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Commentary by Darryl Davis

RISMEDIA, April 29, 2008-Did you know that 95% of the problems that you and I have in the area of time management are not really about managing time at all? What most of us call time management is really about managing our attitude.

davis_darryl.JPGTime management is really an attitude issue, not a technique issue. By attitude, I’m talking about being truly focused on and enthusiastic about your goals. When you’re really passionate about your goals, your vision, your next level, etc., you’ll automatically do the most productive things to achieve those goals. Without the proper attitude, the best techniques in the world won’t have much impact.

Fundamental Concepts of Time Management

1. Think self-management, not time-management. Time management isn’t real. You can’t manage a second or a minute. Time just is. But what we can manage is ourselves in that time. We can manage our actions.

2. Work by objective, not by crisis. Working by crisis might mean that there is no money in your bank account. Now we’ve got to go out and list and sell to get some money to get out of crisis. Working by objective, on the other hand, is having goals, designing who you are, determining your next level and living from that. When you do that you have less stress.

So, the concept is to consciously manage your actions. What determines the actions one takes? What you’re committed to (your objectives, goals and commitments). For example: Have you ever cooked for a family event? You have so much to do -cook loads of food, clean the house, etc. When you’re in action, there are no thoughts, judgments or opinions getting in the way. Ten times more is done in this short period of time because you’re working with this objective, this goal of what you’re committed to.

Take that concept and apply it to your career. When you’re committed to something happening in your career and you’re crystal clear about it your actions will automatically flow. Time goes by quickly and you get the results to show for it.

3. Time management is a system of organized activities. We have this in certain areas of our personal lives; they’re called routines. Routines are useful to establish positive behavior patterns that bring about the results we desire.

4. Time can be invested. You can invest your time. It’s like when you invest five dollars and make ten back. You can invest five minutes of your time and get back great results. You’re in the office from six to seven. You can return phone calls, clean your desk or pick up the phone to schedule listing appointments. What would be the best return on your time invested? Start to look at your time as a valuable commodity. Invest it as you would invest in stocks or bonds – like you would invest in anything that would give you a positive return on your investment.

5. You can’t get it all done! This is a truism. You can’t. At the end of the day you’re going to still have things that you didn’t get finished, so stop trying to get it all done in 24 hours. It’s like a rat on a wheel in a cage. We work longer hours, we come home stressed, we unload it on our spouse, and so on. You’ll get as much done as you get done. Period.

6. Do something as opposed to nothing. This is for the procrastinators. Get busy. If you’re sitting in your office taking papers from one side of the desk and moving them to the other side and then back again, you’re procrastinating. If you’re sitting in the office at six o’clock, trying to think of what would be the most productive thing to do at this time … you’re thinking and thinking, and looking and searching…. stop all that nonsense and just get busy.

7. Live a balanced life. How many hours are there in a week? 168. We have career, family, personal obligations – including sleep. According to Alan Lakin, who wrote “How to Manage Your Time and Life,” a good workweek consists of two twelve-hour days, three nine-hour days and one four-hour day. That’s a total of 55 hours per week. If you spend 55 hours in business and 73 personal hours (including sleep), that would leave you 40 hours for family. That would total 168 hours. What most of us in the real estate profession do is work more than 55 hours, and then we take the extra hours from somewhere else, typically our family.

8. Work a schedule. In my travels I’ve met many top-producing sales people. What makes them top-producing sales people is that they work a schedule. If something falls outside of their schedule they do one of two things. They’ll either not do the business or they’ll do the business, knowing that they have to make up for it somewhere else.

What I recommend (especially if you’re having struggles at home) is to make up a work schedule from Monday through Sunday and give it to your spouse and your manager and tell them that this is what you’re committing to. In one of my training programs, an agent from Austin, TX was the top-producing agent in the whole program for a three-month period. What was really interesting is that he was a part-time agent and he listed more houses than any other full-time agent in this program. Why do you think that was? Because he managed his time. So, when you set a schedule for yourself and you’re serious about keeping it, I promise you that you’ll be more productive.

For over 17 years, Darryl Davis has traveled around the country coaching agents and brokers on how to achieve their Next Level of success. He is the creator of the nationally acclaimed POWER Agent Coaching Program, the only yearlong coaching and training course where Power Agents, on average, double their production over their previous year. Darryl is a best-selling author, one of the highest rated speakers at the NAR Convention each year, and has a career-curriculum that brings agents from “Rookies to Retirement”.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-395-3905.