Monday Morning Match – How Do You Spell Overwhelmed?


How do you spell “overwhelmed”?

Is it just me or can this business called real estate sometimes really overwhelm you? Between the “no standard schedule” schedule and the “need it yesterday” pace, it’s no wonder that Happy Hour on Friday can’t come soon enough.

Whenever I talk about time management and life balance in my classes, I always seem to hear some snickers and sighs from the audience. Most people seem to operate from a reactionary or defensive position instead of being “on offense” or in control.

Three P’s for Pain in your Day

If you want to continue to feel overwhelmed, disorganized and always that “step behind,” here are three P’s (definitions courtesy of FreeDictionary.com) to have in your toolbox:

  • Petulance – Unreasonably irritable or ill-tempered
  • Procrastination – To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness
  • Pessimism – tendency to stress the negative or unfavorable or to take the gloomiest possible view

Just reading those words might cause some reaction in your head or heart. Does your procrastination cause you to exhibit a petulant attitude? When you get overwhelmed, doesn’t it seem easier to allow those negative feeling to creep into your mind?

Four P’s for Pleasure in Your Day

Starting today, make the choice to look at your job (or life) a bit differently. Eliminate those feelings of being overwhelmed by focusing on these 4 P’s for pleasure in your day:

  • Plan
  • Prioritize
  • Perform
  • Play

It’s simple to see, isn’t it?

Plan what you need to do each day, maybe even before you leave the office the night before. Write down those tasks, big or little, that you think need to get done in the next work day. This should be everything that comes into your mind. Some people try to create their “to do” list before they head home each night, creating a symbolistic chasm between work time and personal time. Others keep a list in their Day Planner, Outlook or smart phone and it becomes a working document each night. Who among us hasn’t had one more thing we need to do pop into our heads before bed?

Prioritize your list of tasks before you do anything at the beginning of the day…even before you check your email, voice mail or Facebook page. Ask yourself which of the activities or tasks written on your list will most directly result in achievement of one of your goals? For most of you in real estate there should be two things that receive the highest priority – Appointments and Closings.

Every task or activity should pass the following test before taking it’s final spot in your “to do” list; “Will doing this get me closer to a closing or appointment with a potential client?”

If yes, it needs a high priority. If no, it should move lower on the list.

Now you need to perform the top priority items on your list and make every effort to complete them before starting another task or “to do” item. Develop the discipline to stick with a task until it’s completion.

If you can plan, prioritize and perform each day, you should have time to play. Define that as you wish but it might mean spend time with family, enjoy a round of golf, go for a run, enjoy friends or charity work or anything that might be fun for you.

As you look at the upcoming week, what will you focus on? The three P’s of Pain or the 4 P’s of Pleasure?

2 Responses to Monday Morning Match – How Do You Spell Overwhelmed?
  1. Jennifer Ames
    October 20, 2009 | 4:29 am

    Hi Sean,

    Thanks for the thoughtful post. It is true that as real estate agents we are often more reactive than proactive, directing our energy toward the squeaky wheel or the needy buyer. Allowing other people’s needs to govern out day is disruptive and makes planning very difficult. You are absolutely right that it is critical that we plan but we also need to time block and be protective of that time. Successful time management will impact one's ability to grow their business.

    All the best,

    Jenny

  2. Sean M. Carpenter
    October 22, 2009 | 7:21 pm

    Jennifer – Thanks for the comment. I appreciate the added idea of time blocking. It is such a hard habit to develop but so helpful (and empowering) once you get a hang of it.

    Keep up the great work on your blog.