The ONE thing: busy vs productive

Yes, those tasks that ate up your day were all things that needed to be done. But just being blunt… the way you prioritized them is detrimental to your business, long-term.

Often in my coaching, I ask “What’s the One Thing I can do / such that by doing it / everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” (read: The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, by Gary Keller)

The key to success is identifying and prioritizing the 4-7 daily disciplines that truly move the needle for your business. And then making those your priority every day! If you’re letting the “urgent” tasks override the “important” tasks in your business, you’re never going to get ahead. 

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You’re so-called “busy” all day… Replying to emails. Returning calls. Playing phone tag with an appraiser. And suddenly, it’s early evening and you say to yourself: “I didn’t get any of the things I needed to do done today.” So what’s the difference? Important tasks are those big-picture activities that create growth in your business. Urgent tasks are those that move a particular transaction forward. The solution? Prioritizing and time blocking.

The specifics of identifying what moves the needle may vary for every person reading this, but from a big picture perspective, I think it breaks down into four categories:

1. Marketing & appointment setting – Without this, there’s no business coming your way

2. Nurturing & follow up – It’s the biggest complaint about real estate professionals… “I never heard back from them.” You need to make nurturing a daily discipline to move people from prospects to clients.

3. Going on appointments & converting – How many appointments would I see in your calendar over the next two weeks?

4. Servicing & closing transactions – You’ve got to do the work and keep people moving through the process.   Create a daily action checklist of the 4-7 most important actions for the day that will keep your business moving forward. Here’s some examples:

  • Self-Care – exercise, meditation, prayer, reading, gratitude’s and affirmations
  • Review your day of activities
  • Lead follow up
  • Appointment setting
  • Appointments and presentations
  • Showing homes
  • Negotiating offers
  • Marketing

Then time block and calendar these actions into your daily scheduler in order of importance with the most important action scheduled first in your day timer. Lists can be useful, but they can also pose a trap. Many people create a big list of “things to do” and then tend to choose to tackle the easiest tasks on the list. Just one problem: Those easy things aren’t what moves the needle. Then those tasks that WILL move the needle end up getting ignored because you keep adding easy tasks to the list.

Here’s another common list-making mistake: You combine your business, personal and family tasks all into one list. Don’t do this! It jumbles up your priorities and only causes confusion. That’s why I love the Daily Action Checklist for your business.

The only things on it are things that you know move the needle in your business. And by making those tasks a daily discipline, you create certainty in your business both now and for the long run.

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