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Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Effective Time Management: Nine Tips

Do you ever wonder why top producers are top producers?  Are they gifted? Do they have connections that the average person can only dream of? Are they lucky?

Perhaps. But chances are the one thing that top producers have in common with each other, is an innate sense of how to translate every hour in their day to impact productivity- and ultimately their bottom line. Time Management can either be your friend or your foe when it comes to climbing the ladder of success.

Busy does not Mean Productive

Is it a more effective use of energy to run in circles, or to make a direct dash for the finish line? In productive business, not all activity is created equal.  You may be busy and pressed for time- but you must make sure that the tasks in front of you are the important ones, and that they are getting allocated the appropriate amount of time.

Work Backwards

If you feel like there are simply not enough hours in the day, take a look at how you are spending your time. Take a few days, and document in detail the tasks you perform, how long you spend on them, and what the outcome was.
Also, make note of what you didn’t get done. Are these items that should be on your desk? How is their non-completion affecting your business now- and in the future?

Set Measurable Goals

Take time to plan ahead to really juice every opportunity out of your day. Have weekly, daily and monthly goals.

Map out how much time you will spend on each item. Once the time allocated is up, move on.  In this sense, it is important to have goals that are flexible and can be re-arranged over time, especially if you are finding that you spend too much time on something, and consistently running out of time on something else.

Prioritize

There is no doubt that everything on your list is important- but it is also true that there are varying levels of importance.

Decide, ruthlessly what tasks take priority, now- next week and further on in the future.  It may seem difficult to let certain tasks fall to the back of the queue initially, but when you start seeing results, it will make more sense.

Have a Reasonable To-do-list

Nothing is more de-motivating, than having a list that does not end. In order more you to feel productive, you have to see progress- and that can’t be accomplished if you don’t feel that you’ve achieved goals.

Don’t fall into the danger of having lists of things that you’d like to do. Confine lists and projects to what you need to do.

Find a System that Works

There are many tools and apps available to help streamline your business, and make your time management the most effective it can be.

However, while one tool may be the latest and greatest, but it ultimately is useless if it does not match your particular needs.

Whether you use a day timer, software or pen and paper, decide what works for you- and be consistent. Flopping around and changing means that you are wasting time deciding how to spend your time.

Colour Code it

It works for traffic lights, so why not for time management?

Assign level of priority- green needs immediate attention. Yellow can wait- but not too long. Red- can afford to be pushed to the back of the pile- but not forever. Again, the key is not to have items on your list that have no hope of getting done. They will just serve to make you feel unaccomplished.

Guard your Time Ruthlessly

Block out specific time in your day for things like emails, phone calls or prospecting- and guard that time like an angry dog. Furthermore, communicate these hours to your client base- so that their expectations are in line with what you will deliver.

These items have a way of infiltrating the rest of your day if you don’t contain them.

Delegate/Outsource

While you are captain of your own ship, to effectively steer it, you really need both hands on the wheel. In the Real Estate and Mortgage Industries, that means taking some tasks- and handing them over to others.

While letting go is a great difficulty for some, it is probably the most effective way around to allow you to maximize opportunity- and to squeeze the most out of the hours of the day.

Consider, if possible, having an assistant handle administrative duties.  Consider outsourcing things like website design and management, editorial content or staging.

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