14 Sep Top tips to time management & to keep yourself accountable
The first and best victory is to conquer oneself.” – Plato
Here are 10 easy ways you can start to better manage you & your time.
It is a well-known fact that by writing down your goals in measurable stages and then further breaking them down into an action or strategic plan, you are much more likely to achieve them. It is so important to be able to see your progress and to keep resetting the direction you are heading as you accomplish each stage.
For example, if you just have a set goal in mind such as “I want to write a million dollars in GCI next year” without breaking that down into monthly and even weekly goals and monitoring where you are up to each month, you will just be flying blind.
For this particular goal, you will need to have a prospecting plan which will get you into enough doors to conduct the required number of listing presentations to enable conversion of the number of listings to further generate the sales needed to achieve the GCI goal. To do this you will also need to know your numbers.
i.e., Conversion rate of prospecting to appraisal, listing presentations to listings & listings to sale.
There has to be a tangible benefit to you along the way to keep you motivated and on track.
By setting these short-term goals, within your long-term goals, you are better able to manage yourself. This method works in every situation, even if it is in repaying a debt or the dream of purchasing a dream home or going on a holiday. Work out what you need to do, within a set timeframe to get to that goal and budget or plan a monthly and weekly instalment around your financial plans to get there.
Make a daily list
The best way to improve time management and productivity is to follow a list of the tasks and activities that you want to achieve each day. You can include personal tasks which will help you to maintain your wellness and mindset such as gym, taking the kids to sport or coffee with a friend.
Keep your list simple and organise it into a structure of importance and order so that it is easy to follow. The best lists have a flow based around the tasks that you have itemised, so that you are not chopping and changing, but rather moving smoothly from one activity to another in the most time effective way.
A list should not be overwhelming so only add things which are important to you to be done that day. If necessary, break the list down into smaller lists based around a singular task. E.g., Tasks required for a particular property may have their own list.
You are your own Manager – keep yourself accountable
It is just as important to look back and review the tasks that you have accomplished as it is to look forward to what you still need to get done. Managers look at your work retrospectively as well as your future plan. By doing this, you will motivate yourself to continue. Keep ticking off your lists and your goals as you achieve them because there is nothing as inspiring as looking at a short-term plan and then comparing that to where you set your goals. It helps with the visualisation of your ultimate goal. and knowing that you are ahead of the game is THE best adrenalin rush.
This also gives you the opportunity to reflect on the things that you didn’t get done so that you can aim to give them more priority the following week. If you are behind on your targets, work out what you need to change moving forward to reengage with your goal and to catch up on your numbers.
Create a daily vision statement
It is so easy these days to forget what it is that you want to achieve. The daily grind and a reactive response to dealing with activities and peoples requests as they come up are all distractions which can easily derail the day.
So, by having a written purpose, we can use this to make sure that our productivity is at its best and your focus remains which will get you there.
By inspiring yourself with your “why” or your “purpose” for doing what you do on a daily basis, you are more likely to focus on what is important.
For example, “I want to build a life with a perfect balance of time with my family and for myself. I want to give back to others and to work efficiently and diligently towards financial independence and the opportunities such independence will afford me.”
Your personal vision just needs to convey your core values and define why you do what you do each day.
Mindset and maintaining your overall wellbeing are very important. Too often we waste energy by berating ourselves if things do not go to plan. A failure to accomplish a goal or to have made a mistake along the way can often bring about a spiral of negativity and self-recrimination. There is no benefit in this. We cannot change what has already been, so the only thing you can do is to do things differently the next time and to keep resetting and redirecting as required. The best learnings come from the things that we didn’t do right the first time. So do not ever lose focus on your outcome or your end goal.
Very often it may take a little longer than you had planned to reach a goal. That is perfectly okay as there are so many external factors which can break momentum and distract us.
So, to counteract these challenges, a big part of staying on track is rewarding yourself when you do hit your targets or achieve your goals. This may be with a day off or a lunch out with your team. Or in buying that new outfit you have wanted.
It is no use pushing hard every single day to get to a goal without reaping the benefits that you have gained from it.
Rewards make us work harder to get something we want. Create a reward for each goal.
Take it one step at a time
Having a goal which challenges you and pushes you outside of your comfort zone is exactly what you should have. In order to grow, whether that be in business or in your personal life, you have to do something that you have never done before.
However, the flip side of that is that it can also be overwhelming. So, the key to overcoming this is to not focus on the end goal. Write that down and put it somewhere that you can access it when you need that reminder or inspiration.
Instead, focus only on your micro goals. Those manageable, daily tasks you have set out for yourself and take them on one step at a time.
As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Emphasise your strengths
Nobody is born to do everything. We all have natural talents and abilities in some areas, and we all struggle in others. So, it is super important not to focus too much on the activities which present you with difficulty, especially if they are not dollar productive for you.
It is always good to delegate or outsource those tasks which bog you down and take you away from the things which will serve to get you to your goals.
Sometimes it is worth investing in someone or something to take away the time-consuming tasks in order to increase your ability to earn more income.
Value your time
If you were to break your time down to an hourly rate, what would you be worth?
If you were to do this, you would very quickly realise that the time you are wasting by sitting at work and not doing anything to increase your hourly rate, you are devaluing yourself.
Maximise the time while you are working so that your hourly rate pays for the time that you have off.
When you know what you are worth, your focus should shift to adding value to those around you as well as to yourself.
Generally, most people are both our biggest critics and our biggest fans. Which also means that often we cannot be the best and most impartial judge of our own behaviour and performance.
So, it is imperative that we get other people’s opinions on our methods, services and performance.
Ask for feedback from co-workers, managers, clients. Interact with others and engage in role play situations and interactive group training and workshops.
We all need a third party to account for our methods and to provide constructive feedback on things that we are doing well and things that we could likely improve on.
As long as this is done the right way, with each person’s best interest at the fore, such feedback will provide valuable insight into your competencies and weaknesses, and will help give you the tools to grow and succeed.
It is common, and in fact good managerial practice, to regularly conduct performance reviews with all staff on a regular basis.
Going back to holding yourself accountable, put aside an hour each month or each quarter to give yourself a performance review.
Ask yourself questions such as
What have I accomplished?
Have I met my goals? Or am I on track with meeting my goals?
Have I built upon strengths and improved my weaknesses?
Have I grown as a person?
Even this simple, infrequent habit can transform your productivity, attitude, and success.