Spend Your Time Wisely!

If you find yourself struggling with managing your time effectively, it may be time for a refresher!Here are some top tips from Tony Rowe, Managing Director of BPG Training, on how to fit more dollar productive activity into each and every day.

There’s still only 24 hours in every day. I’ve tried to add more, but it just doesn’t happen. No matter how much time I try to “save” with a new device, there is never any more (or less) than 1,140 minutes in each and every day. Adjusting the clock just does not work!

I’ve tried to reallocate wasted time – but apparently, once passed, it can not be got back! That’s a little disconcerting when I realise how much time can get ‘lost’. There’s a myriad of little things I just do not seem to have the time to do – and it isn’t that I’m lazy, or have too much leisure time, or have time out to play! I’m busy most of the time – and even take work home!

How come, I ask myself, is it that other people seem to have more time than me? Are they more efficient than me? Are they better organised? What do they do differently to me that gives them “more time”? What is it that I have to do to maximise my daily minutes?

To manage my time more effectively of late, I have taken into consideration the “The 6 P’s of efficient time use”. They are as follows:

  1. Prioritise your daily tasks
    Grade the things that have to be done – use a system that suits you; make it (a) – (g), or 1 – 7. It is possible to have several “number 1 priorities” in a single day, however, you can only (sensibly and realistically) dedicate the required time and attention to one such task at a time. If your day is full of number 1 priority tasks, you will achieve burnout (defeat) pretty quickly, and defeat should not be an option for successful real estate agents.
    The priorities are set by you (most of the time). They will be influenced by others (family, friends, colleagues, business, etc). You need to recognise that when you are deciding what gets done, there can be competing interests at play and this forms part of the decision–making process (and part of the conflict that will need to be addressed). Should the ‘big’ tasks be done first or last? That is a decision for you to make, considering the competing interests in the outcome.
  2. Plan your resources
    What resources are going to be required to complete the tasks on the priority list? An important factor here is whether any of the tasks can be delegated (and if so, to whom). This may alter the timing and significance of the tasks on your list. It could speed up some tasks; it can identify some potential ‘down–time’ (for other activity to slot into); it can completely transform the list of things that have to be done.
  3. Practice everything that needs to be done – without fail.
    ‘First copy’ should never be ‘final copy’. Even if you have perfected something that you do on a daily or regular basis, there should be at least a ‘mental rehearsal’ to confirm what needs to be done. Being ‘under–prepared’ for a listing presentation can be devastating, if the deal is lost. Not having all the paperwork in order for exchange or settlement is sloppy. An honest approach to reviewing what went right, as well as any ‘opportunities for improvements’ (OFI’s) is critical. Champions and experts in every field of endeavour do that as a matter of course – analysis after every practice and after every performance is critical to the maintenance of their ranking.
  4. Prepare for your performance
    Check that everything that is going to be required is in good working order, and all required documentation is available and/or prepared. This can be a task that gets delegated, but, ultimately, the responsibility rests with you, to make sure everything is where it is supposed to be, when it is supposed to be there, so when the most crucial step happens (next), you ‘shine’!
  5. Perform the task to the very best of your ability
    Perform the task to the very best of your ability every time, and do not accept your excuses for a sub–standard or poor performance. The performance is what it is all about – be it an appraisal, listing, open, auction, settlement – and it is critical to your success rate, that every performance is a ‘command performance’. The performance sets the standard for your continued success.
  6. Praise those who assisted and celebrate any ‘victory’ with them.
    “No man is an island, entire to himself”. Recognise that others had a role to play in providing you with the where–with–all to deliver that performance and find a fitting reward for their efforts.

You will notice that there are 4 steps before the actual performance of a task in this model. Careful preparation is a clear indicator for a polished execution. Much more time, energy, and effort go into the preparation than the performance. That should be the case with everything we do.

It is probably worth some time to contemplate how our time is spent, and if we should seek to spend it more wisely!

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Tony Rowe

Tony Rowe is the CEO of TT Rowe and Co, a compliance, education and training consultancy providing specialist advice to the property industry in Australia.