Coaches Corner Newsletter - Issue #977
April 24th, 2020
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Words of a Champion...

The scourge of time block adherence is the onset of “distractionitis.” The fastest way to render a time block useless or even a day useless is to not deal with distractions well.

In today’s marketplace, where distractions are part of our “new” normal, it’s most important to learn effective techniques to help you with time block adherence is to plan for distractions that undoubtedly will come. You can’t avoid them, the best you can do is plan for them. You might use as some of my clients, the preemptive strike technique. This preemptive strike allows you to deal with distractions from others on your terms.

In this week’s Coaches Corner, I share ways to help you conquer distractions and take your time back!

To Your Success,

Dirk Zeller

Conquering Distractions

The scourge of time block adherence is the onset of "distractionitis." The fastest way to render a time block useless or even a day useless is to not deal with distractions well.

The most effective technique to help you with time block adherence is to plan for distractions that undoubtedly will come. You can't avoid them, the best you can do is plan for them. You might use as some of my clients, the preemptive strike technique. This preemptive strike allows you to deal with distractions from others on your terms.

I have many clients that are managers or employers and must interact with their subordinates regularly. They need to socialize and engage to build a culture of cooperation and teamwork. Rather than having an open door policy, which often leads to too many interruptions and distractions, they created specific time blocks or slots in their schedule daily to interact with the staff. They engage in management by walking around. This is where they encourage, engage and care for their team. They also can help with problems on the fly. This preemptive strike allows them to shut their door and focus a greater percentage of the day so they follow their time block schedule more readily.

The liberal use of flex time in ones schedule can give you an opportunity to deal with a distraction or emergency in a controlled manner. Flex time is a predetermined segment of time, usually fifteen to thirty minutes in length that is unspoken for. It is placed at strategic intervals in your schedule. It is then waiting patiently for you to come to it with your problems, challenges, and distractions. I implore you to hold off and not get distracted away from your time block schedule because the flex time is an hour or so away.

I always remember that when learning the skill of time blocking, to insert thirty minutes of flex time in your schedule for every two hours of time blocked activities. This might seem like a lot of flex time where you could have upwards of four intervals of flex time in a typical work day. The truth is if you could manage to hold firm on the distractions and problems until the four slots of flex time, you would see your productivity increase significantly in just a few weeks.

If you gave away your flex time each day to "stuffitis" but managed to stay on track to the rest of your time blocked schedule each day you would see a dramatic productivity increase in your day. Don't think about the two hours in your schedule you allocate to flex time. Think about the six to seven hours or more in your schedule that are highly productive hours.

One of the scourges of people who are trying to achieve more with their time and even trying to achieve more success is perfectionism. The mentality of crafting a perfect time block schedule before you begin has caused millions of people to fail at time blocking. The over reaching, over obsession of revising, redoing, and readjusting ones time block schedule every few days, or even hours, leads to frustration and defeat.

How good is good enough? How perfect does the time block schedule need to be to achieve results? With additional revision, how much additional productivity would I gain? What is the segment of the day or activity that is taking my schedule off track? These are the type of quick evaluation questions that can lead to a solid but quick revision. They will direct you to make changes that are results balanced and results oriented changes, not perfectionist changes.

When dealing with time we have to balance the results we expect to achieve more productivity, greater efficiency, reduction in time worked, and greater sales. If our objective is perfection of our time and schedule, then our standard will be too high. The truth in business and in life is stuff happens! There are problem clients, problem staff members, delivery issues, service issues, sales issues, it's an endless list. If everything around you ran smoothly you would be out of a job. These are just the office or work issues. The home issues are just as interruption oriented and problematic as well. Some of the best moments in my life are when I see my young daughter at my office door through the glass wanting to come in and interrupt me! Her Mom has brought her down to the office to see Daddy! It's the few minute reward I receive by having a solid time block schedule that I adhere too. I might only have a few minutes before my next coaching call or sales call but the interruption is priceless. Don't ever expect perfection with your time blocking or time management.

In your time blocking as well as success you have to delineate the line of success. Where is the standard? How good is good enough? Where is the point where you will achieve diminishing returns on your effort?

A number of years ago I recognized that to achieve perfection or 100% took a tremendous amount of effort. To refine, revise, review, adjust, tweak, evaluate, change, test and then repeat took unimaginable effort to reach that 100% level. In my evaluation I realized that the amount of effort to hit a 95% standard was about the same as the amount of effort required to go from that 95% to 100%. That last 5% was a killer! The 95% rule holds very true when dealing with a time blocked schedule. The effort and energy you will expend to achieve 5% will equal the first 95% you invest in your time block.

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The Champion Agent's Unstoppable Edge

There are so many advantages that a Champion Listing Agent has, let me share some that might not come to mind instantly.

  1. Discipline

    Becoming a Champion Agent takes discipline.  Many of you reading the word discipline have a negative reaction the word physiologically or psychologically.  It's because you have a negative view of the word.  The truth is discipline is a primary tool that must be acquired to achieve success in life.

    A number of years ago, I started to plan out what I wanted to teach my son, Wesley.  What were the tools, skills, characteristics, knowledge, and attitudes I wanted to instill in him?  He is, in effect, "on loan" to Joan and I for 18 years.  I want the loan to be at full maturity when it comes due.

    Once I had completed my list, I asked myself a question.  If I could only ensure he got one of these because my life was cut short, which one would I select?  It took me only a few minutes to decide which one.  My decision was discipline.  Now, you might have selected something else from the list for your child.  The reason I selected discipline was because, if he got that, he could acquire any of the others in my plan when he needed it.  If he really needed something later in life, his discipline would give him the basic building block to achieve it.  I also recognized at that moment that, if he learned and acted in a disciplined way, his success was guaranteed.  It doesn't mean he won't have hardships and challenges; it means he would have the primary skill necessary to work through them.  A Champion Listing Agent is not different.  To really be at that Champion level, they have to acquire discipline.

  2. Sales skills

    When you are a Champion Listing Agent, you have acquired the skills to put you in the highest category of sales performers.  You have mastery of your scripts, dialogues, presentations, qualifying, appointment setting, personal value, objection handling, and closing.  The marketplace, other agents, your company, and your broker/manager don't determine your success; you do.  It's great to have confidence and control of what will happen in your business and life.

  3. Quality of life

    A Champion Listing Agent has a better quality of life.  They have greater control of their schedule having more quality and quantity time off with family.  They have more stability of income because they can project and control cash flow and regular closings.  It would be impossible to close eight to ten buyer transactions monthly for an extended period of time.  It is relatively easy to create and close double digit listing transactions monthly.

Just like anything in life worth accomplishing, becoming a Champion Listing Agent isn't the easy road.  It isn't the super highway that all can or will travel on.  It really is the road less traveled.  The path to a Champion Listing Agent will be much harder.  There are more skills and disciplines required to achieve success.  It is also harder to find and secure a seller than it is a buyer.  That's why Champion Listing Agents are a minority rather than the majority.  You have to ask yourself, "Do I want to be in the minority?  Am I willing to exert the effort necessary to reach the level of success to join the minority?"  That's where all the fun is in life!

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Why Rise To The Champion Level In Life

The Championship level affords all the advantages, influence, recognition, and money.  The people who climb to this highest esteem live full, rich, and fulfilling lives.  They have the resources to enjoy the finer experiences of life if they choose.  I have found that while most Champions live well, the vast majority live below their means, many even adopt the philosophy described in Thomas Stanley’s book The Millionaire Next Door.  Stanley describes the typical millionaire as someone who can’t be detected because their wealth has very few outward signs.  They live in nice homes but not opulent palaces or the latest term “McMansions”.  They drive nice, well-kept cars but not necessarily new vehicles.  They focus on protecting and growing their wealth and security.  A Champion could certainly be in that category fairly undetectably, as well.

There are a number of responses to the question “Why rise to the Championship level?”  “Why not?” comes to mind first.  Since you are on the ride of life, you might as well make it an E-ticket ride.  I recognize that some readers of this article are younger than me and don’t know what an E-ticket ride is. 

Before Disneyland made park admission all-inclusive, you paid admission and bought packages for rides based on a scale from A – E.  The best rides were the E-ticket rides!  As kids, we all ran out of E-tickets long before all the other tickets.  A Champion wants an unlimited supply of E-tickets.

The greatest rewards in life are at the Champion level.  The largest income, earnings, compensation, and wealth are at the Championship level.  If you aren’t there in your level of skill and ability as a business owner and real estate agent, the money you earn will be poor.  If you are good, you will earn fair money.  If you are great, you will earn good money.  If you are a Champion, you will generate Champion level earnings and Champion level net profit; you skip over great money and go to the highest level.  The earnings are proportionally unfair once you hit the Champion level.

There is nothing greater than the personal satisfaction and confidence you gain from being the best.  To climb the success ladder and know that you are well on your way to the top is like no other feeling.  Your confidence grows, which only increases your success even higher.  There is a connection between your competence and your confidence.  When competence rises, so does your confidence.

Champion Performers come in all shapes and sizes.  The ones I respect the most are the ones who play the game of success closest to their potential.  To me that is the mark of a “true” Champion.  A person who achieves a high level of production but still falls far short of what they could do, given their resources and skill, is not a Champion Agent.

The person who sells much less but is close to their capacity, in terms of sales, is a Champion.  I can share with you numerous stories of agents who lacked extensive education and skills but managed through their consistency, adherence to improvement, and determination and have increased their income in excess of $100,000.  They now make more money than most doctors but will never be $1,000,000 a year commission earners.  In some cases, they won’t even crack the $500,000 mark, but they are Champions, nonetheless.  They are playing all out at the highest level, based on the talent that God gave them.

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