Strategies for maximizing our most valuable commodity: Time

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The term ‘time management’ confuses me. If we don’t manage our time well, we don’t get to do it over. Instead, I believe we use time, because once we use it – that’s it – it’s gone. There are 24 hours in my day, just as I’m pretty sure there are 24 hours in your, Bill Gates’ and Donald Trump’s days, too. Isn’t it amazing what some people do with their time?

For REALTORS® and others in commission sales, being aware of how we spend our time is so important because we control so much of our own schedules. But how often do we take steps to better understand how we’re spending each hour and ensuring we’re maximizing the potential of our time at work?

I’ve been using the following two strategies for years. It took a little practice, but just an hour each week keeps me conscious of how I spend my time and has taught me to use it wisely.

Daily reflection: 10 minutes a day / 6 days a week

First, I invested in a day planner and a notebook. Every night, I use my day planner to reflect on the day. I take note of the jobs I did, the people I met, and the leads I generated. I measure each for potential production and plan my tomorrow. I carry forward the tasks I did not complete and prioritize any new ones. Blocking off time helps organize tasks and doing it the night before means the next day is already planned.

In my journal, I take note of anything that happened that day that I think may be income-generating or business-building. I include details about what I did and how I met contacts. I expand on my ideas as much as possible.

Why is this helpful? I find that periodically referencing my journal and day timer can help remind me of the steps I took along the way to build my business and relationships. It can also help identify the things I do that might actually be wasting my time and generate no income.

Block prioritization: 1 hour a week (Monday morning)

With two blank pieces of paper, I find a place to be alone, ideally where I wouldn’t expect to see anyone I know. On the first page, I list any and all outstanding tasks and responsibilities: work stuff, family stuff, fun stuff…everything.

Now, on the second page, I divide it into four squares. I label the top left square “important and due immediately,” the top right “important and due later,” the bottom left square “not important and due immediately,” and the bottom right “not importantly and due later.”

Using this template, I sort everything listed on page 1 into the appropriate boxes on page 2. I then block off the time I need to dedicate to each task in my day planner, either right away, or whenever I have a chance.

Dedicating one hour each week to reflecting on my day, writing down everything I need to do, and prioritizing and blocking off the time for each, I find it easier to stay focused each day. I know that I am consciously working with purpose in the direction I’ve decided is best for my business.

These strategies work for Dave, but let us know – how do you make the most of your time? Share in the Comments below.

Dave Chomitz has been a REALTOR® serving Cobourg, Ontario, since 1989. Over the years, he has volunteered for his local Board, the Northumberland Hills Association of REALTORS®, as a part of committees and its Board of Directors, and he proudly served as its President in 2013. Dave enjoys sharing his knowledge and insights on technology at major industry meetings and events as well as with individual brokerage offices.

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