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High productivity step #1: Establish good habits BEFORE — not AFTER — achieving your goals

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I’ve focused a lot on organizational and productivity skills. That’s because you need these skills to support a business where you can comfortably complete 50-100+ transactions per year.

Even if your goal is only to do 25 deals per year, wouldn’t you rather do it more efficiently, with fewer mistakes, fewer missed opportunities, more time off and with an abundance of thrilled, high-quality clients referring you to their friends and family?

I know plenty of agents who are stuck at X # of deals, year after year, and they can’t imagine how they could ever get to where they want to be without doing one or both of the following: 

  1. Working 18 hours per day, seven days a week, and/or
  2. Having a massive heart attack.

Well, I don’t want you to do either of those things! And you don’t need to.

You need to stop READING about productivity and start DOING something about it. So, what’s step #1?


Set and honour appointments with yourself


If you’ve been reading my content for a while, you’ve heard me talk about appointments with yourself many times. In fact, it was in the last column.

Remember? As you read it, you nodded and said to yourself, “Yes, I’ve got to start doing that!”

Then, you immediately did nothing. Hey, it’s human nature. We all do this.

So, here’s a reminder and a plan to implement my high productivity step #1. First, let’s clearly define an “appointment with yourself”.

This is an appointment on your calendar that you’ve set for yourself (the same as with anyone else) with the specific goal to start or complete a task or project. The key is that you MUST honour the appointment with yourself just as you would honour an appointment with anyone else.

For example, if you’ve got an appointment with your dentist at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, you don’t call them at 2:45 and cancel because “something else came up”, do you? No, of course not! And yet, most of us realtors are utterly disrespectful of our own time. We put everyone else’s needs ahead of our own, which is entirely counterproductive.


How to set and honour appointments with yourself


So, here are some tips on setting and honouring appointments with yourself and taking the first and most crucial step towards massively increasing your productivity. 

1. Set appointments with yourself for weekday mornings. (We tend to get busy with clients in the afternoons, evenings and weekends.)

2. Start small and practice. Think of something you need to do, and set an appointment with yourself for five minutes to work on it. That’s it.

3. If something comes up that conflicts with your appointment with yourself, figure it out. When a client says, “Can we look at this house on Wednesday at 10:00?” You say, “No, sorry, I have an appointment at that time. How about at 11:30? Or whatever. (This is not rocket science.)

4. Start ON TIME every time, just as you would (I hope) with an appointment with anyone else. Treat yourself with at least the same respect you would extend to anyone else. It may seem trivial to start five minutes late, but there’s a bigger picture here (establishing good foundational habits).

5. When you finish the allotted time for your appointment with yourself, always set another one to guarantee you’ll eventually complete the task or project. Nothing is stopping you from continuing with it in the meantime whenever time allows, but you MUST still honour the next appointment, no matter what.


Still trying to figure out where to begin? Here’s a suggestion. As mentioned, I’ve been chatting about various productivity topics since the start of the year, so why not set an appointment with yourself (for five minutes) to re-read this article from January: New habits for a new year?

After that, your next step should be obvious. Or, set an appointment with yourself (for five minutes) RIGHT NOW for whatever other task you’ve been avoiding.


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