The Productivity Pinch: 4 Tips To Seize Your Day
With a new financial year comes a clean slate and a chance for real estate professionals to review the past 12 months. What’s worked well? What hasn’t? You don’t need to make a seismic shift in your career to achieve the best results – often, it’s the little day-to-day habits that can mean the difference between a productive and profitable year, or a lackluster one. The REIQ spoke to Courtney Mangan, media mogul, host of the She Was The Fire podcast and productivity guru to discuss what real estate professionals can do on a daily basis to get the most out of their working day.
1. Plan and Prioritise
Mangan simply couldn’t juggle her workload as a director of three companies and podcast host without planning and prioritising her tasks on a regular basis. “Planning and prioritising are two simple things you can introduce into your week to help you kick your productivity goals,” says Mangan. “Simply take 30 minutes at the end of the week [after your last open home is a good time!] to plan out the upcoming week and it will make a huge difference in your productivity and your mindset. That way you know where you’re headed for the week and you aren’t feeling like you’re always playing catch up.”
Prioritising is also a simple but essential tool you can use on your productivity journey. All you have to do is look at your tasks for the week and start with the most important ones. “That way, if life throws you a mid-week curve ball at least you know you have already tackled your most important tasks,” adds Mangan.
2. Time Blocking
Time blocking is a great time management method where you plan your days and weeks into chunks of time. During those time blocks, you must focus on one specific task only. “So, if you’re time blocking for 30 minutes as you write a proposal, you won’t check emails, you’ll let calls go to voicemail – basically, you’re ensuring you don’t get distracted from the task at hand,” says Mangan.
Mangan also suggests investing in a diary, calendar or planner that suits your individual needs. The REIQ’s exclusively branded diary has the needs of real estate professionals covered all year around. Inside, you’ll find daily, weekly, monthly and yearly overviews, plus plenty of space for all your notes, important deadlines and to-dos. Conveniently sized 18cm x 24.5cm and presented in a hardback cover, the REIQ’s 2021 diary series is
3. Create a Distraction List
Have you ever been mid-email and suddenly remembered you’ve got a bill due tomorrow? While it’s important to pay on time, you don’t need to stop what you’re doing to pay the bill (particularly if you’re practicing time blocking). This is where a “distraction list” comes in handy – a list of items that need to be done, but are currently distracting you from the task at hand. Keep a notepad handy on your desk for when these thought bubbles arise. Not only does it avoid unnecessary multitasking, but it means you won’t forget to complete those tasks later on.
4. Schedule Breaks
It may sound counterintuitive, but scheduling regular breaks throughout the day can help you work more quickly and efficiently. By working in time intervals or simply making a conscious effort to stop for a five minute rest or meal break, your tasks at hand feel more urgent.
When done wisely, five minute breaks can help you avoid burn out by allowing you to stretch, walk away from the computer and perhaps grab a cup of a real estate agent’s liquid gold (aka. coffee). While real estate professionals don’t always have time to take a lengthy break – particularly when on the road or in back-to-back meetings – the message still remains: it’s important to make time to have breaks. Doing so will reduce the temptation to procrastinate or pick up your phone and scroll mindlessly while you’re meant to be working, since you know you can do that in your designated break time. Most importantly, setting regular breaks gives you time to assess your work and whether the systems you have in place are working for your productivity. “Whilst time management is key, so is self-management – it’s no good having all of these systems in place if you’re finding it’s burning you out,” says Mangan. “Even a 10-minute break can be really helpful in the long run. After all, we aren’t machines!”
BONUS: Productivity Tips From the Professionals!
New to the biz? The REIQ asked real estate professionals to offer one piece of productivity advice to up-and-coming agents. Here are their answers!
- Samantha Ellis, Property Zest: “Always make time for your lunch break! This job can get busy.”
- Jason Read, Raine & Horne Coomera: “Work to a plan!”
- Jamie Smith, Century 21 on Duporth: “A combination of small daily victories transpire into bigger goals achieved … it’s the culmination of small steps toward an even bigger picture.”
- Samara Bedwell, REIQ PMSS Team Member: “Use the Eisenhower Matrix to determine what areas to focus on – it’s a great way to get things in perspective.”
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