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?
Commit to less.
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?
Say NO more often.
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.
There are 84 days left in 2019 and 60 productive working days, depending on how many days you work, how many holidays you celebrate, and so on. Regardless you have about 84 days to wrap up 2019. 84 days!
What will your bank account look like on January 1 of 2020? Is it your desire to have a more significant bank account or a smaller one? Whatever your goal is, NOW is the time to make that happen.
The next 60 days will be critical for setting yourself up for strong close to 2019 and a fast start to 2020. What you do in the next few days and weeks will determine the size of your bank account on January 1 and your momentum for the first quarter of 2020.
CHALLENGE 1: What would happen to your business if, for the next 20 working days, you made one new appointment each day?
Let’s face there are two types of agents today: hobbyists and CEO’s. This article is not for hobbyists, those part-time agents who dabble. For those of you that run your business like a business, those of you that know your daily number and know what it takes to generate one sale, then this article is for you.
CHALLENGE 2: Get clear about the next 84 days:
- Write down the number of sales you’ve made so far this year.
- Write down the source of those sales.
- How many listings will you earn between now and the end of the year?
- How many additional families or investors do you want to serve between now and the end of the year?
- How many contacts do you need to make to drive that number
- One rule of thumb is 40 contacts to 1 sale.
- Who are they, and how will you go about connecting with them?
- What systems do you have in place to create the result you desire?
After completing the quick exercise above, here are 5 actions you can take so you’re not broke on January 1:
- Decide Now. Decide now how many days you will work, how many days you will be off, and how many “flex days” you’ll have between now and the end of the year. Decide what direct response marketing campaigns you will run. For example, if you will create an investor campaign to take advantage of year-end investment buyers.
- Up your CRM game. There is no excuse for not having your CRM updated and working for you. It takes discipline; yet once you realize your CRM is the engine that drives your train, that task becomes less negotiable.
- Delegate. Is it time to find some help? An office or virtual assistant. Your highest and best use is prospecting.; lead generation; going on appointments and negotiating contracts. Everything else delegate. Scared? Get resourceful, many new agents I know are sharing a fractional assistant to split cost yet keep them fully employed.
- Diversify your lead generation sources. Too many struggling agents rely on ONE, maybe TWO lead sources. FOUR sources of business – split between influence strategies and control strategies – provides diversity and stability to your real estate practice. Note, don’t add four sources all at once. Start with one new source, get it working and stable then add another until you reach four sources.
- Target Market Clarity? Any market rewards the hyperlocal expert. Are you an expert in a community? Are you an expert in a profession like Nurses, FBI agents, CPA’s? It’s probably time to get hyperlocal and specialize.
So, I’ll leave you today with three final things to consider:
- Knowing what you know now, what immediate adjustments do you need to make?
- Cash is king. Are you building your cash reserves? Are you reducing bad debt? Investing in marketing? (Hint: You can do all 3.)
- Have you started a small weekly accountability group with like-minded, goal-oriented CEO’s like yourself? If not, what’s holding you back?
K minus A equals 0
K plus A equals W (Winning)
I’ve coached a few folks that told me, “I want to produce more… my desire is to be more consistent.” Some have been saying this for way too long. Why… fear. Fear keeps our behavior inconsistent with our goals.
Those of you that know me, know I’m a life-long learner. Although I agree with life-long learning, I agree much more with a life-long application – taking action – on what we’re learning.
At the end of the day, the winners are the doers.
Figure out where you want to go, start with the end in mind, and work your way backward to the moment at hand.
Example… what would happen if for every 12 people you know you set a system to touch them 33 times throughout the year? Could that “system” create 1 new transaction for every 12 people in your database?
What would happen if you added 1 new contact to your CRM everyday… and that contact was then touched 8 times in the first 8 weeks of meeting them and then 33 times during the next year? What would happen?
Here’s the best of the blog series, the highest engaged post about taking action:
5 Lessons From The Death Crawl Scene In “Facing the Giants.”
Too often our own perception, surroundings, and beliefs get in the way of victory and success. Or said another way, the meaning we assign to things becomes the lens through which we see the world.
What Would Happen If You Never Tolerated Inaction In Yourself?
There is a common mistake that often happens to too many of us. The mistake has to do with the difference between being in motion and taking action. They sound similar, but they’re not the same.
Tired Of Not Getting What You Want?
Ever wonder why so many of us have to hit rock bottom before we find a breakthrough?
If Information Was Enough…
If information was enough, we would all be top performers in our profession, exercise every day, eat more vegetables, be within the government height and weight standard, and have a ton of money saved for the future.
3 Steps to Mastery
Who doesn’t want to be a better agent, better team leader, a better entrepreneur? If there is one concept that can lead to more powerful performance with immediate impact… this is it: “It’s difficult to control our thoughts and feelings, yet we have total control of our actions.”
In summary, information overload creates a lull in productive activity, so let’s look at three simple, fuss-free steps to get you the results you need:
Step 1: Move beyond the learning phase. While knowledge is a powerful thing, don’t make the mistake of thinking your good intentions count. It’s time to stop procrastinating and trust the tools you have to start taking positive steps.
Give yourself permission to execute on the things you know now… nothing good happens when you wait.
Step 2: Skip out on perfection. Perfection is a stall tactic. Typically, nothing big and drastic needs to happen in your routine. Small changes are what really count.
Just take action, now!
Step 3: Execute an action plan. Knowledge is only power when combined with action.
What actions can I take? Here’s one approach to consider:
- 5 or more check-in calls that create 1 or more appointments
- 3 or more personal notes
- 1 addition to your database with an “8 touch campaign” over the next 8 weeks
- Grab a beverage of choice with a top client or prospect that creates 1 or more new appointments
- Host at least 1 business to business networking session
- Complete 7 pop-bys that create 1 or more new appointments
- At least one video about local events or local market conditions
- Start of the month and mid-month eReport of value to your database – with video content that creates appointments
- Targeted FB or Google ads that create appointments
- Strategic text messages to an opt-in database that create appointments
Knowledge plus action is power. Figure out where you what to go, start with the end in mind, and work your way backward to the moment at hand. #GO #GSD
Success comes in many ways and forms. Gandhi was successful for leading India into independence from the British. Mother Teresa was successful giving hope to the poorest of the poor. Warren Buffett is successful for investing and building long-term business ventures. Recently I ran across an article that outlined over 20 years of research on success. The study found there are certain core activities, beliefs, and attitudes that are shared by those who succeed
The basic formula:
- Get clear about what you don’t want.
- Get clear about what you do want.
- Visualize and feel the outcome.
- Clear your mind of self-limiting beliefs.
- Take action.
The six most common characteristics:
- Resilience – the ability to keep getting up despite being knocked down.
- Self-control – the ability to subdue one’s impulses, emotions, and behaviors in order to achieve longer-term goals.
- Emotional awareness – Emotional awareness is the ability to recognize your own emotions and those of others.
- Creativity – the ability to perceive the world in new ways using two processes: thinking and producing.
- Optimism – does not take failure personally but keeps on trying until he succeeds and expects positive outcomes
So where do you stand? Once your beliefs and actions are aligned there are no limits.
“Thoughts lead to purpose; purpose drives action; action form habits; habits create character; character defines destiny.”
Nearly everything can be boiled down to some core task, some essential component, that must be mastered if you truly want to be good at it.
Vince Lombardi… one of the greatest sports coaches of all time approached the sport from a perspective of “fundamentals first.”
John Wooden and Phil Jackson – other amazing coaches – were known for having a similar obsession with the fundamentals. Wooden even went so far as to teach his players at the start of each season how to put on their socks and tie their shoes. These are professional athletes at the highest level of performance. His objective – care for the players and reduce the variety of minor injuries.
Gentlemen… this is a football!
Lombardi and team took nothing for granted. They began a tradition of starting from scratch, assuming that the players were blank slates who carried over no knowledge from the year before… they began with the most elemental statement of all: “Gentlemen,” he said, holding a pigskin in his right hand, “this is a football.” Each player reviewed how to block and tackle. They opened up the playbook and started from page one. And they won more than any other team.
Aren’t you glad pilots have checklists? Even after hours and hours of detailed training and years and years of practical experience before every takeoff, before every landing and during every flight pilots & crew follow a #checklist.
Checklists are “job aids” to reduce failure… to reduce variation in a process. A method of leaving nothing to chance.
Checklists ensure you get your daily, weekly and monthly tasks done on time, helps you keep track of projects on deadline and ensures you’re organized throughout the day.
Are you leaving your goals, your business to run by chance by “winging it?”
Mastery in nearly any endeavor is the result of deeply understanding simple ideas.