We live in a distracted world.
Top real estate agents, the ones creating the lions share of GCI, combine dedication with laser-like focus that allows them to go deep in their work, as opposed to their distracted counterparts who just touch the surface.
Success requires real skills and talent, but both are irrelevant if they aren’t applied in totality due to distractions.
Deep, Effective Work
Cal Newport writes in Deep Work that the knowledge workers today spend 60% of their workweek engaged in electronic communication and internet searching, 30% of which is writing and responding to emails. Worse than that, my experience has taught me that this shallow work is spread throughout the day. This fragments attention and makes it difficult to return your full attention to an objective.
When we invest all of our intellectual resources to a task, we are capable of incredible things. We are effective. Much more effective than running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, trying to gain leads while answering email, making a call or two with a side of facebook and texting a long lost friend. If this can be called work, it is a shallow form of it and a waste of our intellectual capacity.
Time blocking means dedicating time to an objective and digging deep. It is engaging in deep, valuable work and reaching a state of complete focus and concentration on an objective. Some call it getting lost in your work. It’s an obsession with one single objective. In this state, Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, Thomas Jefferson wrote the declaration of independance, and you, too, will see a breakthrough in your work in life when you can invest all the talent and brainpower you have been blessed with to the task at hand. Here’s how it works:
Get a Head Start
Your morning routine is the first step to reaching this state. Get up early. Don’t hit the snooze button (seriously, the snooze button is a gift straight from the devil). Exercise, meditation, and nutrition will set you up for success.
Tip: Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning makes it so that your stomach can absorb more nutrients throughout the day
Tip: Meditation is just simply concentration, thought, and physical relaxation. For example, Tony Robbins uses this priming exerciseand Grant Cardone spends time every morning writing down his biggest goals.
Rather than going through the motions in the morning, enjoy it. Set yourself up for success every day. Try not to fragment your morning with small tasks like email. Your morning is for you.
Tackle Hard Tasks First
I found this article interesting. It talks about how, psychologically, taking on the painful or difficult parts of an experience first make the entire experience more enjoyable. It’s like eating the oats out of the lucky charms first. Once they are gone, you can enjoy one spoonful after another of those tasty marshmallows.
For an agent, this means contacting potential leads first thing in the morning. Hubspot and Kissmetrics produced a study that shows that the best hours to do this are between 8-9AM and 4-5PM. Since you should be out showing houses between 4-5PM, the morning is your shot. It’s tough to be excited about getting to the office early and making cold calls, but that’s what successful agents do, and it’s part of why they are making a killing. They do the hard things first and then sit back and enjoy the success.
Don’t just pull up an excel spreadsheet and start calling. Set goals and track every call you make. Try different techniques each day and record how they work. When you set an appointment, track that as well. This is how top agents learn what works and what doesn’t. Tracking and analyzing allow for structured growth.
Here is that clip from that infographic about cold calling, by the way.
Focus and Execute
If there’s one thing you take from this article, this is it! All of us have been gifted with talent and a capacity for critical thinking and problem solving. You can and should create incredible things in your life, and you will - if you train to channel 100% of that ability to create results.
When you jump between tasks, you fragment your attention. You become a machine that spits out easily repetitive tasks. Fix this by focusing. When you are generating leads, GENERATE LEADS! Turn off your personal phone if you need to. Don’t answer emails. There is a time for email too, and when that time comes, dedicate your time to that.
Here are some great deep tasks and objectives to engage in during the day:
- Lead generation. You won’t succeed if you aren’t talking to new people
- Work flow analysis. This means taking a deep look at your work style and results. It requires that, beforehand, you track everything. Contacts, listings, appointments, buyers under contract, all of it. If you know what you’ve been doing, you can take time to look at the data and pull insights out of it. The data tells a story, if you can read it, but you need to first have the data and then take the time to analyze it.
- Planning and goal setting. This goes hand in hand with workflow analysis. If you know where you are, find out what it’s going to take to get where you need to be. This also involves looking at the numbers and setting goals (I hope that you’re starting to see how important number tracking is to your growth)
By the way, you can use this free goal calculator to find out what those baseline goals should be. Then, time-block your schedule to make sure you hit them. There's no better way to ensure that you produce at the level you desire.
These are activities that require your whole creativity, not a few minutes of thought between answering emails. Dedicate real time to these types of growth promoting activities. You’ll see results.
Wherever you are, be there. This is some of the greatest advice I have received and can give.
Take the time to apply your whole heart, creativity, and passion in life.
In the morning, it will set you up for success.
During the day, it will lead you to great accomplishments. Your buyers will love you because they will know that when you are with them, they are your main focus. They’ll return for your business and recommend you to friends.
At night, when you disconnect from work, it will build strong relationships with your spouse, family, and friends.
You will be fulfilled and will live life the way it is meant to be lived.