Would you agree that murder is a crime? Of course you would! In fact, the laws of most countries treat it as THE highest crime there is. But why then is it okay when somebody is just “killing” time? I agree that it is an old expression and is a casual and often used response when we are too tired to actually formulate a more accurate response. But this is all about Your Time. And Your Time is Your Currency! So, how much of your time do you really want to kill? Position it that way and probably not a whole lot.
Now, think about it from this perspective. Isn’t time the most valuable resource you have? It certainly is much more valuable than money. Remember, money can be replaced but time lost, or worse yet killed, is gone forever! So, while I would normally review ways to make money, in this issue, I’d like to talk about ways to maximize your most valuable asset – your time!
What I have done is create a list of five concepts that I think you’ll find useful and they follow below.
1. You Are Your Highest Priority Client
This may be one of the more difficult concepts to get across and I’m not sure why that is. If you prepare a Priority List with a schedule of items you are committed to do, why do you stop the moment a phone rings? It is imperative that you be clear on this: Your commitments to yourself are THE most important commitments that you have. When you drop what you are doing to take a call you lose your train of thought and time will be wasted getting back to the point you were at when the phone rang. Your time and your money! You have no way of knowing if the call is from a qualified buyer or seller so let them go through your “Pre-qualification Routines”. That’s why you have them. And if the call is not a qualified call then you waste the time dealing with the tire kicker or inquiry. You must make yourself your own highest priority client. Get this right and you’ll find that commitments to others get done as well. Remember, you’re paying for Processes and Technology to see to it that it does get done.
2. Reverse the Yes/No Flow
This step goes hand in hand with Step #1. We accept “No” too easily from others when we make a request and give a “Yes” too often when a request is made of us. Here are some simple things to keep in mind when making requests:
- The team you hire is there to facilitate your productivity, not the other way around.
- Delegate or clear your plate of things that can be done by hourly workers
- Ask, ask and then ask again until you get a yes (then ask once more to make sure that person is committed to obliging your request).
In keeping with the above, here are a few simple things to keep in mind when a request is being made of you:
- Does saying Yes to this task move you closer to your goals?
- What is the true time commitment in order to carry out this request? (I actually assign a dollar value to the time)
- Is there a downside to saying “No” in this case?
If you remember that YOU are the highest priority client, you’ll find this step pretty easy to implement.
3. It‘s Never The Plan and Always the Planning
An old axiom states that people who fail to plan, plan to fail. I don’t think we need even question the validity of that statement. Rather than trying to change your nature, give augmenting it a try. Here’s what I mean. If you are not the regimented type, spend three minutes planning out your day on a notepad or a napkin if that’s all you have. You see, it isn’t the paper with lines that gives a plan its power. It’s the process of looking at things in the bigger picture and working backwards from there. You’ll find that short-cuts, greater effectiveness, more free time and less stress are the result!
4. Bundle “Like” Activities
If you want to realize an incredible boost in your Productivity with virtually zero additional effort, try arranging your day so that you are performing similar activity in concurrent timeframes. For instance, focus on closing listings. You’ll find that your close ratio improves! Experts that have studied this suggest that repetition has a positive impact on neural efficiency. What they are suggesting in layman’s terms is with repetition you become more comfortable, are warmed up, and your sales pitch gets tighter when you do presentations back to back versus spread out over the day or week.
Now, if you need to make general calls, group them together. And finally, get your errands and other non-vitals out of the way in single blocks of time.
5. Buy Time Every Chance You Get!
We have already reviewed the fact that your time is more valuable than money. So why not trade something of lesser value for something of greater value any chance you get? Here’s an example. Let’s say your time is worth $20.00 an hour. If you take your spouse or friends to dinner how much time is it worth to you to spend finding a parking spot if you can have Valet Service take care of your vehicle for $10.00. You’re going to write off the dinner and parking most likely anyway. If you spend 30 minutes trying to find a spot and then walking a long way to your restaurant then you are not utilizing your time effectively. The reality is many people will choose to spend time finding that Perfect Spot right in front so the walk is convenient, etc. Here is another example. It’s the person who shops across three or four different stores just to take advantage of lower prices at different locations. Although they may have achieved some success in savings they have totally discounted their own time and wear and tear on their vehicle. A false savings if ever there was one. Here are a few simple things to keep in mind when it comes to buying time for you:
- If it takes more than 10 minutes and a minimum wage worker can do it, then direct the work that way
- If technology can do it for you, use it! (More on this in a second)
- Are you considering the learning curve? Can you buy expertise?
- If there is something you really don’t enjoy doing, don’t do it. Pay someone for the result you want!
- If your work time is worth X, then your pleasure time is worth X or more. (Don’t trade a three hour plane flight for a twelve hour flight to save $100.00)
Finally, use technology whenever and wherever you can. They are the automated robots that help you reclaim your personal life and ensure that the messages that you want to go out, always go out with a consistent message. They capture all the information you need to perform follow-ups and build your customer and prospect base. If you aren’t using Hotlines to provide information that your prospects are looking for and to generate good qualified leads; or Voice Broadcast or other broadcasting techniques to stay in touch with past and present customers, you are not taking advantage of the greatest tools you have available. Take a clue from Craig Proctor and use technology to the fullest. Leverage your time to the maximum. Because anything less than that is a Crime!
For more information about the systems and technologies that are best for you just give AMS a call today at 1-800-858-8889. One of our friendly staff will be happy to help you.