To many, working from home and setting your own hours sounds like a dream job. The real estate industry often promises the freedom you can’t find in a 9 to 5 job. But if you just jump in with both feet and don’t throttle back your workload, you may find the real estate business is setting your hours – instead of the other way around. Use these simple steps to survive – and thrive – in the real estate market.
Here at IDX Broker, we work hard to maintain a healthy work-life balance for our employees. It’s one of our core values. After all, what good is working a great job if your life is consumed by nothing else? We all know what happens with all work and no play, right Jack? So here are some simple steps to keep yourself (moderately) sane so you can enjoy your work and play even more.
Manage Your Time with Limits
The key is setting limits. When you set limits on your time, you can take on more tasks in a single day. Set aside time for work related tasks, but also make sure to schedule family time and down time. If you don’t schedule your ‘you’ appointments, other tasks will always creep in and take over your time. Consider using a Pomodoro timer and be sure to actually reward your focused efforts with breaks at the end of each cycle.
Automate The Small Stuff
Avoid getting bogged down by the minutiae. So many of your daily tasks can be automated. Use automation tools to cut down on your busy work. Set up social media and email templates you can update and improve over time. Take a look at an automated social calendar or a good CRM to handle correspondence. Take a look at our previous article for some great time-saving tools.
Set Goals You Can Reach
You’ll never know if you’ve accomplished you goals if you don’t set them. There’s a real science to good goal setting. Our bodies even reward us with a shot of happiness when we tick an item off our to-do list. Get those rewards by setting some daily, weekly, monthly, and long term goals.
Once set, put them somewhere you can see them. Look over at them the next time a distraction interrupts your flow. Focus on your goals by keeping them at your desk. Occasionally check in with yourself to see if the task you’re working on supports achieving your goals. Now, how can you move toward beating those goals, instead of just working an 8 or 10 hour work day?
Some things take a long time but accomplish very little. Prioritize your tasks to discover their impact. Determine each item’s importance based on the Eisenhower Box. Then, take care of the important tasks while you delete or delegate to eliminate busy work.
What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.
Share the Burden
Let your colleagues know when you won’t be available in advance. Then they won’t be surprised when you don’t pick up their phone call at your kids softball game. Focus on the things that only you can do. If someone else is capable of a task, let them do it. Be an expert in your field and find other experts to take on tasks that better suit them.
Don’t Sabotage Yourself
Stay organized. Stay on topic. Don’t cross streams. Focus on the essentials – only. If you’re working on a task, finish it and move on. Try not to get distracted by Facebook or surfing the web for the best deal on ceramic hedgehogs. These sidetracks can wait for your scheduled free time. Avoid allowing these diversions to eat up your time. Do the right stuff right the first time. That way you don’t have to clean it up later. File paperwork as soon as you get it, instead of putting it off.
Learn to Say No
This one hits a little too close to home. Really think about the impact before you sign up to be a scout leader, board member of a non-profit, or volunteer on half a dozen committees. While it’s good to be active, you also need downtime. Focus on your goals and say no to anything that doesn’t support your progress toward meeting those goals.
Keeping yourself busy all the time doesn’t do any good. You’ll get too burnt out to do anything exceedingly well. If you say no, it gives someone else an opportunity to step up and volunteer while allowing you to focus on what really matters.
Seek Professional Help
Spend your valuable time showing homes or preparing clients for closing. Other than your most meaningful work, leave the items outside your wheelhouse to the experts. If you’re looking for a great website with state of the art IDX search integration, check out one of our developer partners. They can setup and take care of your website so you can take care of your clients.
We hope these tips will help you get more out of work while you live your life to the fullest. Find that work-life balance so you can earn more money while focusing on what really matters to you in your life. Now, get out there and enjoy yourself.