7 Steps to Finetune your Focus

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Real estate can be a tough industry. And if this year has taught us anything, it’s that how we use our time can have a big impact on the successes and challenges we face. Those who are purposeful win the day. In the spirit of giving back to those who have invested their time with us, James Shaw and MREA Jennie Wolek presented an end-of-year session intended to help you tie up loose ends and start your year off on a fresh note.

James and Jennie looked at the best ways to use the next few weeks to our advantage in two key steps: reflecting on the year we’ve just had and preparing for the year ahead. Read on for seven steps to finetune your focus, inspire you, and create momentum to start next year off on the right footing.

7 Steps to Finetune Your Focus

Year-end reflections

1. Take care of your housekeeping 

Tie up any loose ends (in your professional and personal life) to start the year on a fresh note. Whether it’s cleaning your desk, tidying up, or fitting in appointments that you’ve pushed off for the year (hello, dentist, we’re looking at you!), the last couple of weeks of the year represent the perfect time to mark those low-priority items off of your to-do list.

2. Map out your content calendar 

When you organize your content ahead of time, you can better plan what you want to share, teach, and provide so that it aligns with your goals as well as the current calendar. If this sounds overwhelming, don’t fret. It doesn’t have to be done in permanent ink. You can do it in pencil. The important thing is taking the time to map out the message you want to deliver in advance so you can plan the touches, the marketing, and the prospecting in alignment with one another.

3. Have a flexible mindset 

If the last year – and really, every year – teaches us, things may not go exactly as we’ve mapped out. It’s definitely true that you should have business goals and a game plan.

It’s also definitely true that things may not go according to plan. And this is okay. Re-examine your performance against your goals and recognize you may have to adjust how you go after your goals or your actual goals themselves.

4. Reflect and reset 

Look back at both the successes of the year as well as the challenges you’ve experienced to realistically see how you’re performing versus the goals you’ve set. If you have a team, it’s good to gather together to take stock of the good you’ve done as a group – whether with your clients, in the community, or for the business. It’s also important to look at what your shortcomings may have been. James recommends looking at your numbers for quantitative analysis. This entails pulling your production numbers in 2019 and again for this full year to see how your business looks when looking at pre- and post-pandemic years. 

Bonus resource: Watch the interview Jon Acuff did with James for our Pivot community about the reasons you’re not meeting your goals and how to change it.

Year-ahead preparations

5. Lessons learned – avoid repeating mistakes 

After you’ve done your business review and comparisons, consider how you can change your approach if you want to get a different result in the year ahead. Like Dr. Benjamin Hardy, author of 10x is Easier than 2x, told us during a visit to James Shaw’s Inspire Collective, “All lessons are repeated until learned.”

6. Schedule – take time off 

Time blocking is key. It can help you to be proactive about ensuring you get time to yourself. And make no mistake, it’s important to give yourself permission to take care of yourself now. If you wait until you’re “less busy,” chances are that it will never happen. Whether it’s following Jordan Freed’s model of putting a day on the calendar each week to ensure you take it off, scheduling a 3-day weekend once a month, or working toward a longer stretch of vacation, disconnecting is essential. Need a place to start? Jennie marks a couple of hours on her calendar each week for a mid-week reset. 

Bonus resource: Harvard Business Review had some interesting thoughts on how to ensure you get the me-time you need and deserve.

7. Counterbalance work and play 

Be your own advocate for balancing your days. For example, create boundaries around your workday and stick to them. Whether it’s resisting checking your email from bed or agreeing to be called away from a personal activity on your day off, setting your own limits is necessary for you, your wellbeing, and the health of your relationships. Jennie advises us to define your days around the 3Fs: focused work time, flex time, and full-on family time. 

Bonus resource: Check out this Forbes magazine article, which tells us “the greatest wealth your can build is discretionary time.”

We hope you benefited from the 7 tips that have helped us to finetune our own focus. Let us know which tip has been most helpful in your professional and personal lives as you prepare for the year ahead on the Pivot: Shift Ahead Facebook page. 

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