One of the things that I have personally discovered about the most successful agents is their ability to handle a variety of daily challenges, tasks, problems, issues and responsibilities, all at the same time, and still come back for more tomorrow.
This would not be possible if they lacked personal organizational skills!
I don’t wish to confuse anyone, but please keep in mind that I am not talking about time management here but personal management. What you can do in a framework of passing time is just manage all the “stuff” — decisions, problems, resources, customers, employment, successes, failures, risks, paperwork and reporting — as well as all the activities and matching issues in your personal life.
I will take this opportunity to list my Top 15 suggestions to help you improve your personal organization:
- Start with a written list of what you want to accomplish for a given time period.
- Go back through and prioritize the tasks on the list you made.
- Stay focused on your plan by completing each task according to its priority.
- Eliminate all clutter in your normal daily routines — if you have not referenced it in the last 10 days to obtain your objectives, why keep it around?
- Do not pursue anything on the list that you are not truly passionate about completing.
- Get up earlier and go to bed earlier.
- Organize your personal workspace — be it your desk or your vehicle — so you can be more productive.
- You must learn to say “No” much more often.
- If you catch yourself procrastinating on any task on your list, ask yourself why.
- Consider enlisting a mentor (or two, or three) to help you prioritize and complete tasks.
- When you say “Yes,” mean it.
- Respect and value your quality free time away from the job or assignment. Play when it is time to play and work when it is time to work, but do not mix the two.
- Have fun and enjoy life as well as this crazy profession you have chosen.
- Learn to make the client a friend. Prioritize relationships over transactions.
- Use all the available technology at your fingertips today as a tool, not as a crutch.
I realize No. 15 might be challenging for some. It has become much too easy to rely on technology as a sales tool to contact and reach out to new clients, maintain current and past clients, handle your sales and service issues and handle many routine daily functions. But at what cost?
In my personal opinion, business relationships, especially in our industry, are all about the basic concept of dealing one-on-one and face-to-face with people! Our clients want and need, as well as expect, that personal contact.
How often do you shoot over an email or text message instead of dialing that cell or office number and speaking to a client or friend personally?
Please understand that I am not against technology. I do believe it lets us get more done daily and is definitely faster, and I am amazed at the endless capabilities the future holds. But nothing can replace the “warm-and-fuzzies” that are created with a great smile, a firm handshake and a true sincerity to be helpful to the client — in person.
Neither the hottest new iPhone, the fastest computer nor the award-winning website can convince a client that you really do care about their success. Go ahead and label me “old school” or, better yet, “technologically challenged,” but humor me and try the following for the next 30 days and then monitor yourself:
- Personally call one prospective client every day instead of shooting them an email.
- Personally call one previous customer every day — not to sell them anything, but just to say “Hi” and ask how the world is treating them.
- Personally call a relative or a close friend, just to tell them that you were thinking about them and extend warm wishes.
- Finally, do not always assume that every client you are dealing with is as technologically advanced as you are.
Better personal organization will directly relate to improved effectiveness and increased productivity. Improved effectiveness as well as increased productivity directly relates to a more positive attitude. Positive attitude directly relates to a higher and more rewarding quality of life!
And after all, isn’t that the No. 1 priority on your written list of daily tasks to be accomplished?