As a Realtor® it is very necessary for your business to 1) have a cell phone and 2) answer it promptly. This is not only a good business practice but your main source for leads. If you don't answer, most likely clients will call someone else. As you can see this may pose a problem when it comes to life outside (there is no such thing) of Real Estate.
I knew I was in trouble when my phone rang 4 times, text message alert beeped 2 times and I received 3 emails in a course of our family dinner which is only about 30 minutes long. My husband gave me the "are you serious?" look and I knew what I had to do.
Boundaries. It sounds very defensive but healthy boundaries really put you on the offensive. It all starts with priorities. My priorities look like this:
3. Real Estate
I feed my faith in Christ by attending church on Sunday (non negotiable unless I have an out of town buyer or seller that can't be serviced any other time) and having devotionals after dinner with my family. I am also very aware that (for me) Real Estate is a high stress job. I cope the best by reading my Bible and working out (usually in the form of Yoga). When in Yoga, I meditate on scripture and pray.
I protect my time with my family by turning my phone on vibrate at dinner time and leaving it in the living room and asking myself these questions when I receive emails and text messages. Does it need my immediate attention? If so, I tend to it. If not I put it on the back burner. In order to not miss anything I have put on the back burner, I go through all my text messages and emails periodically through the day to make sure I didn't skip anything. I usually always answer my phone I use this line to create a healthy boundary: "I can't talk right now can I call you back in an hour." I know it is simple but it keeps you from running like a chicken with your head cut off. (Just remember to call them back in an hour). I love using my phone calender to schedule call backs.
If Real Estate isn't a priority you will lose clients. I don't have to clock in or clock out, I create my own schedule. Time blocking and to do lists are my secret weapons for getting things done on time. I only have 2.5 years in the Real Estate Industry, so I am still learning by the seat of my pants. As my business grows I am finding out more about my strengths, weaknesses, what works, what doesn't and what makes me feel like a crazy person. :)
The take home: If you are attached to your phone, it is time to scale back. Set your priorities and make sure they reflect in the way you act. Strive to protect the precious things in your life even if it as the expense of something else. Talk it over with your spouse or close friend, ask them if there are any areas they think you could improve on. At EXIT we are encouraged to become a better person, to sharpen your skills and to feed your relationships.
Until next time, M.