Reclaim Your Time: 4 Steps to Getting Your Schedule Under Control
How would you like to reclaim your time and get your schedule under control? To no longer feel like you’re trying to fit 36 hours into a 24-hour day?
The following four steps can help you do just that.
Step #1 – Make 3 Lists
Set aside an hour of time one morning and create three separate lists. On your first list, write down all the tasks you don’t enjoy doing. Include even the items you think are “part of the job”.
On your second list, write down the tasks you don’t know how to do. These can be items you’re struggling to do because of a lack of knowledge or skill on your part. Or, they can be items you feel should be getting done but aren’t.
On your final list, write down the tasks you shouldn’t be doing. And be honest with yourself. Just because you can do the bookkeeping doesn’t mean you should (as an example).
Make your three lists as comprehensive as possible. Revisit them periodically over the course of a week to ensure you captured every task that needs to be on them.
Step #2 – Eliminate Tasks
Once you’ve completed your lists, review them and identify the tasks you can stop doing. These might be activities you do out of habit, but they no longer serve a real purpose. Or, they might be activities that crept into your schedule without you realizing it.
Real-life examples from clients include:
· Reading the newspaper/watching the news
· Checking email and social media first thing
· Holding weekly sales meetings (attendance was low and monthly meetings ended up being better)
· Negotiating splits and fees
Keep in mind you’re looking for tasks you can stop doing that no one else needs to do.
Step #3 – Delegate Tasks
Once you’ve eliminated tasks you don’t need to do from your lists, the items left are those you can delegate. Start by delegating as many of them as possible to your current staff. Examples include:
· Paying bills
· Posting to your website and/or social media
· Creating the company e-newsletter
· Sending birthday or anniversary notes to agents
If there are tasks you cannot delegate to your current staff, consider hiring a freelancer. You can find them on upwork.com, fiverr.com, and freelancer.com. The cost of a freelancer is often a fraction of that of an employee and they can handle just about every task you can imagine.
Step #4 – Set Aside Interruption-Free Time
Eliminating and delegating tasks from your lists will free up more time than you might expect. But, you won’t be able to take advantage of your newfound time if you allow your agents to hijack it with questions and issues that “just need a minute”.
Set aside time every day you will be unavailable to your agents (and your staff for that matter). I wrote about how to do that in an article you can read by clicking here.
Reclaiming your time and getting control of your schedule isn’t as hard as you might think. But, you will need to make it a priority for it to happen. That means starting on your three lists today.
P.S. – I’m serious about starting today. You wouldn’t believe the number of people I meet who struggle with time challenges but do nothing to address the problem.
P.P.S. – The “3 Lists” strategy is something I picked up from Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker. Grab a copy if delegating to freelancers sounds attractive to you.