When you’re planning your to-do list, make sure you take a look at the work that you’re planning for yourself. How much of it is really important? And of that, what needs doing most urgently? Most people do the easiest and most enjoyable things first, without taking into account what really needs doing. It feels good to cross things off your to-do list, but if they aren’t the things that really need to be done, you’re not accomplishing as much as you may think.

Start with Urgent AND Important Work

When you make a list of what needs doing, mark each item with a ‘U’, an ‘I’, or both. Begin with those items that are marked urgent and important, even if they’re things that you’re dreading doing. Look for any entries on your to-do list that you’ve marked neither urgent nor important. Copy them on a separate piece of paper and cross them off your main to-do list. You can refer to that new list when you’ve finished everything else. Also, take a close look at items that you’ve marked urgent, but not important. If they aren’t important, why do they need doing quickly? Be realistic. Start with what really needs doing.

Learn to Say No

We often feel pressure to do favors for others, or to sign up for every lunch-and-learn, or special event that comes along. To keep yourself on task, go over your schedule thoroughly before committing to new things. When other agents, or even clients ask you to do favors for them, tell them that you need to get back to them before you say yes. Then take a good long look at all the facts. Don’t be afraid to say no. You may be surprised at how reasonable people can be when you say no. Explain why you need to say no, and be honest yet firm.

Remember the 80/20 rule, otherwise known as the Pareto Principle, named for the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. This principle states that 80 percent of our activities produce 20 percent of the results, while only 20 percent of our activities produce 80 percent of the results. Make sure that you are spending your time on the activities that produce the greatest results and you’ll see a giant increase in your productivity.

A Real Estate Business Plan is a necessity when it comes to making sure that your Business and Life goals are being reached. Setting up action plans is the only way to prevent yourself from getting caught up in work that isn’t aligned with your goals. Coach Cheri’s Real Estate Business Planning Guide will help you set action plans and realize your goals. For more information, go towww.RealEstateBusinessPlanningGuide.com

Real Estate and Life Coach Cheri Alguire has partnered with hundreds of Real Estate Professionals to help them become more successful in business and in life. Coach Cheri is also an expert at helping Real Estate Agents and Managers maximize their time and advance their careers. Learn more Coach Cheri’s products and services at www.RealEstateTimeManagement.com