We live in an era of 24/7 communication, doing more with less and increased responsibilities at home and at work. But being busy all the time has become a bit of the norm so how can you streamline your day to achieve more?
Productivity specialist and author of Leadership Hacks, Scott Stein, says that there are five key things that we can do to ensure that your day is very productive and that you get on top of all the things you need to do. He's our guest all this week on RE Uncut as we look at those five key things. Scott's helped thousands of leaders around the world implement fast track strategies that improve productivity.
What are time logs and how do they work?
Scott said: “One of the practical things you can do, a simple activity, is create a time log. Right? And you can go old-school, every 15 minutes. Just do it for a week. Write down what did you do with your time. Or, you can use one of the online apps, like Harvester, right? It's an online app that automatically programmes it in. And what I find, for most agents, they don't have to do it for a week. After a couple of days, they've realised that there's a lot of areas that they're wasting their time.
“So I think, the other thing that you can do is actually map down, on a sheet of paper or an iPad or a tablet, where should you be spending your time? What are the main areas of focus that you should be concentrating on? And make sure you include work but you also include family. And that's going to give you something to focus on.
“The Harvester app allows you to go in and there's multiple functions inside of it as far as what can you do, but it tracks kind of your time log. You know, what are you doing with your time? Is it actually helping you? Is it not helping you? I mean, there's a couple of other functions that you can do for projects and things like that. But the most basic version allows you to just do a time log.”
How will this help?
Scott said: “What I've found, and, in fact, quite a few people will look at it even after a couple days, or some people really commit and they do it for a week. They look back and they see how much time they lost doing what I call time-fillers. Right? So they go, ‘Oh, social media. I thought I was gonna go on and just check a couple things and jeez, I spent a half an hour, 25 minutes, 30 minutes.’ You know, because those things suck us in and we're not even aware of it. So I think reviewing that and looking at what should I be doing? And then you listening to the voice in the back of the head, ‘Am I doing and focusing on the things I should or am I not?’
How can you best spend your time?
Scott said: “Part of it could be time logs but I think more of it is being aware of, what are you doing with your time. What I mean by that is, quite often we go on to what I call mental autopilot. And this happens all the time, naturally we go through the day and we might drive somewhere and we don't remember the drive, right? Because our mind just kind of wanders. Same thing's true at work.
“I was actually talking with a real estate agent in Perth a number of months ago, about this one thing, and going well, alright, where's my time going because I always said I just never have enough time. And we started talking about Facebook. And I'm going, well what's your average time that you spend on Facebook, and on average, most people spend 10 to 15 minutes. And that's usually throughout the day, so what that means is, if you're checking Facebook four to six times a day, you just lost an hour and a half of time. So I think we need to be more aware of where are we spending our time.
“I think the people that use their time better are the ones that are aware of where they're spending their time. They can look back on the week, and they actually know and can recall what they've been focusing on. Where other people that are always busy all the time are the agents going, "I just don't know where my time went. I don't know what happened." But they're actually not aware of what they have been focusing their time and energy on in the past week.”
How has social media affected work?
Scott said: “I think they've become a distraction and what we have, biologically, we have the need to have time fillers. So if we're not busy doing something then we feel like we're not getting anything done. The challenge when you're not aware of it, sometimes you're doing trivial activities that actually waste your time. And you're not even aware that you're doing it.”
Do timelines help?
Scott said: “I think that's one good strategy, to go, alright let me have the timeframe, let me have the list in place, so I do draw a line in the sand so I know what I'm working towards. So I think that's a great strategy. I think that's important because what happens throughout the day is we get distracted with other things. We go off on tangents, we're not aware of what we're actually doing, and I think for some people using lists are a really good strategy. The challenge is make sure you go back to them. Make sure you're reviewing, what am I spending my time on, to make sure that you are actually putting it into the areas that really matter.”
What mistakes do some leaders make with time?
Scott said: “I think, the thing about leaders, and people across the real estate industry, is they're so busy with things. And I think sometimes we mix up our priorities. We get so busy doing things that we don't check in with the family, we're not present with them, and things get out of control. And I know a mate of mine, a local agent that I've known for years, he's a great friend of mine and that's one thing that he's always struggling with. How do I find more time, but how do I also make sure I spend time with my family and my spouse, and on the things that are important to me as well, in addition to work?”
How can people still make spare time for family?
Scott said: “I think it's even more important in the real estate industry, when your weekends are, especially Saturdays, which is normally a family, kids, sport, time, when most agents are actually working. So you've got to be even more aware of how you map your activity.”
Parts 2 & 3 will published on PropertyTV.io
Watch, hear, and read all the latest property news at PropertyTV.io