At a recent company meeting, I was asked by our firm’s real estate professionals to offer insight into how I manage my time. While the time-management strategy below has served me well in the real estate sector as I have grown Pacific Union over the past eight years, I believe that it can be leveraged to achieve success and get results in any industry.
- Treat time as a precious resource. Time is a resource you cannot reproduce. Compare your time to your financial resources. You are likely frugal with your cash, consciously allocating it to appropriate priorities. Allocate your time in the same manner — be proactive, not reactive. Set a reasonable time limit on meetings. Next time you say to yourself “I do not have time for activity X,” reframe it in your mind as “that activity is not important to me as other activities.” The importance to you should allocate the time you devote.
- Create quiet or private time. It is important in your business and personal life to set aside time for critical thinking, physical exercise, or time with loved ones. During these quiet or private times, let phone calls go to voicemail and try to disengage from e-mail and text messages. Your productivity will soar and so will your relationships — maybe even your health and fitness, too. Think about the quiet time as time on an airplane; whether it’s a two-hour flight or a five-hour flight, you can’t be reached by phone.
- Separate the urgent from the important. Often we receive text messages, voicemails, or e-mails marked “urgent.” Take a moment to consider if this same activity is urgent to you. It could be that someone else’s emergency is not urgent to you. Focus your time on the items that are both important and urgent to you — don’t let someone else put the monkey on your back.
- Create an action list. At the end of every day, I create an action list that consists of high-impact activities — some short term and others long term. This list focuses me, shows me how I can best allocate my time, and helps me identify urgent and important items. We all know that our day can change with one phone call or text message; we simply need to make sure that we calibrate our reallocation of time with an action list of our own priorities for context.
— Mark A. McLaughlin, Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Union International