My take on Time Management
This post is an entry to the ActiveRain challenge by Grant Schneider, “Time Management is not a time management issue.” Grant’s challenge is to share how we got our lives organized and in order, or what we want to do to get there. So here is my take on time management as it relates to my life.
We all have the same 24 hours a day, but the requirements on our time may differ from person to person. In my case and similar to others, seven days a week my challenge is to balance the needs of my clients, potential clients, business, family, friends, and of course, self. The amount of focus I must spend on each of those groups changes from day to day, but here are some of the ways I’ve managed to stay on a generally even keel.
Using my calendar
I started using an online calendar years ago, and I find it works great for me. Not only do I schedule client appointments but I also schedule weekly “must-dos” like work on website, write a post about the market, and the like. If there is something I am going to do with my family it goes on the calendar. The ability to add things as they come up because I can enter from my phone or computer, makes this a very simple way to stay on top of commitments. I could improve my use of the calendar though by adding some more personal things that I want to do for myself. In addition, I don’t always stick to the marketing items on my calendar. I need to make sure if something goes on my calendar that I actually do it. So this is a great tool, but I could improve my use of it.
I’ve found that being consistent with certain things helps me manage my time better. For example, every single day, I’m up early and at the computer. I basically block the first few hours of every single day. That time is used for follow-ups, responding to emails and checking in with social media. I also review changes on our MLS system, write any posts and plan the rest of the day. This method might not work for others, but I feel great because I’ve already started the day off productively. If the rest of the day gets out of kilter, I still manage to complete a lot of to-dos. I do this every single day, regardless of whether I am swamped or business is slow.
In order to make sure the right things are on the calendar, it’s important to prioritize. It’s a fact that our priorities change on a day to day, and sometimes minute to minute basis. We have to make sure those items that have to happen are top of the priority list. So for example, today my priorities are to write a blog for this challenge, pick up my son from the airport, see a friend I haven’t seen in a long time and make some specific work calls. I will do follow-ups for some pending deals and reach out to clients around those top priorities of the day. Yesterday my priorities were all client focused. I’m good at prioritizing my must-dos, whatever they may be at the moment.
My take on time management
These are the top strategies I use to keep my life in order and make sure my commitments are kept. However, I’m not perfect at time management. Sometimes I overbook appointments. I need to keep an eye out for those days and try to do a better job. I also don’t always deal smoothly with the real estate professional’s need to be flexible. At any moment, a seller might call with a house emergency, a deal might need immediate attention, or a buyer will want to “sneak in” a house or two on an already scheduled tour. Those moments can challenge even the most organized person. So I do have successful time management processes in place, but they are always being tweaked and improved.