Distractions are the enemy of productive work.
And distractions are everywhere. They're relentless. They come from all angles, all the time. You sit down with honest intentions of getting some work done, and the next thing you know you've got a donut in one hand, the tv remote in the other, and you're wearing your stormtrooper helmet!
What is the important work?
"Building a tribe" is a lot different from "dialing for dollars." Instead of trying to 'close' everyone you talk to, you're building trust with the people who already know and respect you, sending them pertinent, relevant, interesting information they will want to see. And you're doing this consistently, continuously. Day after day and month after month.
This means you need to read, find, research, write, and/or otherwise assemble this high-quality information you'll be sending out.
That takes time. And focus.
The 20-Minute Block
None of us has hours each day where we can hide away from everyone trying to reach us and just do our own thing. Well, I shouldn't speak for you, but I don't have that kind of time.
But it is very realistic to "unplug" for 20-minutes - no one will notice if it takes a few extra minutes to return a text message or like a post. This 20-minute block of time can be a key to unlocking productive work.
Here's how it works:
- Close all your browser tabs, email client, and anything else which is open on your computer screen.
- Turn your phone's ringer off, and put it in a drawer (or even in another room.) Do NOT pick up your phone during this 20-minute block.
- Snack? Restroom break? Water? Take care of it now, because you don't get up from your chair during this 20-minute block of time.
- ** Game Plan / Strategy - What are you going to work on for the next 20 minutes?
- Writing your newsletter
- Writing a blog post
- Reaching out to specific contacts with information relating to them personally.
- Brainstorming ideas for future topics. (use the Rule of 3's and other Idea Collection ideas.)
- Research for an upcoming newsletter or post
- Anything else which serves the purpose of making yourself an invaluable resource to your contacts.
- Set a timer for 20 minutes.
- Go! Work with laser focus on your pre-defined goal for the next 20 minutes, without interruptions or distractions.
** Know what you're going to do before you start the clock. Otherwise you'll spend 20 minutes browsing around and not getting anything done.
3-Blocks, 5-Blocks, 7-Blocks
20 minutes might not seem like a lot of time. And you're right - it isn't. But it's enough time to make quality forward progress on a goal, while also being short enough that any emergency can wait until you're finished.
More importantly, it's an awesome building block. And like other building blocks - it's stackable.
Imagine what happens when you start stacking these blocks of focused accomplishment on top of each other:
3-Blocks per day, spread throughout the day, gives you a full hour of dedicated work towards your goal of being indispensable to your tribe of contacts. An hour might not sound like a lot, but A) it's more than you're doing today, and B) 5 hours per week is enough time to write a great newsletter AND keep in touch with your contacts personally.
5-Blocks per day stacks up to become more than 8 hours per week!
7-Blocks per day, used intermittently across the day, gives you 2 hours and 20 minutes of uninterrupted, high-level work at being the best Realtor your contacts could possibly imagine - every single day. That's almost 12 hours per week spent solely on making your contacts' lives better. Nobody else is working that hard for your contacts. (or even for their own contacts.)
The 20-Minute Block is a powerful tool. It allows you to focus on the important work, without having to ignore your current fires and without putting too much tax on our ever-shrinking attention spans!
But, like most of what I write about - it only works when it's used consistently. An hour today and another hour sometime next week doesn't amount to much. If you find yourself struggling to get your important work done, please give my full-featured e-Newsletter service some consideration - I can take newsletters off your todo list forever..
- Chris Butterworth