The Chicago Association of REALTORS®, the “Voice for Real Estate” in Chicago since 1883, represents over 17,000 members from all real estate specialties including commercial sales, development, property management, appraisal, auctions and residential sales.
On August 28, 2019, we hosted our monthly YPN Breakfast. Here, we soaked up expertise from a powerhouse panel of time management experts. You can check out photos from the event on the YPN Facebook page!
When it’s you time or family time, disconnect from all devices.
Amy dedicates the last few hours of her evening to decompress phone-free. Aaron, on the other hand, takes a few hours of the day eating breakfast with his kids, refusing to look at his phone until 9 AM. Yes, you read that right – 9 AM!
Even though they disconnect at different times of the day, they both emphasized the importance of taking time for themselves and their family. Their kids are held to the same standard! With a 10 year old and a seven year old, the deal is, no phones and no iPads when the family is hanging out, and their kids even help hold them accountable!
Jon reiterated setting up boundaries with screentime. When you’re setting goals or looking for a recharge or reset, creating that space for clarity requires total focus. That means it’s okay to set your phone on silent. You will get back to the person who called, you will text back your client, and you will do so feeling refreshed and inspired from your phone-free quality time.
Exercise empathy for your partner – or anyone for that matter!
Amy and Aaron shared an epiphany several years ago when Amy, after haboring resentment about the imbalanced child-care between her and her husband, discovered an article written by a working mom who expressed similar frustrations.
Both she and Aaron learned lessons about asking for help and not placing unfair expectations on the people in your life. If you need help, ask for it! If you want something, don’t expect someone to do it for you.
It hasn’t been easy finding a rhythm; it has taken strong, frequent communication between them. So, remain candid in your relationships and establish honesty in your partnership.
Your partner might not work in the real estate industry which may take more communication and empathy. Take time for your relationship in one-on-one settings, and set up boundaries for what’s acceptable. Corporate jobs may have the luxury of starting and ending at consistent times on consistent work days, but it has its own challenges.
Working through these so everyone feels supported and feels like their time is being respected takes active, intentional empathy. You’re not alone.
Take time to take care of your body.
Jon’s morning starts with a protein smoothie or something fuel-focused so his body feels ready to take on his day. He advises his clients to take time to eat food in the morning, especially with protein and carbs, because this provides energy! No matter how much time blocking or appointment-making you do, if you don’t have the energy, you’re not going to feel as productive.
Amy said the same thing about sleep. She and Aaron used to work late into the night, but the next day they’d feel groggy and drained. Now, she uses her evenings of no-phone time to help her go to bed at a reasonable hour so she can wake up early the next morning, get her work out in and start her day off strong.
So, if you’re someone who’s ready to pump out a couple miles of running or maybe a few yoga-ish stretches, stay active! Fuel your body in the morning (and throughout the day, obviously) and don’t sacrifice shut-eye for work. Your business deserves the best version of yourself.
Trying to disconnect on your vacation? Set up expectations early.
If you’re on a team, lean on your teammates! Whether you delegate your contacts to a managing broker, another broker, an assistant or an associate, make sure you have someone covering your correspondence so you can focus on what you’re doing in the moment — taking time for yourself and/or your family.
Jon reminded everyone that if you do have someone taking over your email or phone calls, communicate this with your clients in advance. Let them know who to contact in the meantime and when you’ll be back and available. Once your clients and colleagues know what to expect, you’ll save yourself a world of headaches and confusion which can ruin your vacation bliss.
Aaron and Amy are firm believers in quality over quantity. They may not get to take as many long weekends or vacations, but when they do unplug from work, they are totally focused on their family. Plus, everyone in their office knows this. For Aaron, his Saturdays are just for his kids. From wake up to bedtime, he is totally unplugged from work, and he even finds this helps him problem solve. Sometimes, solutions present themselves when you’re not actively concentrating on them.
Manage your own expectations and what you want more time for.
Speaking of expectations, Jon advises all his clients to set expectations for themselves. If you say you need to practice better time management, what does this mean to you? What do you which you had more time for? Following the Tony Robbins motivation mantra, he writes down 50 things he wants and why he wants them. Then, he reviews these things and how feasible they are. Looking at his top 50, he can recognize when he has small wins and day-to-day accomplishments which are working towards his wants.
Aaron and Amy practice something similar. What does Aaron want out of his time management? He wants his mornings to himself and his kids. How does he do this? By ignoring his phone until 9:00 AM. Amy wants her evenings to herself and her kids, so she too puts down the phone and decompresses before bed. She also wants time to move around and be active in the morning, so she makes sure she wakes up early enough to get a work out in.
No matter what, set time management goals that align with your expectations. In the end, you’ll feel a lot more productive, a lot healthier and a lot happier.