Maximize Your Time and Minimize Your Frustration

By Carolyn Gross

We are such an advanced society…we have created a 365 day 24/7 work world. Technology has created a love-hate relationship; It saves us precious time but has increased our work demands and created information overload. We are called upon to be ever more productive multi-taskers and multi-role players causing epic levels of stress.

How are you holding up? Do you have difficulty sleeping? Are you experiencing any blood pressure or heart problems? How about digestive disturbances, has your appetite changed lately? Do you still feel optimistic or are you easy to anger? These are known stress response symptoms the body gives us to say “to much already, I need a break.”

Research was done on which leaders experienced the greatest career satisfaction and lived the longest. The results of this study may surprise you. The profession of orchestra conductors was the hands down winner. The explanation as to why these professionals outlived the rest of us was poignant. The study concluded that when the baton was in their hands, the conductor had total control. Controlling events, or the way we react to them is critical to extending life satisfaction and fulfillment.

Here's a challenge. Try controlling the events of a real estate transaction. With so many variables and personalities this is no easy task. Hence, people seeking a challenge are the ones drawn to such a livelihood.

What variables can you control in real estate? Establishing connections with people who can be team players in mortgage banking, inspection, maintenance and repair; and specializing in a niche market where you establish yourself as an expert, gives you the conductor's edge. You can advance your marketing skills or master the art of negotiation to meet customer's needs . . . Ah, the art of making the deal!

The more you take charge of the who, what and where in a transaction, the easier the process becomes. Along with these practical pursuits, it is often the intangibles that make the greatest conductors. Here are some tips to maximize your time and minimize your frustration. These suggestions get the “baton” back in your hands so you can be poised and ready for the unexpected that characterizes the REALTORS' life.

#1 Avoid getting lost in details : Do you go overboard on making your fliers, listings presentations, and staff management? Sometimes we waste too much time with one client or staff person when others need our time and attention

#2 Rise above emotional conflicts : Nothing wastes more time than when you overreact to personality issues and negativity. People change their minds when large sums of money are involved and their emotions are running high. The seasoned pro rolls with this and can rise above the chaos.

# 3 Don't attempt to do too much : Putting too much on our plate in a day, week or month creates additional stress. The more stressed we are the less productive we will be. Try to give yourself 15- 30 minute breaks to refresh yourself throughout the day.

#4 Remember the importance of planning : For every minute you spend in planning, you save three minutes in execution. Each day spend at least 15 minutes planning and reviewing your day's activities. Having a clear intention of what you want to achieve. This helps you stay focused and on track.

#5 Preparation improves performance: “Winging-it” is no longer acceptable. People want sophisticated service and knowledgeable sales people. The loyalty factor is almost instinct – like a business dinosaur. Preparation makes you look proficient, so you feel confident, and get the sale made.

#6 Learn to manage interruptions: How often do we feel obligated to visit with someone in the office, when really there is other work to do. Know your high performance hours and when you best plan and produce. Protect these times from outside interruptions and calls…. watch productivity soar.

#7 Schedule “life stability time.”: This is time set aside when we review the foundations of what matters most in our lives and have a check-in with ourselves to review progress. Sometimes it is scholarly with our calendars setting goals. Another time it is a pampering retreat with deep relaxation to slow down the pace and reflect. Perhaps you need to pick up the pace with an athletic pursuit to energize and keep the body functioning at its peak. The purpose of life stability time is to recap, restore and renew. The results are enthusiasm and vitality for your life.

#8 Prioritize using unifying principles: If you don't have a list of Unifying Principles, write one. Unifying principles define our life's priorities, aspirations, and dreams. Keep it in front of you calendar and read it every day or week. As you accept or refuse invitations, see if you are being true to yourself in how you spend your time.

#9 The more you record, the more you recall: Whatever time management tool you use: planner, palm, electronic, you will dazzle your buyers and associates when you remember the specifics. Slips of paper and post-it notes get lost and take time to find. Record your notes in one place.

#10 Have resources that are more knowledgeable than you: We can save ourselves lots of headaches and mistakes when we have colleagues who will mentor us through transactions. Get involved with organizations and associations that help you improve your skills and attend conventions. We are always in school and there is always more to learn. Never stop being a student . . . Never stop being a success, they go hand-in-hand.