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The Power of One

By The Real Estate Zebra Blog

This week I want to talk about efficiency and getting things done. I know that this sounds like such an elementary topic, but I hear this from my clients all the time! They are struggling to get something done, but they are getting so distracted that they are putting too many things to do on their schedule. That results in none of it getting actually done.

It is like if you and a friend were out in a rowboat on the lake, rowing about. Now you are rowing in one direction, but your friend is rowing in the other. That’s counterproductive and you end up going nowhere. This is what happens when you get distracted: You start on a task and just when you start to get some movement and motion, you then change direction. In essence, you’re going nowhere.

So, one of the things that I tell my clients to do is to use the power of one. This means that you focus on one thing that is important, that you don’t take on too much, and – most importantly – you stop going in so many directions at once. You stop allowing those distractions to get to you.

Write down your one goal, your one thing that you want to achieve, and put it somewhere that you can see it, where you can focus on it and not be distracted. I don’t care if it is a door or a mirror, as long as you can see it and you don’t allow distractions to get in your way. If you do this, I can promise that you will make progress towards it.

However, the problem is that in real estate we are in a business of distractions. We are distracted all the time! That’s our business. What happens for most real estate agents is that just when they start to get their rowboat moving, all of a sudden someone from the shore is calling them and saying, “Hey, I need you! I’ve got to buy a house! Hey, I’m thinking of selling!”

There are two modes to your business. One is client mode and the other is project mode. And you don’t want to be starting a project when you know that your clients are going to be interrupting you and pulling you back into client mode. You need to get really smart about when you set time aside to be in project mode so that you can actually plan and execute your projects.

For me, when I work on projects, I set time aside. Sometimes that time is really early in the morning. Even earlier than a lot of people would find believable. But I love that early morning time because that is the time when I am least likely to be distracted.

That really is the biggest element that gets in the way for most of my clients. They get a distraction. Usually the distraction is justified because it is client related, but if you are always getting pulled by client distractions, then you are never going to row your business boat very far. I want you realize how unlikely it is that you are going to get a project completed if you are doing it in the height of the day when clients are most likely to need you and want to talk to you. Instead, set yourself up for success by planning a reliable distraction free time when you can commit to your project – and then do it and get that project done.

You can do it. My clients do this all the time. They start out with some chaos. We get them planning and thinking forward. We get them thinking about when are they most likely to be able to get these goals done. And if you set yourself up for success, you can do it too.

Stop rowing in two different directions. Stay focused. Keep in one direction and you will get it done.