Ever feel as though you either can’t or don’t get anything done?

Chances are you, like every other real estate agent, have too many distractions…too many screens, too many projects, too many people in your life that get in the way of your productivity.

How about trying these 10 things to help you decrease your distractions and increase your productivity.

  1. Write down all your distractions in list form. Be honest…no one else is going to see your list.
    1. Perhaps your list will look something like…
      1. Internet
      2. Social media
      3. Nonessential emails
      4. Phone
      5. Talking/gossiping with co-workers
      6. Working in a too noisy work space/office
      7.  Make a plan to remove those distractions from you work-day
        1. Create a voice mail message that alerts your callers you are working on ONE project and will return their calls within a specific time window
        2. Put an auto-responder on your email account to let your clients/colleagues know you’re working on ONE project and you’ll get back with them within a specific time window
        3. Schedule 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon to read and respond to social media comments (this is not the same time you use to create social media comments that you create to distribute to your networks)
        4. Schedule a specific time window to talk with co-workers
        5. Create a Do Not Disturb sign and put it on your desk to encourage people to NOT interrupt/distract you from your work time.
  1. Prioritize the items on your To Do list
    1. Tackle your #1 priority first – usually that first priority is the one you don’t want to do…do it anyway…i.e., eat the frog first
    2. Once you do your #1 first priority on your list, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction…you may even feel a sense of pride…good, now do the #2 priority on your list
    3. And repeat.
  2. Avoid your email holes
    1. Block out a specific time, say 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon, to read/respond/create your emails
    2. Answer the most pertinent emails first
    3. If you develop an email “chain” with one person that goes beyond 3 messages back and forth, pick up the phone and call that person directly…whatever you’re “discussing” in your email chain will be solved more easily and faster on the phone
  3. Maximize your calendar
    1. Block out time for everything on your calendar – if something is not on your calendar, it doesn’t exist
    2. Color categorize your calendar to separate and categorize your work, home and recreation tasks/time
    3. Use calendar alerts to remind and help prepare yourself for coming events/deadlines
  4. Compartmentalize large projects
    1. Break down large projects into specific, small tasks
    2. Make sure that your small tasks are small enough in terms of size and scope
  5. Create a designated work space and be consistent about it
    1. Having a specific work space increases your tendency to become and stay focused
    2. Having a specific, identified work space “tells” others that you are working and they are not to interrupt/talk/bother you while you’re working
  6. Use head phones to tune out office noise
  7. Avoid multi-tasking – it’s a trap
    1. Stick to ONE task at a time…preferably your high priority To Do projects
    2. It’s tempting to multi-task and seduces us into thinking we can do everything…we can’t…multi-tasking leads to mistakes, lack of attention to detail and is usually a HUGE waste of time
  8. Take a 10-15 minute break
    1. Sounds counter-intuitive but it’s not
    2. Stretch, go for a short walk, meditate, eat a piece of fruit…all away from your designated work space
  9. Experiment with relaxing scents
    1. Pine – increases alertness
    2. Cinnamon – improves focus
    3. Lavender – relaxing
    4. Peppermint – helps with head aches and is a mood lifter
    5. Citrus – induces happiness