Chapter 8: Running Your Biz
« Lesson 4: Getting Organized »
When you first get started, it’s really important to be a YES person. To make things happen at the drop of a hat. To show a house on a moment’s notice. Accept all opportunities and try your hardest and show up and all of that. But as you get some traction and momentum it will become impossible for you to do this. You’ll need to decide what tasks are the most important, make sure the fires get put out, do your regular prospecting, client meetings, etc, and still take care of your regular life day to day. So how do you do it all? And how do you not burn yourself out?!
The answer, my friends, is time blocking!
And before you get your excuses out about how crazy your life is and how spontaneously things come up and how out of control things are, let me remind you that you are not the first or only person to have children, and more than one job, and to be in real estate, and have life happening and too much going on. And that top performers around the world use time blocking to manage EVERYTHING that needs to get done without losing their shit. You can do it too. I promise.
I know it’s scary.
Here’s the gist: you create a master schedule, kind of like how your day went in high school or college: breakfast, on the bus, home room, english, spanish, lunch, science, math, extra curriculars, homework, etc. This way you have dedicated times to check email, do personal development, meet with clients, hang w/ your fam, get groceries, and so on. And yes, you can break the rules, but ONLY YOU get to decide if/when the rules get broken. And I know that writing purchase agreements and showing houses are usually things that come up on the fly, and on other people’s schedules, but this is all the stuff that you can work into your master schedule.
Here’s my experience: A year ago, I implemented my first set of rules on my calendar. For background, the brokerage was a few months old, we had a few agents, but I was selling a ton of houses myself too and I believe I had a flip house going on. I had only the time between bus stops to get work done and our evenings were crazy plus I was getting husband guilt for skipping out on parenting to work in the evenings and on weekends. I LOVE working and real estate so it is really easy for me to just go go go and not worry about other stuff. I attended a mastermind retreat with my amazing coach at Eventual Millionaire and worked with one of the people there to figure out my first schedule, which included a FULL DAY OFF! This sounds crazy to me still. Here was my first schedule:
Rules: no appointments on Sundays, but writing PA and answering emails are cool IF I FEEL LIKE IT. I can only break my evening mom time 2x/week at most. On saturdays, once appts are done, I take the rest of the time off.
During my first year on a time blocked schedule, things weren’t perfect, but it was amazing how easily I was able to schedule work when i was ‘working’ vs having them on other peoples schedules. And I would take time to set my availability expectations with new clients and they would totally respect them. In my first year on a time blocked schedule, I got more done in less time. And I was able to ignore my phone during my mom time and truly relax for a bit. This made me feel more fresh and focused when it was work time so I got more done that actually moved my projects forward and kept me feeling calm and sane.
I’ve now decided to take things a little further because I was spending 4-6 hours a day DRIVING and didn’t have time to get things done. So far, so good!
M-F 6a-7a Personal Development Time. 7-8:30, mom time, (breakfast, lunches, get everyone dressed and to school). 3:30-8. Mom time (activities, hang w/ kiddos, dinner, bathtime, bedtime, etc) 8:30-fall asleep: wife time or reading or early bedtime or whatever.
Mondays: work from home till 11. Then Gym til 1. Then appointments until 3:30
Tuesdays: appointments all day. Break for Gym 11:30-1. Appointments til 5. Listings, new buyer meetings, networking events, etc.
Weds & Thurs: Work from home: office day! content creation, marketing, biz development, etc
Fridays: Closings, overflow day, flex day, whatever it needs to be day.
Saturday morning: appointments.
Saturday afternoons: fam time
Rules: no appointments on sundays, but writing PA and answering emails are cool IF I FEEL LIKE IT. I can only break my evening mom time 2x/week at most.
This schedule will allow me to have appointments when they pop up and when I need them, but also have some long blocks of time to sit and write and make content and do marketing and all of the business essentials I need to do to keep B&B moving forward. All while giving me a sense of what to do next or in any given moment. Putting a limit on the possibilities of what needs to be done right now helps me focus. Yes, sometimes things come up and I don’t do the task at the allotted time. No problem. I made the rules, I get to break them. If I find that I’m routinely breaking a specific rule then I know I need to change it.
Here’s how you start.
Get out some paper and write down everything that needs to happen daily. Then write down things that need to happen regularly, gym time, kids sporting events, your other job, etc. Write down activities that are usually reactive: ie email, purchase agreements, listing docs, etc. Write down activities you want to start incorporating regularly but haven’t found the time for: ie blogging, making videos, coffee with prospective clients, social events, more gym time, etc.
Then, draw out a blank week calendar and see what things you can clump together. Add the daily regular items in first. Add in the things that you MUST do, and then start finding time for the things that you NEED to do to move your business forward. You may only have 30 minute here or there. This is ok. To begin, if you can have TWO 30 minute blocks per week to work on your business then you have two more blocks than most other people in this business. Try your new schedule for a month or so, and then re-evaluate and change it up if necessary.
While you’ve got your paper out, take some time to write out everything you have going on right now. Just brain dump it. Write down things you don’t want to forget, thoughts you’re having, things you want to do or try, places you need to go, even your grocery list if it’s on your mind. Then write down what things ONLY YOU can do. And write down which things you REALLY hate doing. And make a note of which activities result in the most business, or income, or happiness for you. Then write down which activities are no longer serving you or don’t need to be done at all.
What things can you STOP DOING that would result in more free time or energy?
What things do you need to make more time for because they get you more of what you’re working for?
What things need to get done, but you can delegate to someone else?
Our goal is not to do it all. Our goal is to hit our goals, and be happy and healthy while doing it! We want to make money and improve our lives, and by delegating things to others we are creating an opportunity to bring other’s up with us! The bookkeeper you hire to help you out with your taxes is supporting someone else’s small business. The cleaners your hire to clean your house every month is probably also a small business you’re supporting. Being in real estate should make your life better and easier, not harder and more stressful.
If you need help digging through all of your details, please email me and let’s sit down and do these exercises together.
- Make a master schedule! Apply it to your calendar and follow it! Make note of what works and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly
- Set your priorities. Delegate what you can. Stop doing what isn’t necessary. Focus on the work that brings you the greatest results.
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