Improving Daily Efficiency #327

Hello and welcome to Debbie’s Daily Tips. Today I thought we could talk about how to improve your daily efficiency.

I know that sometimes we all feel overworked and overwhelmed, and our business day just extends far beyond what is reasonable, sometimes consuming our quality of life. I was having an interesting conversation the other day with a friend of mine who is the largest independent distributor of batteries in the entire nation. This is an individual owner, so I know he’s incredibly busy. He has hundreds and hundreds of employees, locations across the nation, and a battery factory in Asia. He is just a really busy guy.

I said to him, “How come you always seem so calm? You must be overworked and overwhelmed!” And he said, “You know, Debbie, there’s one thing that I do that I think is very important to my sanity and my happiness. At the end of each day, I take a couple of minutes and I write down my five critical items that I must do the next day. So that old saying, you know, come heck or high water, no matter what happens, I have got to get these five critical items done. So that way, when I come in to work the next morning, I focus on those five. I batch the work, I get it done, and then if possible, I have time to add additional things to the day. That way I feel like I really had a successful day.”

I read an article not too long ago, written about corporations across America being very frustrated with the fact that there was a lot of wasted time in their employees’ days. The article talked about trying to get people into the flow, helping to get them in a groove where they’re just focused on one thing and getting it done. Some of these companies decided to experiment with what they called an hour of quiet time each day. Each employee, for one hour a day, couldn’t talk to anyone, couldn’t communicate with the outside world, and would just focus and work on the paperwork, the files, the issues, and projects on their desk. As they tracked this, they found that they were often completing in an hour what would normally take three hours to do and that they were happier, that they were less stressed, that they were less exhausted. My takeaway from this was that multitasking is not necessarily a virtue, it’s a sin that often leaves you flipping from job to job, activity to activity, feeling exhausted and wasting a lot of time in between. Also, the article talked about getting into the flow, trying to set yourself up where there are chunks of your day where you are just focused, not allowing distractions, not allowing interruptions and you’re powering through. And then of course the obvious, take a look at what can be delegated or outsourced.

So how do we apply this to your world? Well, what about having a very specific starting and ending time to your day? What about chunking out that first four hours of the morning and saying, I need to minimize my distractions and I really need to make this the money portion of my day? So, I’m going to do my prospecting, I’m going to do my lead follow up, I’m going to prep for my appointments. Then I’m going to respond to my emails and voicemails at the end of the four hours.

Now the interesting thing about it is, I think you’ll find your prospecting results will improve when you’re prospecting and following up with focus. Maybe you simply try the one hour of quiet time, maybe in the afternoon. I’ve noticed that sometimes midafternoon can be a little bit quieter in real estate. So maybe after lunch you take that hour and you just work on cleaning up the projects on your desk.

Going back to that article I mentioned, I have some stats here. The article talks about the fact that the average worker checks their emails 74 times a day, and the average person touches their smartphone 2,617 times a day. Guys, that’s a lot. That’s crazy! What if you checked your email three or four times a day? What if you put your smartphone away? You know, while I’m doing coaching calls or I’m at an event or I’m recording this for you, my phone is always turned off because I don’t want the interruption or distraction.

So just try it and remember the power of focus. And there’s actually a great book with that exact title, it might be a good one for you to read. Alright, have a great day. I’ll talk to you on the next Debbie’s Daily Tip.

 

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