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It often begins the minute you start your day. A barrage of emails to respond to. Text messages pinging your phone. Questions and conversations with colleagues. And, perhaps, a morning ritual of checking Facebook, Twitter and the daily news.

Throughout the day, there are lunches to go to, appointments to attend and issues to resolve—and, maybe, some more web surfing and texting thrown into the mix.

Needless to say, it’s pretty easy to get distracted from the very reasons we go to work in the first place.

So, how is a busy real estate professional expected to deal with all the distractions and disruptions? The solution can be found in one word.


The most effective leaders and successful business people—no matter the industry—discard the diversions and remain laser focused on the essentials of building a successful business.

Everything flows from one’s focus (or lack thereof). Your focus determines how you plan your day. It influences the decisions you make. What clients you choose to meet with. The mentors you follow. The associations you join. The designations you earn. The events you attend.

“Look, a squirrel!”
It’s easy to overlook the impact all the little distractions can have on a day. On their own, the amounts of time spent chatting with coworkers, checking Facebook and enjoying an extended lunch seem pretty trivial.

But, like millions of gathering snowflakes, the accumulation of little things can too easily result in an avalanche that ultimately overwhelms your day.

All these distractions then morph into excuses. How many times have you gone home for the day thinking, “Well, I couldn’t get to (important thing) because of all the time I spent on (unimportant thing).”

It’s easy to avoid updating your business plan when there are tons of emails to respond to. Finding time to assist a struggling client is tough when you’ve spread yourself too thin with obligations that don’t move the needle.

Even outside elements can disrupt a day. Being overly concerned with and fretting over issues such as market fluctuations, service disruptions and industry developments all serve to distract from—and provide excuses against—committing to the task at hand.

A Focused Solution
I want to be clear that staying focused and avoiding diversions is not about dodging conversations, skipping lunches or ignoring emails.

You don’t need to be a robot in single-minded pursuit of an objective—but you do need a strategy. It starts with defining your goals, planning how to get there and executing the plan.

Then comes the hard part—remaining disciplined and focused on the plan. Here are some ideas that can help: Time block your day. Establish times for when your door is open and when it’s not. Prioritize your activities. Delegate the small stuff. Learn to say “No.”

Another tip: Stick to your rules relentlessly (adjusting only in emergencies), otherwise, they quickly become “optional.”

The amount of time in a day is one commodity that’s exactly the same for every person. It’s what one chooses to do with that time that makes all the difference. The best plans, strategies and ideas in the world mean nothing without the focus to carry them through.

Key Takeaways

  • With all the daily emails, text messages, appointments, casual conversations, etc., it’s easy to get distracted from the very reasons we come into work in the first place.
  • In avoiding distractions, start with defining your daily goals, planning how to get there, then executing the plan with laser-like focus.
  • Set rules for your day by time blocking, prioritizing tasks and delegating the small stuff.

Contos_AdamAdam Contos is CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. For more information, please visit

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