It’s Monday morning.  You’ve been out showing property all weekend and you haven’t had time to touch your desk since Friday.  Just looking at it makes your throat close with anxiety.

But wait.  Hold on.  Before you attack all those lists and post-its and phone numbers and MLS listings that are sitting on your desk, think about things that sit inside your brain…obstacles that may really be stifling your productivity. Those recurring internal, habitual obstacles are the ones that require 80% of your focus now, not what’s on your desk.  Without focusing 80% of your attention on those internal obstacles, your desk will be piled higher next Monday.

The most unspoken, unsuspected internal productivity obstacle of all is fear. Fear puts all of us into a state of fright/freeze/flight.  We can’t do anything when we’re paralyzed with fear so we’d best focus on what exactly is making us afraid.

If fear comes from doing a task we’ve never done before or one we think we’re terrible at doing, then break down that task into very small pieces. Say the task is plowing through an endless list of cold calls. Then, make five.  Every day, have five cold call conversations. And every day, pat yourself on the back for making those calls. Eventually, one of those calls will lead somewhere and you’ll feel great. You’ll think to yourself, why wouldn’t I make those calls when I feel this great when one actually pans out.  If fear comes from the possibility of failing or sounding stupid, practice.  Role play making a cold call.  Tape it and hear how you sound on the call.  Keep role playing, keep taping and eventually, you’ll like how you sound.  If fear comes from feeling like you’re missing out then define “success” for yourself, not for your broker, not compared with your peers, for you.  Likely, you’ll feel gratitude for what you’ve accomplished rather than fear about what you haven’t.

Another internal obstacle is questioning why you’re doing what you’re doing. What’s the reason for the work? Data indicates that a purposeful work path correlates with motivation, cohesiveness, connectivity and greater success.  Define the specifics of why you’re working in real estate…do you like the people contact, the flexibility, the multi-tasking, the challenge, the competition, the compensation?  Once you dial into the specifics of the profession, you’ll know why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Lastly, are you feeling overwhelmed and anxious because you have too much to do?  Really?  If yes, define what tasks/activities bring you the best return on your investment of time, your ROI, and concentrate on those tasks.  Also, practice saying “no.”

Once you concentrate 80% of your focus on your own internal roadblocks, you’ll find you’ll actually be able to focus on the real tasks that enable you to be the real estate agent you want to be.