The content in this article is a little too long for just one article so I will be delivering it in two parts. Here’s the first half. But make sure to watch out the second half.
Every time I speak with Realtors, the concept of working less and earning more comes up. I suppose it should be that way because isn’t that something we all want? Isn’t that the dream of all of us, to work very little and make lots of money? Funny enough, about a week ago I was having drinks with a friend and he mentioned this very topic. Based on my own knowledge and what Craig has shown me, I automatically went into my canned speech about attitude, marketing plans, and other conceptual type stuff. My friend was quiet for about a minute and then said “Please Mike, stop! Don’t give me the big ideas. Instead, give me the small, quick and easy steps that I can take each and every day!”
I thought about this for a while and tried to organize my thoughts so I could really do justice to his request. Then I started to answer his request. At the end of our little discussion I had shared a list of 17 things that he could do. I don’t know who was more surprised, him or me. The reality is that this knowledge was almost intuitive. It was just that I was taking it for granted since I lived it every day. And that’s why I wanted to share this list with you. So, here they are; the 17 things you can do to work less and make more.
1. Make a to-do list
It is truly amazing how many people wake up and go about their day without having any clue of what they should do today. You don’t need an organizer, although it does help. If necessary, a simple piece of paper will do the trick. Hint: This list should be maybe 10 items long at most or it becomes de-motivating.
If possible, try to set a goal of accomplishing 3 items a day. Over a week, that’s 15 things, and over a month, 60 things assuming you now take the weekends off. Imagine what will happen to your life if you do 60 things every month.
2. Prioritize your list
You should always be asking yourself “What is the most important use of my time?” After that rank the items on your to-do list and work on the most important items first. There are, of course, many more advanced and somewhat militant approaches to time management, but you’ll find that these first two steps will deliver about 75% of what time management programs can offer.
3. Carry a pen and paper with you
Although this sounds really simple, it works. Most people get somewhere between 5 and 10 great ideas per day to make their lives simpler and better. The downside is that they forget most of them within minutes. By having a pen and paper, (or better still a small notebook) handy, you’ll capture those ideas.
Another idea is to use your own Hotline. Call it and leave yourself a message. Subscribe to Transcription Services and have the note waiting for you when you get back to work. The trick is, find a system that works for you and live it every day.
4. Take 10 deep breaths
This is a trick that many people use to get control. Why does it work? It helps oxygenate the blood, makes you more alert and assists you with thinking more clearly. So, the next time you are entering a brain fog, are feeling excited (in a bad way) or are losing focus on what to do next, try this simple little routine. The 10 or 15 seconds it takes you to do this allows you to re-set yourself and come back stronger and more focused.
5. Say “No!” more often
For many of us it seems easier to say “YES” and accept too many requests throughout the day than to explain why it is not practical for us to take on that task at that time. And what does this accomplish? It eats up our time, time we should be spending on that “Priority List”. Why do we accept these extra tasks? Some of us do it to be polite, some to avoid doing other things, and some are just afraid to say no. Regardless of what list you fall in you MUST take responsibility for it! You don’t have to say no all the time. But you do have to be more diligent in deciding what you accept and measuring its impact on your priority list. Hint: If you have a “Priority List” and work this list, you have a ready, legitimate and tangible reason for declining requests. If people doubt you, show them your list and watch their faces. Pretty soon they will have their own list.
6. Sign up for AMS Hotlines
I didn’t just slip this in here and would not put it on my list if I didn’t believe that there was merit in it for you. Using AMS Hotline technology just happens to be one of the proven technologies available to Realtors to generate leads and revenue. There is only one reason why Craig Proctor and countless other Realtors use them, and that reason is that they work. You save time and make more money! Call 1-800-858-8889 and speak with any of our team if you have any questions.
7. Send a “Thank You” note
Someone should really write a book about the forgotten art of the “Thank You” note. If you want to talk about something that is quick and easy to do yet yields disproportional benefits, that would be it. How many times have you and your partner sent off a gift to someone and weeks later asked each other if either of you got a phone call, letter, email or note thanking you for your consideration? You know in your heart that it matters. So, is there anyone in your business that you should thank for a recent inquiry, a referral, a listing? If so, get on it today. In the end, the benefits of relationship building will far outweigh any time it took putting it together and sending it out. If you’re really on your game, you will automate it.
8. Take a 1 Minute POD
If you’re not familiar with this acronym, POD stands for:
Here’s how it works. Any time you encounter a major surprise or problem, before you respond take a 30 second Pause. Here’s where you get to practice those 10 deep breaths. This will allow you to Re-Orient yourself. You’ve given yourself a chance to consider some possible solutions or even consider who to ask for assistance. Having done that, you are now ready to take action and Do. Many times you will encounter problems that turn into opportunities just by following this process.