How to Be More Productive Without Sacrificing Your Personal Time
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
When you work in real estate, days fly by in a blur of showings, paperwork, and late-night calls. And while sealing deals and making sales are essential, they're only part of your success. Staying grounded and maintaining a balance between your career and your personal life will determine if you actually have the life you’ve always wanted.
The real estate game can be exhilarating. But a non-stop grind? That's a fast track to burnout. Overexerting takes a toll and can lead to sleepless nights, reckless decisions, and poor health. Who needs that?
In this post, we’ll help you strike a work-life balance that will lead to career satisfaction and all-around happiness.
The real estate industry tends to glorify hustle culture. However, true productivity is about making smart moves, not just more moves. And guess what’s at the heart of this? Yes. You guessed it—the elusive work-life balance. Here are the benefits of finding equilibrium between your career and your personal life.
When you take time to care for yourself, you can recharge your batteries. Then, when it’s time to return to work, you’ll come back with improved focus and vigor. A well-rested mind performs tasks more efficiently.
All work and no fun can lead to mental and emotional exhaustion. By prioritizing a balance, you can prevent fatigue and disillusionment.
Overworking, especially in an industry like real estate that involves a lot of traveling and meetings, can take a toll on your physical health. By balancing work with relaxation and exercise, you will reduce the risks of stress-related health issues, like stroke and heart disease.
Taking time off to indulge in self-care, pursue hobbies, and connect with loved ones can greatly improve your mental health. This leads to a more positive mindset, which is invaluable in our relationship-driven industry.
A well-balanced agent is more likely to be attentive, patient, and effective in their client interactions. Clients prefer agents who are present and attentive, rather than those always in a rush or visibly stressed.
Work-life balance isn't just about personal well-being. It's also a strategic approach that can lead to long-term success and sustained growth in the real estate industry.
Every real estate agent knows that time is precious. So how do you make every second count? One word: Prioritization. Are you facing a flood of tasks? Pinpoint what's crucial and tackle it head-on. The real art of real estate is knowing what to prioritize and when. Here are a few ways to take control of your time and make it work better for you.
The Eisenhower Box Technique is a time-tested technique attributed to U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It offers a structured approach to categorize tasks based on two parameters: Urgency and importance.
To utilize this technique, draw a box and divide it into four quadrants. Label them as:
By categorizing tasks within this matrix, you can gain a clearer perspective on where to focus your energies. This prevents you from getting sidelined by seemingly urgent but less important activities.
In addition to deciding which tasks are urgent and/or important, you can also set daily goals. Prioritize your daily goals using the Eisenhower Box. This way, you can create a roadmap for the day and minimize potential distractions.
Also, set weekly goals. At the start of each week, draft a broader agenda. For example, identify key properties to showcase, meetings to schedule, or research to conduct. Setting weekly goals helps in allocating tasks across days which leads to a more balanced workload.
Finally, set monthly goals. Monthly goals tend to be more strategic. They might involve larger projects like mapping out a new sales territory, establishing partnerships, or analyzing monthly sales figures to spot trends. These longer-term goals provide direction and purpose, guiding daily and weekly activities.
The third way to manage your time is with time blocking. Time blocking is a technique where you allocate specific chunks of your day to certain tasks. This ensures that every hour has a purpose and every task gets its due attention.
Here’s how to time block effectively.
Designate your prime working time - Everyone has certain hours when they’re most productive, such as early morning or late afternoon. Recognize your prime time and reserve it for the most demanding tasks, like property evaluations or client meetings.
Batch Similar Tasks - Group similar tasks and address them in a single block. For example, allocate an hour in the afternoon to respond to all emails, or set aside a specific morning block for property visits.
Buffer Zones - Always include buffer times between blocks. This allows room for unexpected tasks or overruns. These short breaks also offer a mental reset, which helps you approach each block with fresh energy.
Review and Adjust - At the end of the week, review your blocks. Did certain tasks consistently take longer than expected? Were there recurring interruptions in a specific block? Adjust next week's blocks based on these insights.
Time blocking, when done right, offers you a framework to navigate your day. It’s more than just a schedule. It's a commitment to giving each task the dedicated time it deserves.
There’s no end to the tasks you have to do to keep your real estate business alive. But, who said you had to do every task? Trying to do everything on your own will jeopardize your work-life balance. However, delegating some of your tasks will ensure that you don’t burn out at work. It can also skyrocket your productivity and allow you to focus on your strengths.
How do you determine which tasks to delegate?
Start by noting all tasks you tackle in a week. Next, identify which tasks hinge on your unique skills and which can be trusted by others without a dip in quality. Standard tasks like data entry are great for delegation. Meanwhile, specialized roles, like high-stakes negotiations, should stay with you (and licensing laws may in fact require that, depending on your state).
When entrusting tasks to others, take the time to train them properly. This reduces the likelihood of errors and ensures consistent quality of work.
So, who can you delegate your tasks to?
Consider hiring a virtual assistant, or VA. VAs are skilled in various tasks, which may include email management and basic research. A reliable real estate-experienced VA can be invaluable.
While outsourcing does have costs, think of it as an investment. Redirecting your time towards revenue-generating tasks or client relationship-building can lead to more income and make your investment worth it. Just be mindful of licensing rules around assistants, and plan accordingly!
If you’re striving to achieve work-life balance, technology can be a real game-changer. Digital tools can streamline administrative tasks, automate routine processes, and enhance client interactions. This will save you time and effort.
One of the best digital tools that can help you do more but expend less energy is a client relationship management platform, or CRM for short.
Client relationship management platforms like Salesforce act as both a productivity booster and a lifesaver for personal time. By offering a consolidated view of your client interactions and automating essential marketing touchpoints, your CRM gives you the ability to stay in touch with your clients without being glued to your phone or computer. CRMs give you back hours each week that can be devoted to family, relaxation, or personal pursuits.
Multitasking sounds so attractive, but it’s actually destructive. Here’s why:
Multitasking is actually a myth - While it might seem that juggling multiple tasks simultaneously leads to getting more done, research indicates that our brains aren't genuinely processing each task with equal attention. Instead, we rapidly switch between them, and each switch can cause a minor cognitive delay.
Multitasking leads to more mistakes - Multitasking often results in more mistakes due to divided attention. In the real estate business, where details are paramount, any oversights can be devastating.
Multitasking is mentally draining - Continual task-switching can be mentally exhausting. Over time, this can lead to quicker burnout and reduced overall productivity.
Devoting your attention to one task at a time minimizes distractions, promotes faster task completion with fewer errors, and leads to clarity in decision-making.
It's easy to prioritize the next deal over downtime. Yet, remember that your greatest asset isn't just your property listings, but you, yourself. Making self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine isn't indulgent. Instead, it’s the foundation of your long-term success. Let's explore how to integrate self-care into your busy day.
Prioritize Breaks - Schedule dedicated rest time, just like you schedule client meetings. Rest time will help you recharge and give every other task your best self.
Rejuvenate Regularly - Take mini escapes from the daily grind. These can be afternoon nature walks or weekend spa days. If extended vacations seem elusive, pepper your weeks with short breaks from work. A simple midday stroll can do wonders for your mental health.
Workout - Exercise doesn’t need to be lengthy to be effective. Quick HIIT routines or short yoga sessions can recharge you in minutes. Practice Mindfulness - Incorporate short daily meditation routines. Consider journaling to provide emotional release and clarity.
Rediscover Hobbies - Set aside moments for passions outside work. This may include art, music, literature, sports, or the like. Hobbies are therapeutic and give you a chance to mentally reset.
In real estate, it's easy to become singularly focused on the next deal or client meeting. However, true success isn’t limited to transactions. You’ll find success when you finally strike a harmonious balance between professional endeavors and personal well-being. Remember, your career in real estate is a journey, not just a destination. By prioritizing both your job and self-care, you set the stage for a fulfilling and sustainable path forward.