I laughed a little bit to myself when our social media team asked me to write this blog on Work/Life Balance in real estate because if I’m being honest, it’s something I think about, struggle with and work on every single day.
Like a lot of Realtors, I manage my job, my family, my health/fitness, social events and anything else thrown my way.
One of my favorite quotes is this, “The main cause for failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want at the moment.” What I want most is to “do it all and be it all.” I want to be great at my job, super mom, an awesome wife, maintain good fitness and strong faith, the list goes on.
I am far from an expert at work/life balance, but what I can tell you is this – I have a plan to get the most of out of my day every day, and the days that I am self-disciplined enough to stick to the plan and not “trade what I want at the moment” and stray from the plan, are the days I win at work/life balance and are the days I am happiest.
Balance requires two things—a good plan and the discipline to follow it.
Here are the basic fundamentals of my PERFECT DAY PLAN:
- At the end of the work day, I put together a list of the tasks that have to happen the next day.
- I focus on the tasks that “have to happen” the following day. Everything else goes on a short list to tackle when I have free time. Prospecting is a “has to happen” activity.
- I have a task management system in place with Outlook to tell me what I need to do each day, so it leaves room for very little error/forgetfulness. (I learned this the hard way!)
- Get up early and exercise in the morning.
- Get into the office between 7:30-8:00 am
- Stick to my schedule. My weekly schedule is set up for days I coach agents, conduct meetings/trainings, prospect, meet with recruits, and time for administration. If I follow the plan, I get everything done with time to spare.
- The days I win, are the days I get into bed by 9-9:30, I read until I fall asleep. It clears my head and makes me feel stronger and smarter.
This is my plan. The days I am self-disciplined enough to stick to my plan, I am productive, efficient, and I feel great. Then there are days I unravel, and I fail all day long at the plan. What gets in the way of winning at my plan? It’s usually me. I accept a lunch date I don’t have time for. I sleep a bit too long. I watch The Bachelor instead of going to bed and starting my day right. I chit chat with my agents and staff about what’s in store for the weekend. I accept an evening appointment because I have trouble saying “no” to people. These compromises make me human.
When I think about balance and real estate, it’s not a secret that many of our top agents, are some of the most self-disciplined people I have ever met. They have smart and strategic plans in place and the motivation and discipline to follow them.
My schedule when I was focusing on sales and not management wasn’t much different. I had a plan of when to prospect, when to take appointments, scheduled time off, etc. The weeks I followed the plan, again, I was happiest. The week’s I compromised my schedule and worked 7, 12-hour days, and the rest of my life suffered, are the weeks I didn’t enjoy the business.
The best advice I can give anyone in real estate, is to never stop trying to schedule time out of the office for yourself and your family. Get your prospecting done early – it frees you of guilt and makes you feel good all day long.