How many hours do you waste in a day? I’m not thinking about hours you goof off because you want to, but hours you spend “on hold” between other tasks.
If those lost hours annoy you, start now to recapture wasted time
First, think about where those hours are going. They usually aren’t leaving in large chunks, but instead are being lost 5, 10, or 20 minutes at a time.
Some hours are lost when you actually are “on hold.”
This is when there’s an issue you must deal with and the person you need to speak with leaves you waiting on the phone. Today, with so many preferring text messaging to speaking, it doesn’t happen as often as it once did. But still, there are times when the only choice is to speak to someone in real time. And… you know before you pick up the phone that you’ll probably be subjected to a wait.
Recapture time wasted on hold by preparing for the wait before you make the call.
The first step is to buy a portable phone with a headset – so you can listen for the other person to come on the line while keeping your hands free to do other things. I purchased mine to use for the ease of making notes while talking to clients, but it has sure come in handy for recapturing wasted time.
You don’t know how long you’ll be waiting, so plan for things to do that don’t require your full attention for any set period of time.
- Check your latest blog posts to see if there are comments awaiting your reply. If so, reply.
- Click on those ads in your in-box that you saved to look at later. Delete the ones that don’t interest you after all.
- Read the newsletters you saved for later.
- Sort the papers on your desk – file what can be filed and toss what you no longer need. (Like last week’s grocery list, or the note that says “Remember Sally’s birthday April 3” when it’s now May 5.)
- Empty your waste basket and dust your desk and the surrounding area.
- Go outside for a breath of fresh air. While you’re there check the flowers in the planter to see if there are deadheads to remove.
- If you need a little reward for working hard today, dive back into a good book you’ve been reading.
I’m sure you can think of a few others if you put your mind to it.
The added benefit here is that you probably won’t be as annoyed with the wait as you would be if you simply sat there waiting and fuming.
Now recapture wasted time between appointments.
In a day filled with appointments, you’ve probably allowed enough time for each to make sure you’re finished with one before it’s time for another. That can sometimes leave you with a sizeable gap.
If it’s only 5 minutes, you might want to simply sit back and relax for a few minutes. Maybe have a snack and a cup of coffee. Then spend a few minutes visualizing the positive outcome of your next appointment. (That time is NOT wasted!)
When you have 10, 20, or even 30 or 40 minutes…
Recapture wasted time by tackling one of these tasks:
- Write thank you notes.
- Add any new contacts to your databases.
- Send an email or pick up the phone and call a few past clients or members of your sphere. This is a perfect time for these calls, because you can keep them brief. You can honestly say that you were thinking about them and had a little time between appointments, so called just to say hi.
- Call your Mom or Dad (or other loved one) just to say “I love you.”
- Begin writing a new blog post – or at least outline what you want to convey in your next post.
- Proofread a post or a letter you’ve been working on.
- Read a few posts on social media, just for inspiration,
- Share the best articles you find. Send a message to the writer, complimenting him or her on a job well done.
- Review the property descriptions on your listings. Could they use an update or a bit more spark?
- Consider your next marketing project. Do you need to add a niche or make better contact with your past clients or your current niche?
- Visit my prospecting letters page for ideas. When you see a letter set that looks promising, but need to consider it a bit longer, add it to the shopping cart. It will still be there when you come back later – ready to purchase or delete.
- Read your own web pages – including your agent bio. This is something most of us don’t do often enough, and sometimes they do need to be updated. Make notes of anything you might want to change. If your bio needs a re-write, get in touch.
- Read a few competitors’ web pages to look for good ideas.
If you really want to recapture wasted time, make a list!
Whether you use electronics or paper and pen, make a list of the things you can do with those unused minutes in your day. Keep it handy and refer to it any time you find yourself with “wait time”on your hands.
At the end of the week, look back at what you’ve accomplished. Then congratulate yourself for recapturing wasted time and putting it to good use!