Do You Have the Achiever's Burden?

With all of the responsibilities real estate practitioners have, some find themselves being pulled in all directions.

March 1, 2005

Some of the biggest challenges that today's real estate practitioners face are dealing with their wide range of responsibilities and making the best use of their time, says author and motivational speaker Brian Hilliard of Atlanta.

"You've got the mortgage broker, the builder, the home appraiser—oh, and don't forget the client—all demanding pieces of your time," Hilliard says. "And while all that's going on, [you] still have to deal with the seemingly endless supply of paperwork and office activities on a daily basis.”

Hilliard says he talks to real estate practitioners all over the country who pull 50-hour, 60-hour, and even 70-hour weeks. "And they're still not getting the financial results they want," he says. "They're also not spending enough time with family and friends."

Most real estate practitioners are diligent, hard-working people whom others trust to get stuff done, Hilliard says. They want to finish what they start, and they like the feeling of accomplishing their goals. Unfortunately, many also shy away from delegating tasks and tend to over-commit themselves, leading to a condition Hilliard calls the “achiever's burden.”

“As you take on more and more work and accept more responsibility—both at the job and within the community—you can find yourself overcommitted,” he says. “You're being pulled in too many different directions.”

Hilliard encourages real estate professionals to take a break every once in awhile from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. After all, it's possible to be a hard worker who gets things done without letting the job take over your life. Here are his top three suggestions for achieving balance between your work life and personal life:

  1. Manage your energy, not your time. One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to get the most out of their day is to view it simply as an exercise in time management. Instead of segmenting our tasks into A, B, and C—the traditional approach—group them by the amount of energy required to complete them: high or low. Attending a meeting is low, while farming your neighborhood is high. Checking e-mail is low while developing marketing materials is high, and so on.
  2. Do work that requires the energy you have. Next time you're wiped out after showing buyers around town, tackle some of your low-energy tasks rather than slogging through things that require more energy than you have to give.
  3. Build a business, not a job. You create a job when you have a series of business-related tasks for which you are responsible. Building a business entails creating a system in which others can help you reach a desired goal. Notice the difference; with a job, you're doing all of the work but with a business, you're initially doing a lot of the work, but are gradually moving to the point where others can help out.

“Whether you're an entrepreneur or a corporate professional, work lives have gotten so crazy that people are looking for something to get some sanity back in their lives,” Hilliard says. “Remember, as a real estate professional, you are your No. 1 asset, and therefore you can't afford to allow yourself to break down from all the things demanding your time.”

(c) Copyright 2005 Realty Times. Reprinted with permission.

Blanche Evans is a writer/editor and CEO of evansEmedia. Formerly, she was a senior editor with Realty Times, where she was named by REALTOR® Magazine as one of the most influential people in the real estate industry.

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