"A 'no' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble." Mahatma Gandhi.

We keep hearing from the majority of luxury real estate marketing professionals that they don’t have time!  And given the condition of the market, they feel they need to do more.  Life is out of control. They don’t have time to work on their business (meaning focus on promoting new business) they are so busy working in their business. Many take calls while eating lunch or dinner and are going to bed with their cell phones on their night stand ready to answer regardless of the time the phone rings.

In a recent Harvard Business Review Blog, Tony Schwartz points out that we don’t take time to prioritize our lives, and have a tendency to say “yes” to requests and not mean it.  “Think of it as a madness loop — a vicious cycle. We react to what's in front of us, whether it truly matters or not. More than ever, we're prisoners of the urgent…Truth be told, there's also an adrenaline rush in saying yes. Many of us have become addicted, unwittingly, to the speed of our lives — the adrenalin high of constant busyness. We mistake activity for productivity, more for better, and we ask ourselves "What's next?" far more often than we do "Why this?"

Prioritizing our day’s work and our lives takes time.  In the face of all the things we have said yes to, we don’t have time to do that.  Every to do becomes “urgent”.  Recently, we were contacted by a firm who wanted to set aside a day for time out and have a mini retreat to reflect on their leadership and create a fresh marketing plan for the new year.  They had to postpone this as every one of their clients wanted something that was deemed urgent, and they could not take a day off to reflect, nor could they see time available in their first quarter. 

Even though they are fully cognizant that their pipeline needs to be filled, they feel trapped by all the “yeses” they have committed to.   The other aspect of this is that they cannot see the opportunities that are in front of them, and are apt to easily dismiss the very things that would assure their success.  They are out of focus!   This firm does have time to follow up on referrals or take on new business, which is absurd because it is the antithesis of their revenue goals.

Getting off the yes wagon begins with setting aside time to reflect on the scope of work for the day.  Prioritize on a daily basis.  The result will be getting more done in less time, and having time to enjoy your lives.  Say “yes” to business and “no” more often to busyness.


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