2012 is the end of the current Mayan calendar. It’s the end of a huge 5,125-year cycle, specifically the cycle of the 4th sun. Moving into the cycle of the 5th sun is about transformation, a global shift of awareness, into a new consciousness. Taking this to a personal level, it’s time to clear the negative aspects of our lives and businesses. Bring ourselves into a new awareness and new consciousness. Dispel the darkness and bring ourselves into the light.
Real Estate agents all seem to struggle with chaos and balance, the darkness and light of our world – and not just the business aspects of it. Real Estate isn’t the kind of job you get to leave at the office when the clock strikes 5:00 pm. It goes home with you, it interrupts your dinner, it pokes its head in to stare at you while you’re in the shower, it repeatedly taps your shoulder in the middle of the night until you wake up, and it definitely does not know the meaning of weekend or vacation. And if you have a family, or any kind of personal life, Real Estate doesn’t appreciate that or respect it in any way.
Most agents deal with this by simply accepting it. Real Estate as a career has a lot of freedoms and can bring hefty financial rewards, so the stress and chaos that tends to go along with it is a small price to pay. But… what if you could have all the benefits of the Real Estate career without “paying the price”? What if you could de-clutter and de-stress and even de-chaos your Real Estate business? How would that change your life, your awareness, your consciousness?
All change and happiness comes from within. That means it’s up to you to tell Real Estate that shower time is private time and a good night’s sleep is sacred. Are you up for the challenge?
How to Dispel the Darkness:
The Darkness is chaos and confusion and stress. So, what things in our real estate business create chaos, confusion, and stress?
Not getting enough sleep
Lack of system and process
Too many systems and services
Too many financial obligations
Lack of quiet time
Your level of preparedness for each and every day truly is the sum total of everything on the list above. Being prepared means you’re ready for Real Estate to throw its curveball at you, you’ve practiced your swing, and you know that the curveball has no chance. You’re hitting it out of the park!
You know how it goes… you hit snooze too many times so got out of bed late, then rushed around and skipped breakfast. You couldn’t find your keys so wasted a good 15 minutes hunting them down, then ran out the door. You had to stop for gas on your way to the office because the tank was empty. You finally got to the office, jumped on the computer to check MLS activity, and Facebook called you… you heard it… it quietly whispered your name until you opened up a new tab just to see what was going on, telling yourself that social networking is a big part of doing business nowadays.
Two hours later, you snuck a glance at the clock and realized your buyers were gonna walk through the door any minute. Of course you forgot to clean out your car… You rushed to the parking lot and dumped everything from the floor of the front seat and the sign riders, files, and trash piled in the back, directly into your trunk – outta sight, outta mind. You met quickly with your buyers, took them to see property, then went back to the office to prepare for your listing appointment. On the way you realized you hadn’t eaten and it was nearly 3 pm. You pulled into a drive-through and scarfed down a burger, fries, and Coke on the way. The appointment went okay but the heartburn didn’t.
Sound familiar? You just spent a day wallowing in stress and disorganization and chaos – and it was all because you didn’t prepare.
Getting a good night’s sleep ensures you are ready to face everything your day throws at you. Sleep gives you focus and energy. Without it, you’re left dragging through your day in a zombie-like state. No, I don’t want you writing out my purchase agreement, working on my closing details, writing and posting the description of my property, and definitely not negotiating on my behalf when you are feeling zombie-esque. Want a better night’s sleep? Try restricting your caffeine intake to morning only, follow a regular bedtime routine, and avoid mentally intense activities directly before bed. Yes, that means close the laptop well before bedtime and no, the tablet does not get to come to bed with you.
Preparing and/or planning your food in advance so you always have healthy eats available to grab and go will add to your energy and focus and prevent anxiety and stress. You want a healthy meal without having to think too hard? Try www.getmealplans.com. Brought to you by Happy Herbivore, Lindsay has weekly meal plans for individuals or families that include recipes, shopping lists, and nutritional information for an entire week’s worth of food, including the three squares, snacks, and dessert, all for 1,200 calories per day and only $ 5 per week. Her meals all adhere to the whole foods, plant-based, low-fat, low-oil diets recommended in The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn, and the Forks Over Knives documentary. It takes all the thinking out of the food game and lets you eat mindlessly but healthy.
If you want to be really organized, plan one day a week to make all your food and pack it away in heat-and-eat containers. Gonna be in the car all day? Get a convenient little cooler that plugs right into your car’s outlet. Stock it with fresh fruit, water bottles, nuts/seeds, maybe some hummus with whole grain crackers… basically anything healthy that will stop the tummy grumblies, keep you out of the drive-through, and keep you hydrated and energetic throughout your day.
Being organized prevents time wasters, makes you more efficient and eliminates stress and chaos. Organization doesn’t need to be difficult either. Find a home for your car keys. Make sure that’s where they live. You’ll never have to look for them again. If you have an iPad, use it – like, for everything. The Cartavi app will keep all your transactions together, BombBomb lets you stay in touch with clients via video email updates. Remember the Mlik, Penultimate, Skitch, Evernote, and iAnnotate PDF are all valuable apps to stay on top of things and not lose anything. Ever. Take the time to do things NOW, do not put them off for later.
One of my favorite new organizer loveables is the Moleskine Smart Notebook that works in conjunction with Evernote. It’s a great little tool to jot down all your “aha!” moments, call notes, listing info, buyer specs, new contacts, etc. and then auto-load and file them in Evernote simply by taking a picture. Your handwritten note just became searchable data in your Evernote account. Whatever method works for you, just make sure you follow the rules: be as paperless as possible, carry as little as possible, and make sure everything has a home.
Many agents get to a point where they feel they need to use systems and processes to accomplish everything that needs to be tackled in their life, their business, and their day in general. The problem is we tend to go overboard and adopt too many. This is just as bad, if not worse, than having none at all, and many times runs us right into having too many financial obligations. Take a good hard look at 2012. Check your credit card statements. How many systems and services are you signed up for? How many did you actually use? While I agree there are plenty of great services out there, only buy what you are going to use. Think minimalist and then use what you buy. If the services you signed up for were supposed to perform for you – think lead-gen systems here and SEO campaigns – how did they perform? Did you see a return on your investment? Was the return significant enough to warrant paying for it again? Eliminate all unnecessary expenditures. You’ll be amazed how much energy, and money, that frees up for you.
Speaking of energy, what’s your work environment like? I had an agent who came to me recently with the very real problem of not being comfortable in his office. The split was good, the broker was fine, but the people there just gave him the creepies. He wanted to change offices but, during the interview process, didn’t know how to determine what it would feel like to actually be working there.
Pay attention to the energy around you. How do you feel when you’re around a particular person or in a particular place? More importantly, what kind of energy are you putting out there? How do people respond to working or being around you? If you’re in an office where you feel like you need to check the nearby cubicles before making calls, probably not the best environment for you to be working from. If working from home fills your day with distractions and prevents you from getting anything accomplished, also not the place for you to be working from.
You want your working environment to fill you with positive energy. What things make you feel great? Is it a wooded view or a particular color on the walls or a quote that always inspires you? Think about your work space, the same way you would your bedroom space. Your bedroom space should relax you and give you the warm fuzzies. Your office space needs to inspire you and make you feel productive and energetic. If you have gossip hounds, anger-management candidates, and Eeyores in your office, you may want to consider a different location to work from.
If you consider interviewing other offices, make sure you ask where you’ll be working and take a look at the desk. Go ahead and sit down in the chair, spin around, put your elbows up on the desk, look out the window, and be sure to take notice of how it all feels. Are you eager to leave? Do you feel awkward or uncomfortable? When you find the spot that makes you sigh, you know, that happy, “I’m home” sigh, you’ve found your office space. Now, keep it clean and clutter-free and watch your production level soar.
The last little thing is probably the most difficult for agents to integrate into their lifestyle and that’s the quiet time thing. What do you do to relax? At the end of your day, when you’re ready to unwind, what do you reach for? If it’s your laptop or your TV remote, therein lies the issue. Personally, I prefer to get my quiet time in the morning, when starting my day. It puts me into a relaxed state that allows me to handle every little unplanned catastrophe with grace. I start with yoga on the floor in my living room. I light incense, breathe deeply, and meditate through the positions. Afterwards, I take a hot shower and really feel the water relaxing all the tension out of my muscles and skin. Then I curl up on the sofa and sip a cup of hot tea while reading for a bit. That would be out of a book. Email does not apply here. This is always a fabulous start to my day. Everything that happens afterwards is bound to be amazing.
Now, before you tell me you don’t have time to be quiet, remember that you and you alone set your alarm clock each morning. We all have the same amount of time each day. What we have time for is based upon the priorities we set. If you have an 8:00 am meeting, then wake up at 5:00 am. If you’re not a morning person, then do your quiet time at night before bed. However you get it in there, it needs to happen, every day, minimum.
Make your plan for 2013. Always plan in advance, get a good night’s sleep, eat well, be well, put yourself into positive environments, minimize your expenditures, clear out the clutter, organize what’s left, enjoy some quiet time each and every day, love and be loved. Dispel the darkness, get rid of all the yuckies, and let the light in, both physically and metaphorically, to your life and business. Say good-bye to the chaos, stress, and confusion with the end of 2012 and bring yourself into the new consciousness of the cycle of the 5th sun.
Now, share what you’ve learned with others and together, we can really jumpstart awareness in 2013. Good luck!
Angela K. Simanek is a 19-year real estate veteran, mother of four, and owner/founder of Master Agent Life.
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