Have you ever found yourself in a place where you have just run out of fuel? The fulfillment of the work isn’t registering? You’re burned out, just not feeling it, and feel like you are just going through the motions. Sound familiar to anyone?
2022 was hard for me. It was a tough year for a lot of people. I am not complaining. We are blessed. 2022 was hard for me, though. It seemed like everything was just harder than it needed to be. I ended the year feeling burned out and needing to make a change in what I was doing. To be honest, I felt a little lost. So, I sat down and decided to make a change.
For me, the change took three forms. The first was a time management change. As lame as that is, I put it first on the list because it ties to the other two pretty directly. The second was reconnecting to my “why”, but not in a TED Talk way. It was more about deletion and systemization. The third was reconnecting to my people. Here’s what that looked like:
This changed boiled down to two things, in particular. The first was how I started my day. I am a believer in a morning routine. Truly, I am. I can absolutely notice the difference when I start the day on my terms versus allowing outside influences to affect the start of my day.
My problem is/was that I was trying to do someone else’s morning routine, not mine. I have tried the Miracle Morning. I have tried the 5 AM Club. I have tried a lot of different things. Here’s the rub: I am not a morning person. If I am awake at 5:00 a.m. it is because I am still awake from the night before, not because I woke up early. I am not a morning person. So, why was I trying to fit a night owl (round peg) into an early riser’s routine (square hole)?
So, I stopped that nonsense. I now wake up at 7, because that works for me. I do not schedule anything (unless I absolutely have to) before 10. I invest those three hours into starting my day my way. That looks like exercise, coffee with my wife, and some combination of affirmations, gratitude journaling, and reading. It works for me most of the time.
The second piece of this was pre-scheduling as many days as I could in advance. This includes regular meetings, days in each of my offices, days teaching, days with our producers, and creative days, which I will talk about shortly. Now I don’t put off the things that are important to me because, if they are in my calendar, they won’t change. From January through June, my schedule of events, office visits, and all other kinds of things are already scheduled in my calendar and anyone else’s calendar that needs to know or be part of them.
I got the idea of Creative Days from Brendon Burchard. One day a month, I scheduled a day of no electronics (unless I choose them) to be creative. So far, this has looked like writing, taking really long walks, reading, and just sitting there thinking. It is very relaxing and very refreshing.
Reconnecting To The “Why”
Long story short, I had spread myself too thin in an attempt to be everything to everyone. It was time to simplify things in a big way. That process, and parts of it, are a work in progress continuing today. What I have realized is that less, performed very well, is better than more.
When I started the brokerage my goal was to help real estate agents build better businesses. Pretty simple. Over the course of 8+ years, I let that get convoluted to a point where I lost the connection I wanted with the people I was serving. Was I still serving them? You bet. But not the way I wanted.
I am a list maker (which I keep in my reMarkable). So, I made two lists. What I thought was the important list was the list of things I really wanted to do. I was wrong. The important list was the list of things that I really didn’t want to do anymore. The interesting thing about that list was that nobody really needed to do most of those things. It was kind of embarrassing and empowering at the same time.
Today, I believe that the work I am doing is work that will allow my agents to be more successful and happier. That makes me happier. When I am happier, I do better work. When I start my day my way, know ahead of time what I am going to do that day, and do work that makes me happier, it makes me even happier, more productive, and more connected to the reason I get up in the morning. It’s a great cycle to be in.
Reconnecting To The People
This has been the magic result of the first two steps. I start most days spending time with my wife. Even if we are both reading, just being in the same room with coffee and a little conversation is a great way to start the day. From there, I have a plan for connecting with my agents. It is now a system in my business.
I have already, just in the first two months of the year, spent more days in my offices than I probably did in the last half of last year, maybe all year. This gives me the opportunity to work with my agents, see what is going on in their business, and work to make their experience in their business and at my brokerage better. As an added bonus, it’s a helluva lot of fun.
If you are like me, being around people feeds your fire. Last year, I spent too much time at my desk. That will not happen in 2023 and beyond. I want to be with my agents as much as I can. The rest of the “things” can either wait or go away.
As a result of three changes that really only took about a day to figure out, I have reignited my passion for what I do and feel completely reinvigorated. Listen, it ain’t all rainbows and unicorns all the time. This is a challenging period for everyone in real estate. I am up to the challenge and am hell-bent on making sure my people are too.
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