Mental Toughness is the choice – the attitude – of staying in inspired action despite the circumstances surrounding you.
JPAR agents our productive! Working out of our 49 locations across the US, including our Texas brokerage operations where we have 26 locations with 105 private offices and shared community workspaces. I thought it timely and important to write about our “new normal” of working from home during this time of social distancing.
While there are many disruptions during the coronavirus outbreak, it’s essential to manage our attitude and mental state. In my view, mental toughness is the choice – the attitude – of staying in inspired action despite the circumstances surrounding you.
As a real estate professional, you are all used to working from a home office, so this blog could be a great reminder for you. For others, as businesses and organizations respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us will be working even more from home. There can be a great deal of additional stress that accompanies the transition to working from home.
Here are a few tips that can help ease the transition or increase the likelihood that you’re able to balance productivity with your other responsibilities:
First, set precise working times
To the extent possible, try to maintain your typical working schedule. If you typically work from 9 am-5 pm when you’re in the office, then try to keep that same schedule when you’re working from home. Now many of my readers are self-employed entrepreneurs… yes, this applies to you. Our number 1 coaching request is dealing with BURN-OUT. Work expands to the time you give it… set your boundaries. Remember the last time you went on vacation and how much you accomplish the day prior? Take that approach to work daily!
Second, maintain boundaries
Maintain clear work-home boundaries. While all in the same space, be intentional about keeping work, home, or school boundaries. Consider this, use time blocks – have a clear off time where you’re done working for the day. As much as possible, don’t let your work spill over to your time away from work. Even in real estate, this is possible…does your lawyer, CPA and other professionals who handle critical matters work 24/7? No… they don’t and neither should you unless you are committed to burn-out.
Third, maintain a virtual connection with others
Working from home can be an isolating experience. Maintain contact with others by scheduling virtual lunch breaks or coffee chats. Find ways to connect and keep in communication with your others to avoid feelings of loneliness. What about a virtual mastermind group? You can continue your weekly small group meetings video conference or FaceTime.
Fourth, stay hydrated, proper nutrition, and take breaks
This point seems like a no-brainer, but the reality is it can be easy to lose track of time and to forget to engage in daily self-care (like drinking enough water, eating regular meals, and getting enough exercise). Set break times and stick with them. Get up and walk around, stretch, and consider taking 5-minute mindfulness breaks every few hours. Your mobile device probably has built-in reminders or popular apps that are available for your mobile device… there is an app for that! Search your device or your favorite app store.
Fifth, maintain a daily to-do list
For some, working from home can feel overwhelming. Focus on what needs to be done each day by making a daily to-do list. Focus on prioritizing each task each day. I’ve found real estate professionals work best with a “daily action checklist.” A powerful list of all the must-dos for that day, week, or month. Don’t forget some type of daily cardio. Consider these seven actions
- FaceTime or call someone you haven’t talked to for a while.
- Pray or meditate more.
- Write a gratitude list, thank you notes, or thinking of you notes.
- Walk or hike more; visit a new park.
- If able, give, or volunteer more. If not, encourage someone who can.
- Read, write, create something.
- Play a new game or an old favorite in your off time.
Sixth, make your home office space work for you
If you have a home office space, use it! If not, consider ways that you can create a workspace that will support your work from home situation. Separate work from your bedroom or spaces where you typically relax. If you have to work in your bedroom, at least make some space outside of your actual bed to do work. From a wellness perspective, mental health professionals, so it’s often important as much as possible to have a clear distinction between working spaces and spaces that are intended for relaxation.
- Set Your Space Up for Productivity.
- Reduce, Remove or Eliminate Your Distractions.
- Get Comfortable.
- Invest in Light Exercise Equipment.
- Declutter Ruthlessly and Often.
- Take Eye Breaks.
- Work with Purpose.
Seventh, reduce distractions
Consider how to remove distractions from your home office environment. That means having a clear boundary for your professional work and your personal work with the associated time blocks. For many readings this, that could mean turning off the TV, your news, and Facebook notifications. For others, having some background noise like classical music or ambient soundtracks can be helpful. It is also important to consider how you’ll maintain your distraction-free work environment if you have a spouse, roommate, partner, children, or pets who will be in your space during your work hours. Talk with all your housemates about work boundaries and how to ensure distraction-free areas so that you’re able to focus on your work. You can also use these tips for working from home with children around. Have a family meeting to discuss the new schedule and boundaries that will help the family during this time.
It’s never been more important to stay connected and avoid being isolated. Besides your circle of influence, many groups our offering assistance on-line for those experience higher levels of stress or coping challenges. Reach out there is a world of help within reach.
And a bonus tip from my sister… after reviewing my draft she sent me “you should add this: dress for work rather than being too informal. You are more productive when you dress for work instead of dressing as if you’re lounging around for the weekend.”
There once was this criminal who had committed a crime and he was sent to the king for his punishment. The king told him he had a choice of two punishments. One, he could be hung by a rope. Or two take what’s behind the big, dark, scary, mysterious door.
The criminal quickly decided on the rope. As the noose was being slipped on him, he turned to the king and asked: “By the way, out of curiosity, what’s behind that door?”
The king laughed and said: “You know, it’s funny, I offer everyone the same choice, and nearly everyone picks the rope.”
“So,” said the criminal, “Tell me. What’s behind the door? I mean, I won’t tell anyone,” he said, pointing to the noose around his neck.
The king paused then answered: “Freedom, but it seems most people are so afraid of the unknown that they immediately take the rope.”
Is fear getting in your way?
Is fear keeping you inside your comfort zone?
Does this self-talk track sound familiar?
- What if I fail?
- What if it does not work?
What is possible with a new self-talk track?
- What if it DOES work?
- What’s the worst thing that can happen?
- What steps can I take?
You see, nothing BIG happens when you wait. Nothing BIG happens when you stay inside your comfort zone.
Are you too comfortable being comfortable?
Is it time to re-design your comfort zone?
You can never become an expert in working for sale by owners; you’ll never get better at capturing expired listings; on-line leads; geography farming or open houses by staying comfortable. To become an expert in these things you must get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Eight steps to consider in getting more comfortable being uncomfortable:
- Take nothing for granted.
- Switch up your routine.
- Move toward your fears.
- Give up control.
- Try something new until you feel comfortable.
- Ask the questions that other people won’t ask.
- Start conversations with strangers, with more people.
- Agree to something you wouldn’t normally consider.
Fear is a natural and essential part of growth. Every time we consciously choose to step outside of our comfort zone, the next uncomfortable thing becomes a little bit easier.
What will you choose today the uneasiness of uncomfortableness or the comfort of the status quo?
“If you can’t get a miracle, become one.” ~ Nick
Imagine getting through your busy day without hands or legs. Picture your life without the ability to walk, care for your basic needs, or even embrace those you love. Meet Nicholas Vujicic.
In 1982 Nick was born without arms and legs and given no medical explanation for his condition. Faced with countless challenges and obstacles, God has given Nick the strength to surmount what others might call impossible.
It was my honor to introduce Nick to our team recently, and here is a snapshot of five of the seven highlights from his message:
Everything starts with an attitude of gratitude
What was that Abraham Lincoln quote? “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” So true, today, I am grateful for those of you that share with me how these blogs or video articles made a difference in your business.
Accept ourselves for who we are
For Nick, the early days were difficult. Throughout his childhood, Nick not only dealt with the typical challenges of school and adolescence, but he also struggled with depression and loneliness. Nick always wondered why he was different than all the other kids. He questioned the purpose of life, or if he even had a purpose.
- Accept the reality
- Accept others for who they are
- Find your purpose
- Take action
Think like a winner… think big ACT bigger
Nick’s dad used to say: “you weren’t given arms and legs, but you were given a brain. Hire employees so that they can be your arms and legs.” Despite his disability and being bullied at school, Vujicic threw himself into being an entrepreneur at a young age. His first job, in which he earned A$1 an hour was to vacuum the floor, a skill he managed using his shoulder and chin.
“Don’t give up. And know that there is always someone out there who believes in you and who loves you just the way that you are.” ~Nick Vujicic
Motivation is temporary, inspiration and discipline has staying power
Motivation alone is unreliable. It is momentary, unpredictable, and can depart as quickly as it enters. Think about it:
When you listen to a motivational speech, there is an emotional response that is created by an understanding. However, the emotional response wears off, and we fail to revisit the agreement, which incited the emotional response and all the good things that came with it. Thus, we become “unmotivated” until we are reminded again. Sound familiar?
Do you know how to get out of it? Just do the work. It doesn’t matter how you feel at the time; just do it. Don’t wait until you feel motivated. You will build momentum, and eventually, you will get inspired. Ignore inspiration — if it’s there, great. Use it. If it’s not, act anyway.
Don’t feel like going to the gym? Just go.
If you have writer’s block, then write.
Just don’t wait.
Don’t wait for the right moment.
Don’t depend on luck.
Fear is just a challenge to overcome
There is healthy fear… don’t touch that hot stove! And there is limiting fear… in the case I’m writing about today – limiting fear is just “False Evidence Appearing Real!”
In the type of limiting fear, I’m talking about:
- Fear sees only the downside
- Fear doesn’t let you stop to think it through
- Fear tells us to avoid anything new or unknown
- Fear constricts rather than expands who we are
- Fear obscures your intuition
- Fear often keeps us from making any decision at all
I’m so grateful for Nick and his message; I’ll leave you with this exercise Nick had our team complete on the spot. Do it now, don’t wait!
A quick exercise:
- What is your goal? Financially, spiritually, physically, relationally?
- Define it specifically. X by Y date by doing these Z daily activities.
– Win the day, win the week, win the month
– Define a plan to overcome your obstacles
– Take action NOW
Fundamentals matter… let me share a story.
It was July of 1961, and the 38 members of the Green Bay Packers football team were gathered together for the first day of training camp. The previous season had ended with a heartbreaking defeat when the Packers squandered a lead late in the 4th quarter and lost the NFL Championship to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Green Bay players had been thinking about this brutal loss for the entire off-season, and now, finally, training camp had arrived, and it was time to get to work. The players were eager to advance their game to the next level and start working on the details that would help them win a championship.
Their coach, Vince Lombardi, had a different idea.
Lombardi took nothing for granted. He began a tradition of starting from scratch, assuming that the players were blank slates who carried over no knowledge from the year before… He began with the most elemental statement of all:
Gentlemen, this is a football!
Lombardi was coaching a group of three dozen professional athletes who, just months prior, had come within minutes of winning the biggest prize their sport could offer. And yet, he started from the very beginning.
Lombardi’s systematic coverage of the fundamentals continued throughout the training camp. Each player reviewed how to block and tackle. They opened up the playbook and started on page one. His team would become the best in the league at the tasks everyone else took for granted.
Six months later, the Green Bay Packers beat the New York Giants 37-0 to win the NFL Championship.
Is this your season to get back to basics?
Fundamental One: Pick Up Your Phone
Schedule time this month to contact your database and check-in. Find out what’s new and remind them that you are never too busy for them. Be ready to with some current market facts, how things are going in your area, any new community events or initiatives. A great source of content is available at www.jparinsights.com.
Fundamental Two: Throw a Party
The post-holiday party let down is real! There’s always a reason to get your past clients, prospects, and friends together to show them appreciation. You could host a charity event, valentine’s day event, or even a March madness party. It does not need to be complicated, just fun.
Consistency is a sales strategy… a hope and a wish are not! Are you leaving too much to chance, or are you committed to getting back to proven winning fundamentals? The football season is over, yet you can have a winning season by executing consistently on the fundamentals.
Fundamental Three: Write a Note
A lost art is writing a personal note! Writing a note establishes a more personal level of connection. Even if you just write something as easy as “Happy February!” A handwritten note will go a long way in keeping you top of mind.
Fundamental Four: Stop by With a Gift
Face-to-face is powerful with clients at any time of the year. I once worked with an agent that always had boy and girl gift baskets in the car that he dropped off anywhere he saw the “stork!” Get creative and stop by with anything of value, and you will not only build a relationship yet also stay top of mind.
A hope and a wish are NOT sales strategies… consistency is. Are you leaving too much to chance or getting consistent on the fundamentals?
The football season may be over yet that does not mean you can’t have a winning season by focusing on the fundamentals.
JP & Associates REALTORS® (JPAR) announced a joint mortgage venture with fintech startup Avenu and its IntroLend platform.
Introlend is an app that allows the consumer to receive mortgage offers from their different sources, including a wholesale lender that works with the company. JPAR is creating its own limited liability corporation to launch its own branded platform, where agents can buy into owning a piece of the platform.
Agents make money off of the success of the company because they become owners. This means they won’t be violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), according to Geoff Lewis, the president of Vesuvius Holdings, the parent company of JPAR. Agents won’t be directly steering a consumer to a specific lender in exchange for a kickback fee. They are presenting the consumer with mortgage offers from three different lenders and can even recommend lenders they have a previous relationship with for inclusion in the app.
“They’re not directly receiving dividends based on the deals they actually refer to the mortgage entity,” Lewis said. “If they have a lender they like working with, a loan officer that’s their favorite, they can invite that loan officer to participate in IntroLend.”
Participation is currently available to JPAR agents in Texas on the corporate and franchise side, but the company is working on getting licensed in more states.
Participation is open to agents that have been with JPAR for at least one year. Each unit is priced at $500 and escalates based on the length of time with JPAR. If you’ve been with JPAR for one year, you can buy-in at up to $1000, 2 years-$5000, three years-$10,000, and four years-$20,000. These levels are the maximum that can be invested.
The venture is expected to scale quickly and provide a nice return for agents.
“One of the things that we’ve said all along is that we’re a next-generation brokerage,” Lewis said. “We’re innovative, cutting edge and agent-centric with our 100 percent commission, transaction fee model.”
The launch of IntroLend is another service in addition to iBuyer, an amazing tech platform, and the agent healthcare offerings and will allow JPAR to continue the massive growth it is seeing in the space.
“This is just another innovation that shows we’re focused on being agent-centric and we believe this will be very important in recruiting and retaining agents,” Lewis added.
Allowing agents to buy into ownership of the mortgage company is the thing that makes this program unique from other IntroLend platform partners.
About JP & Associates REALTORS®
At JP & Associates REALTORS® we’ve built a company that focuses on putting agents first. Opening in 2011, JPAR is taking the real estate industry by storm and earning accolades such as Top 10 Hottest Franchise (according to Inc.), a three-time Inc. 5000 honoree (2019: #1004), and the Fastest Growing 100% Commission Brokerage and Franchise in the USA (according to Real Trends 500). Since offering franchise services in 2018, JPAR has expanded to 8 states in addition to the brokerage in Texas.
JPAR operates multiple offices across Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida, is expanding nationwide, and offers franchising opportunities for entrepreneurial real estate professionals.
To learn more about becoming an agent or franchising visit http://www.jpar.com.
Our work lives have become more demanding, presenting us with more complex challenges at a relentless pace. Add in your personal needs, family needs, and other commitments, and it’s easy to feel always overwhelmed. For most of us, the typical response to growing workloads is to work harder and put in longer hours, rather than to step back and examine and find a new way of operating.
The cognitive impact of feeling overwhelmed continuously can range from mental slowness, forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, or thinking logically, to a racing mind or an impaired ability to problem solve. When we have too many demands over an extended period of time, cognitive fatigue kicks in. The effect makes us less productive and leaves us feeling even more overwhelmed.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, here are some key strategies to try:
Have the courage to stop what you’re doing. Give yourself the time and space to slow down, so you can see the bigger picture and get a handle on things. Regather yourself. Center yourself so that you have the energy to make wiser, healthier decisions.
- Get clear on your priorities.
Taking time to contemplate your priorities is key to having focused flow. What’s most important to you right now? How do you want to run your business and live your life on a day-to-day basis? Look at the bigger picture and how you want to spend your time and energy.
Lin Yutang said, “besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom in business consists in the elimination of nonessentials.” What don’t you need to do? What can you automate, delegate, or eliminate?
Having too much to do often has to do with unrealistic goal setting and over-committing your time and energy. Are you overly ambitious? Are you not being realistic about your goals and what you can do?
People who are overwhelmed spread their energy too thinly. Often, it’s hard for them to say “no” because they fear disappointing others. When you feel scattered and pulled apart in a lot of different directions, are you willing to pull yourself back in and say “no” to others? Are you ready to get more comfortable saying no?
Be willing to focus on just a few things at a time. Put limits on certain activities that aren’t important. By limiting your time and energy for specific endeavors, and not allowing yourself to get lost in the day-to-day, you can create more time and space in your life. Limit the number of emails, FB time, talk time, any activities that consume the unproductive time in your life. The paradox is that by creating more discipline and limitation in your life, you create greater freedom.
- Re-imagine a new schedule.
Imagine a new lifestyle from scratch. If you made your business effectiveness, health, and happiness a priority, what would a perfect day look like? What would an ideal week look like?’
Being overwhelmed is not a fact — it’s a state of consciousness that limits your freedom and happiness. It requires a shift in perspective. Often, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re over-thinking everything that needs to get done. You’ve lost yourself, and you’re no longer present.
Instead of seeing the things outside of you having power over you, be willing to stop and regather yourself. Bring yourself back to the present moment. Remember that you have a choice about the way you want to feel.