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Two strategies to create more balance in your life

A great career and time to enjoy the fruits of our labour. It’s what we all want, right?

Recently I celebrated my 21st wedding anniversary, so in honour of my amazing wife Michelle, here are two strategies I’ve implemented to create more time for her and our kids.

1. Block off personal time.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve heard me talk about appointments with yourself. Usually, it’s about productivity – creating time to study or work on a project or any other important activity that requires your full attention.

In addition to work-based activities, appointments with yourself are ideal to ensure you get time off work to spend with your family and friends. For example, a regular date night with your spouse every Friday evening. Or your daughter’s music recital on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Ask yourself, “How important are these events?”

If your answer isn’t “critically freaking important,” perhaps you should ask your child or spouse for a second opinion.

Here is Rule #1 for appointments with yourself: Treat every appointment with yourself with the exact same respect that you would treat an appointment with your most important client. In other words, honour time with yourself and your family at least as much as you would honour time devoted to anyone else. This makes perfect sense, right?

So, when your buyer client wants to look at properties on Thursday evening (the same night as your daughter’s recital), here is your response: I’m sorry. I’m already booked solid on Thursday evening. Is there another day or time that would work for you?

Simple. You don’t need to tell them it’s your daughter’s dance recital. That’s not their business. The only thing they need to know is that you’re booked up already.

If you have trouble with this, we need to have a little talk. Call me right now – 403-973-9730.

2. Get a business partner.

I know. I made that sound easy, right? Well, with the right person and a solid plan, it’s actually not hard to create a “loose” partnership.

“Loose” means there is no formal agreement where you split commissions or expenses. Instead, I prefer to use a point system to keep track of who’s done what for each other. I’ve devised a simple system for this, but it’s too much for this short article post, so I’ll describe the Points Per Task system in more detail in my next column.

Even though your loose partnership isn’t a formal arrangement, the public doesn’t need to know that. You could market yourselves as partners but still take care of your own clients 95 per cent of the time. Here’s how I would explain the role of my business partner to my clients:

“If I’m ever not available, for any reason, my business partner will step in for me. I chose him because he’s extremely smart, and he approaches his business in the same way that I do, with the utmost integrity and 100-per-cent focused on providing the best possible experience for his clients and mine. I trust him implicitly.”

I’ve never once explained this to a client and not had them respond with 100-per-cent positivity. In fact, if you are an individual agent, your availability is something that potential clients wonder about when choosing a Realtor, so it’s a huge plus to be able to say you have a backup, when needed.

And, believe me, unlike the ridiculous number of expectations that Realtors tend to apply to themselves, nobody else expects you to be at their beck and call 24/7. If they do, and you don’t feel like you can fire that client, give me a call. We need to have a little talk – 403-973-9730.

Once you’ve got a partner, you need to meet regularly and keep each other informed about whatever you each have going on. For example, ask your partner to try to keep Thursday evening open if possible, in case something comes up while you’re at the recital.

There’s much more to the “loose partnership” idea, so I’ll get into it more next column.

For now, I suggest you go to your calendar, book an appointment with yourself, call your spouse and ask them out on a date.