete something if there’s already a lot on the day’s agenda, and don’t pile a lot into one day.
A good rule of thumb is not having more than three appointments in a day. And these appointments shouldn’t be scheduled back to back, because in this business, one overly talkative client, one imploding deal, and one spilled drink in your lap, can ruin a tightly packed schedule.
And if you can make one of these appointments an appointment with yourself, whether it be a work out, dinner with a friend, or your kid’s game, do it. Because those promises to yourself are just as important, if not more so, than the promises you make to your clients.
By following this rule over the past 17 years, I’ve managed to never miss an appointment, seldom showed up late, and never let a client down because I “forgot” or “was too busy” to do as I promised. I don’t need to work at this. I don’t need to think about it. I just do what I say I’m going to do. Period.
I’m going to give this whole “drink half your body weight in water” thing a go. What could it hurt? And maybe if you’re struggling with time management, maybe you can simply give keeping your word and doing what you promise a go.
Because maybe, just maybe, it really is that simple.
Amy Gilpin, Associate Broker, Manager, ABR, SRES
Seventeen years of helping clients. Ten years of helping agents. All for this crazy thing we call Real Estate.
Production Realty, 517-879-4141 Jackson, MI Amy@ProductionRealty.com