Top Agents Know THIS About Time Management by Gregg Sugerman

Reframe how you see time. Learn the differences between what's urgent and what's important.

If you can’t manage your time, you can’t manage your day. And if you can’t manage your day…how can you possibly manage your business?

I know that sounds obvious, yet I’m continuously surprised by the number of agents I speak to that have days that go something like this: “I kind of sort of have an idea of what I want to get done on any given day, but then I wake up, immediately bury myself in my email because I feel like I’m always trying to catch up…then clients start calling me and emailing me and texting me and I really want to take care of them as fast as possible because I feel like THAT’S the only thing that really sets me apart in a competitive market, and then I have this showing that came up…and before you know it it’s 10 PM and I’m wondering how another day completely got away from me.”

So, let’s talk about a few things the top 1% of all agents understand about time management. And I know, because I’ve worked with quite a few of them. To start, they know that time is the single most precious and scarce resource they have. If you lose your money, you can always make more. If you lose your health, in many cases you can get it back. But when you lose your time, you can never get it back. Once it’s gone it’s gone forever and it cannot be replaced or replenished.

Let me ask you a question: what would you do if everyone you ever spoke to asked you for money every time you spoke to them? Not only would you say “hell no”, you’d probably spend the majority of your time hiding in your house! So why are you so willing to give your precious time to everyone who asks for it the second they ask? It’s your MOST valuable possession. And when you start to think of it that way, your decision-making process is going to start to change.

Top agents also know how to prioritize. They know “if you chase two rabbits, you’ll catch neither.” And that brings me to the main point I wanted to share with you today: Chances are you have a bigger vision for your business than the one you’re experiencing right now. The problem is, the things you have to do to make that bigger vision a reality…whether that’s:

  • Taking the time to put systems in place to give you some desperately needed structure throughout your day
  • Consistently taking the time to nurture your warm leads and making sure you always have higher dollar deals in your pipeline
  • Spending more time on high level activities (whatever those activities are for you) Odds are you know exactly what those things are but you’re constantly sacrificing them for the day-to-day “pay- attention-to-me-I’m-on-fire” type things that are in your face constantly screaming for your attention. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the barrage of texts, emails, calls, slack notifications, CRM pings…

In the 1950’s President Eisenhower famously said: “I have two kinds of problems. The urgent and the important. The urgent are never important and the important are never urgent.” Think about that in the context of your hectic schedule. “The urgent are never important and the important are never urgent.”

Here’s one way to ensure you’re actually doing the things you know are going to get you closer to your big picture business goals: Get them out of your head and off of your to-do list, and get them on to your calendar. But done so in a specific way. What I want you to do is this: Each Sunday, sit down for a few minutes and identify your Most Important Tasks for the week. (M.I.T.’s for short). These are things that are aligned with your long term business goals. The IMPORTANT things you’re constantly putting off. Preferably revenue-generating activities.

Here’s how you find your MIT’s. Ask yourself this: “What is the ONE THING I can get done that IF I get it done, will have the greatest and highest impact on my long term goals?” Now, there should only be a few of these. Don’t start calling everything your most important task or they’ll just get lost in the shuffle. Next, identify action steps required to make those tasks a reality. An example would be: if one of your Most Important Tasks for the week is “Nurture my warm leads,” then schedule in “60 minutes inside my CRM.”

Know that as your week progresses, you may have to “call audibles”–changing plans at the last minute. So each night, before you’re done for the day, make sure you review the next day’s Most Important Tasks and if needed, adjust. But take the time and actually do this. This way when you start work the next day, you know EXACTLY what your most important task is.

Now here’s the secret sauce: if at all possible, you schedule the day’s Most Important Task for early in the morning. It’s been proven that for most of us, our brain’s highest cognitive power is during the first 3-4 hours we’re awake. And so what do most agents do? They bury themselves in their email which is basically the single most reactive thing you can do. You’re more positive in the morning. You have a greater degree of control and willpower in the morning. The outside world doesn’t yet have an opportunity to take your entire day hostage if you don’t let it. And so you limit your distractions. You take care of your Most Important Task and anything after that is gravy. You’ve already won so anything else you accomplish that day is a bonus. Put this into practice and you’ll start getting more done with less effort. Your productivity will be off the charts but like anything, you have to actually do this and stick with it

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