By Eric Post
Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all that needs to be done? As a professional that is paid based on performance, there is nothing more important than staying focused on the activities that will produce results.
Unfortunately, many agents find their efforts threatened by two very common productivity zappers. Making conscious choices that properly structure your day to help maintain focus can dramatically improve your productivity.
Now before I go any further, I must admit that I speak from experience having been the worst offender when it comes to both of these “Zappers.” I have always wanted to offer a great customer experience. Therefore, I always wanted to be available. However, I have come to a new understanding. Instead of always being available, I always want to be worth waiting for. That small distinction has changed my business forever.
Your inbox is nothing more than other people’s agendas presented in a neat and organized fashion. Do you start your work day by opening your laptop or turning on your iPad and logging in to your email account? Well, stop that habit today! This ritual results in you operating based on everybody else’s thoughts, ideas, and needs.
Do not allow your work agenda to be hijacked by the emails that are deposited in your inbox. Unless the people emailing you are cutting your paycheck, you need to make your schedule the priority.
• Number of times people switched computer windows every hour: 37
• Amount of media you consume daily: 12 hours – Compare to 1960 when we consumed 5 hours daily
• Number of websites checked in a day by an average user: 40
• Number of times an average user switched computer programs per hour: 36
These stats show that we are changing tasks every two minutes; a very unproductive habit. Commit today to closing your inbox and only opening it two to three times per day in 15 minute increments.
If you want to take accountability to a whole new level, check out http://www.rescuetime.com. This is an amazing tool to see exactly where you spend your time online. It is free and worth looking in to. You might be shocked to see how much time is wasted at the computer.
#2: Cell Phone
While the rise of the smart phone has done wonders for our potential productivity, it can also be one of the biggest productivity traps. Your projects cannot be completed unless you allow yourself the time to complete them. This usually requires an extended period of uninterrupted work. There is a fine line between providing exceptional customer service and sabotaging your future success by consistently getting pulled off task by your ringing phone.
Please do not answer the phone or respond to text/email messages unless you are prepared to win or lose a client at that moment! I am always shocked when I call another agent to ask a question about a property or schedule a showing and they answer while they are in the line at a grocery store or while at home holding a crying baby.
If I was a potential seller calling to interview agents, I’d immediately get a poor impression. I would rather have listened to a brief and professional voice mail, left a message and then received a return phone call in a reasonable amount of time. If they called me back when they had the information in front of them and are in a frame of mind to focus on me, they would score even more points.
The bottom line: Technology tools can accidentally be the barrier that is preventing you from getting more done in your day.
Control the urge to check your email every 12.2 seconds. Set an agenda for your day and schedule time within your calendar to check your Inbox and return your voicemails.
Like all bad habits, you might experience cell phone/email withdrawals for a while. Commit to changing those habits and your daily productivity will skyrocket!
*source of stats – onlineuniversities.com
Eric Post is the Vice President of Better Homes and Gardens Realty Partners. They are a multi-office company serving the great Portland Metro area.
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