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| 6 minute read

How Realtors Can Be Productive, Even When They Don't Feel Like Working

Sammy Harper Mar 18, 22

I’m not a basketball fan, but I am a fan of this quote by one of the NBA’s all-time greats, Julius “Dr. J” Erving:

“Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don't feel like doing them.”
- Julius Erving

You probably don’t feel like selling real estate every day. I’m sure there are mornings when you wake up feeling groggy or gloomy—mornings where not even the strongest cup of coffee will get you amped up for a busy day of work. You just can’t seem to find your usual enthusiasm for the job.

It’s normal. It happens to even the most successful, top-producing real estate agents in the biz. But what sets those top-producers apart from the rest is how they approach the occasional lack of motivation.

In today’s blog post, we’ll explore 6 tactics for getting stuff done on those days when you reeeeally don’t feel like doing anything at all.

1) Don’t think; just get to work.

In an interview on The Jordan Harbinger Show, bestselling author Daniel Pink shared his advice for how to shake the negative feelings on an "off" day:

"That happens to me quite a bit. My strategy...is not to indulge myself, and just get to work. So rather than sit and think about it, rather than wonder...What's going on? Did I sleep the wrong way?...I think the best solution is just to get to work. And I find there's something about simply the momentum of getting to work than can cure a lot of ails."

It's amazing how the simple act of showing up at your desk can create the momentum you need to start getting stuff done.

2) Take a walk.

You're probably tired of hearing this, but exercise is a great way to quickly boost productivity. A study by Briston University showed that participants were more productive on days that they worked out. Exercise increased concentration by 21% and motivation to work by 41%.

Low-intensity workouts are best for boosting productivity. Go for a walk (at least 10 minutes) before you start your workday, or try an online yoga class (like this one, which is designed to boost productivity).

3) Get a change of scenery.

Another benefit of going for a walk outside is the change of location. Getting out of the office and into a different physical location can be an effective mood-booster, according to Harvard Business Review contributor Amy Gallo: "A change of scenery often helps signal to your brain that the current mood doesn’t need to be sustained."

4) Bribe yourself.

Most days, your love for real estate—your passion for this industry, your sense of purpose as an entrepreneur, your Why—is what motivates you to get stuff done.

But some days, the passion just isn't there. (And that's okay. It'll be back.) In the meantime, you need a different kind of motivator. May I suggest a bribe?

Tell yourself, After I send these emails, I get to eat a cookie. Or, After my hour of prospecting calls, I get to watch one episode of Schitt's Creek while I eat lunch.

Whatever it takes to make it through the day and get it all done.

5) Try the 52:17 ratio.

A study conducted by DeskTime, an employee productivity tracking software, found that "the most productive people work for 52 minutes, then break for 17 minutes."

When you allow for frequent breaks, you give your mind a chance to rest, so you can come back to the next 52-minute sprint with renewed mental energy. You can also get a break from sitting—it's the perfect time for a productivity-boosting walk!

For this strategy to work, you must be 100% focused on work during the 52-minute time blocks, and 100% focused on rest during the 17-minute blocks. You can't take a quick Facebook break in the middle of a working block, and you shouldn't be answering emails during your break time.

6) List 3 good things

Feeling down in the dumps is damaging to your productivity. To get back in the zone, try to flush out those negative feelings with positive thoughts. In the article for HBR.org, How To Turn A Bad Day Around, Gallo shares insight on this topic from author Shawn Achor:

“Studies show that when you’re positive, you’re 31% more productive, you’re 40% more likely to receive a promotion,...and your creativity rates triple.”
- Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Project

So, how can you get yourself in a more positive mindset? One way is through a quick gratitude exercise: list 3 good things that are going on right now—good things in your life, things going well at work, etc.

“There are neuroimaging studies that show it’s almost impossible to be in a depressed state and grateful at the same time,” says Achor.

Another tip for increasing positive thoughts is to make sure you read two positive news stories for every one negative story you consume. Achor suggests finding stories about medical breakthroughs or people helping one another.

Make today another great day in real estate

Even if you got off to a rough start. Even if your client cancelled at the last minute. Even if it's pouring down rain and you ran out of coffee. Find a way to make the day better, so you can continue being your awesome, productive self.

Go for a walk. Pack up your laptop and head to Starbucks. Work in 52-minute sprints, followed by 17-minute breaks. Promise yourself tiny rewards for accomplishing tasks. Write down 3 good things. 

And get to work.

You got this!

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Click here to download the guide: The Rule of Three

About Sammy Harper

Sammy Harper is a content writer at Firepoint & Realvolve. Her nine years of digital marketing experience include SEO, email marketing, social media, and blogging. Fascinated by the real estate indust...

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