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The Commercial Real Estate Advantage


5 Tips for Staying Focused

"He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign."

Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885)


It seems like "multi-tasking" is the name of the game in the business world, and most people tackle many projects simultaneously, especially in commercial real estate. Even if you are just working on one project, think about all of the other interruptions you handle. With all of the e-mails to answer, voice mails to check, calls to return, text messages to pay attention to, and instant messages to reply to, it's a wonder how anyone gets any "real" work done!

Learn how to focus and avoid interruptions during the workday. Here are a handful of ways to stay focused in a world of constant interruptions:

1. Write it Down
PLAN DAILY -- EVERYTHING! Make a list, or several lists, to keep you on track. This will keep you focused and give you a sense of accomplishment every time you cross an item off your list.

2. Create Some "Unavailable" Time
It's great to be that person co-workers and staff can come to with questions, but it can also keep you from getting your own work done. Give yourself some time to be unavailable. Close the door to your office and put up a "do not disturb" sign. Block out time on your schedule and let others know that you cannot be disturbed. Finally, learn how to say no.

3. Plan Your Phone Time
Using the phone is necessary for most in commercial real estate, but there are ways to be more efficient with this business tool. First, plan important calls by writing down your key points and questions you need to ask first thing each morning. This will decrease the number of times you have to call people back. If you have caller ID, don't answer calls from unrecognizable numbers, and use your voice mail to screen your calls. That way you can call back those you need to at a better time.

4. Limit the Number of Times You Read and Respond to E-mail
E-mail is great, but it's a huge time-waster. When you stop and check your e-mail, remember that not every e-mail is worth reading or responding to. It's hard, but try to delete, respond and/or archive each e-mail as you read it to avoid a junky e-mail box and more time spent re-reading later.

5. Tune Out the Media
It is more important than ever to stay focused today. And that includes tuning out the media. We get over 5,000 media messages a day - enough to drive any sane person insane!

Do what you need to do and forget about everything else! The media is not healthy for our mindsets these days!

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