How to Have a Perfect Day Before Noon

I heard Gary Keller say, “Have a perfect day by noon.” What he meant by that was, by noon every day, you should have accomplished your highest priority.

That does not mean you will have every item on your never-ending checklist finished.

Let’s really get into what this could mean as an administrative assistant.

The agents on your team love to have someone nearby on whom they can rely to help them with their work. So, for example, when they receive a phone call from a seller client asking when the inspections are scheduled, the agents like to turn to you and interrupt what you are working on to ask you when inspections are scheduled.

No one is saying this isn’t an important question that certainly needs a response. What is important is that each person is working on the thing that is the highest and best use of their time.

If you were having the perfect day, what would that consist of? It might look something like this:

  • You have reached inbox zero
  • You have returned all voicemails from the previous day
  • The listings are up to date and all sellers have been communicated with
  • The closings are up to date and all buyers have been communicated with
  • The marketing or special project you’ve been tasked with has moved forward
  • The outstanding items in your CRM have been dealt with

Wouldn’t that be amazing?

I know. It sounds too good to be true. Because if it were true, you could go to lunch and not have to worry about having so much work to do that you don’t even have time for lunch.

After lunch, you essentially start another day of sorts. Only this time, you allow your agents to come to you with anything they need. You have time for the conversations that need to happen. You have time for the interruptions. Because that’s the second half of your day; attending to the needs of your agents.

Here’s how I see all of this working:

I envision getting to the office by 7:00, before any of the agents show up. For an hour, I get into the flow of working uninterrupted while I respond to anything urgent that came in from when I left the office the night before.

At 8:00 we have a 15 minute stand-up meeting with the agents and discuss anything that happened the previous night that needs to be addressed this morning. Then I get back to my own work, uninterrupted as the agents do their own lead generation until 11:00.

At 11:00, I make sure I’m at inbox zero and then I stop checking email. In 30 minutes, I finish up whatever I need to and make a plan for how I’m going to spend the second half of my day, knowing that I will be allowing time for interruptions and being ok if what I have planned doesn’t get done. (If it does get done, that’s just a bonus.)

Then at 11:30, I go to lunch for an hour.

At 12:30 I get back to the office, check messages and email and allow the agents to come to me with whatever they may need until I leave the office at 4:00.

And now you have uninterrupted time that you can time block. One hour for follow up with buyers and sellers. One hour for marketing. One hour for processing email – perhaps even dividing this up into two half hour blocks. One in the morning and one right before you go to lunch.

What do you think? Is this something that could work for you and your team?

If what you have now looks very different from this ideal, what would you have to do to get your team on board with this ideal plan?

Like most things, communication is the key. Presenting your idea to your agents and explain to them how this benefits them. Have them imagine not having to deal with client questions that interrupt their family time in the evening because you’re setting the expectations with the clients that you are going to be communicating with them on a daily basis.

Have your agents imagine being able to get more business because they are able to lead generate uninterrupted for three hours while you hold your questions for them until after lunch.

This is a win-win proposition. This allows EVERYONE to focus on their most important work.

Would you be willing to follow such a schedule?

6 Comments

  1. April Darnell

    This is by far one of my favorite posts you’ve shared so far! Time blocking has been such an issue for me, because I’ve been doing too much at one time. The last couple of weeks, I’ve had “one thing” to focus on for that week, and I’ve time-blocked for that project. Now that I have a TC to help, I feel like this schedule could be more realistic. I love it! I definitely wouldn’t mind the interruptions if my priorities have already been handled for the day!

    Reply
    1. Elizabeth (Post author)

      Hey April, I’m glad you liked the post! And yes, the interruptions would be much easier to handle if you’d already accomplished all the things that you knew had to get done that day. Congratulations on your new TC! I know that when I made that first hire, my whole world got much more focused.

      Reply
  2. Dawn Knox

    I have been searching for the perfect plan and wondering how it is that other mega-team EA’s get through all the emails, all the communication plan and their business-building projects done each day without working a 60-70 hour work-week. Thanks for this post – I’ll certainly be implementing this plan starting Monday when I get back from vacation!

    Reply
    1. Elizabeth (Post author)

      This post may be the answer you are looking for. In short though, you will never really be caught up. When things get really busy, you have to decide what’s most important, and do just those things. If all the really important stuff isn’t getting done on a weekly basis, it’s time to leverage. That could be hiring, or it could be vending out some of the things you are doing like printing and mailing marketing pieces or taking and editing listing photos.

      Reply
  3. Sarah

    Hi Elizabeth! I have discovered your site as of tonight and I cannot stop reading! This article in particular hits home. I have an OPs/Transaction Coordinator that shares an office with me. I am currently the Listing Manager with marketing until I get licensed, then I will be taking on TC and LM. We currently have 14 agents on our team. I find the one most distracting one/thing on my team is my TC. I just started 2 months ago. She has been there 2 years and is a big asset to us. However, she likes to constantly interrupt me to tell me that this needs to be done now (sometimes it’s urgent matters, most times it’s simple matters) This is done when I have headphones concentrating or not. She however is my supervisor and I’m not sure how to go about it. Being so new I don’t want to push back that hard nor do I want to tell her I won’t do something she has asked. Also there seems to be a lot of our TC and Managing Broker that wait to the last minute to input listings into 4 (different) systems and making deals active that keep me putting my organized day in the trash and staying late to get things done. Mind you, I came from the lending side which you think would be way harder and I also have small children that remind me everyday that I work too much and don’t see them. I have absolutely no idea how to go about this. My TC/OPs has a really snappy attitude and I feel doesn’t respect my time. Have you run into this?
    I get along great with my 14 agents accept her. Anyways, I feel if I say something it will completely ruin this relationship which is important in a team. I just want to shut away when I need to, get work done and focus on my tasks without someone stealing my time, running around with my head cut off, having someone manipulate every move or word I say. Should I just call it quits and move on. Also 29k salary seems low for 14 agents to one admin. Thanks for hearing me rant but you have the answers to everything!!

    Reply
    1. Elizabeth (Post author)

      Sharing an office can certainly be difficult! With you being on the job for only two months, I would suggest you ask your TC for help which could go along the lines of, “Hey, TC, I was wondering if you could help me with something? I’m so new to this role, and I’m not always sure how urgent things are. Typically when you ask me to do things, I’m right in the middle of working hard on something. Do you mean for me to stop working on my current task and immediately turn to the new task? I feel like switching back and forth between tasks is costing me time and to me it makes more sense for you to email non-urgent tasks to me along with a deadline for those tasks. That way I don’t spend time doing things that can wait. But if you have something seriously urgent, I’m happy to stop what I’m doing and turn to the new task. Will that work for you?”

      Would it be possible for you to take over the task of making listings active? If that’s not possible, could you suggest to you team that implementing a rule that listings go active before noon weekdays so that you have time to do the marketing activities before you leave for the day? Again, approach it with a plea for help. Ask your team these same questions. “I’m having difficulty getting the marketing tasks done when listing are made active late in the day. I have a solution as to how to fix it though. Would you like to hear it?”

      Try my suggestions and if you don’t see positive results from it, I want you to email me directly and we’ll set up a time to talk over the phone. egilbert@kw.com

      Reply

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