Two Strategies for Starting a Productive Day
You’ve probably had it happen before. You get to the office and fire up your computer. You have a clear plan for the day and you’re ready to get going.
Then you check your email.
Your sellers want to hear the feedback from yesterday’s showing. Your buyers found a couple of properties on Zillow they’d like to view. Another agent has a list of questions about one of your listings.
Before you know it, it’s noon and you haven’t accomplished a single item on your to-do list.
Starting the day by checking email is inviting chaos. Productivity experts agree it’s one of the worst activities you can do first thing in the morning (checking social media also ranks up there).
What productivity experts don’t agree on, however, is the right way to start your day. The following two strategies are the most popular. Try them both and see which one is right for you.
Strategy #1: Eat the Frog
Mark Twain once said if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the rest of the day knowing it can’t get any worse. His statement led to the “eat the frog” productivity strategy and it works well if you tend to procrastinate.
Start your day by doing your most important task. It could be prospecting, it could be following up with leads, or it could be writing an offer. Regardless, it should be something with the potential to make you money.
Only when you’ve completed your most important task do you check email and begin working on the rest of the items on your to-do list.
Strategy #2: Small Wins
People who find success with the “eat the frog” strategy enjoy tackling a major task first thing. If that doesn’t suit you, then the “small wins” strategy might be a better fit.
Start your day by completing three or four minor tasks. Each task should take less than 10 minutes and require little mental effort. As soon as you’ve completed one task, check it off your list and immediately move to the next one.
Completing several tasks in a short period is energizing. These small wins build momentum and pave the way for you to complete the larger items on your list.
The key to both of the above strategies is planning. At the end of every day, write out your tasks for the following day. That way, when you get going in the morning, you will already know which major or minor tasks to complete first.
P.S. – Your willpower is at its strongest in the morning. That’s why, no matter which strategy you use, you want to complete your high priority tasks early in the day.