Hour-by-Hour Guide to Taming Your Work Day

As a REALTOR® it can be easy to focus on the big picture — big sales, big clients, career growth — and with a schedule that is often changing with evening and weekend showings and meetings, staying on a consistent schedule is a challenge. Still, when it’s possible, by sticking to a schedule and taming your workday, you’ll find a routine can do wonders for your productivity at work, as well as your state-of-mind. Once your routine is automatic, you’ll never have to sweat the small stuff again — just put the day in gear and focus on what really matters.

6:00 am: Avoid hitting the snooze button and just wake up. It’s the simplest action you’ll take all day, and somehow it’s the hardest. Force yourself to wake early for a couple weeks and you’ll wonder how you ever slept in.

6:00 – 7:00 am: Jog or workout. Exercise is the best way to energize your day, and for busy professionals early morning might just be the only time you have to yourself. Take advantage, even a quick workout can pay huge dividends, not only in physical health but for mental clarity. Exercise will give you time to think. As an added bonus, jogging around the neighborhood can give you a ground-level perspective on the local housing market.

7:00-7:30 am: Nothing makes breakfast taste better than a morning workout, and starting the day with a square meal is essential for keeping your mind and body in tip-top shape throughout the day. You can also use this time to thumb through local real estate listings or read articles on the market.

7:30-8:00 am: If you have kids, help them get ready for school and spend some quality time with the family. Take this half hour to chat with your significant other or to meditate. Since you sell houses for a living it’s important to enjoy your own, even if it’s for only 30 minutes.

8:00-9:00 am: Commute. Do your best to stay settled on your drive into work. Commutes can be one of the most stressful parts of the day, so use that time to enjoy something other than work. Listen to a favorite playlist or download podcasts to keep the mood light. If your commute is under an hour, apply the additional time to your workout, your family or to sleeping in just a bit longer.

9:00 -9:30 am: Dive right in. Try not to get bogged down checking email, or doing personal work, “spacing out” as Peter put it in Office Space. Tackle one office project to start the day, or schedule and early morning appointment. Early accomplishments will set the day on the right track.

9:30 am-12:00 pm: Keep that early morning momentum going and stay on track. Try to stick to one task for every half an hour, and don’t feel like you have to answer every email immediately. You’ll find you’re more productive when you can stay focused for longer periods of time.

12:00-12:30 pm: Eat a small lunch. Healthy meals will keep you from getting bogged down and groggy. If you can, try not to eat on the run and try not to work during your lunch. Use this time to clear your mind.

12:30-2:30 pm: Same as the morning, jump right into your work in the afternoon.

2:30-2:45 pm: Take an afternoon walk, either around your office or in a neighborhood where you’re showing a property. This will help you get over any mid-afternoon fatigue, and again, a walk will give you a better sense of the neighborhood you’re selling in, which will allow you to offer unique insight to your clients.

2:45-5:00 pm: Close the day strong, return emails and phone calls, and tie up as many loose ends as possible so you can leave the office at the office. This is the time to make your to-do list for tomorrow, then shut the work side of your brain down for the night.

5:00-6:00 pm: Take this time to turn the volume on the radio all the way up. If your ride home can be a release from the workday you’ll return to your family in a good frame of mind.

6:00-10:00 pm: This block of time belongs to you. Enjoy dinner with the family, help kids with their homework, participate in your favorite hobbies, hang out with friends and loved ones.

10:00-11:00 pm: Before bed do some relaxation reading. And if anything work related came up between 6:00 and 10:00 pm, use this time to take care of it if possible so you can have restful night’s sleep without worrying about unfinished business.

11:00 pm – 6:00 am: Sleep and get ready to do it all over again.

In addition to being smart about calendaring your day, here are a few resources for being production and healthy at your work.

REALTOR® Magazine, National Clean Off Your Desk Day: 6 Easy Tips

REALTOR® Magazine, The Longest Day: Improve Your Time Management

REALTOR® Magazine, Make Better Use of Your Time

YPN Lounge, Busy People: You’re in a Rut! Don’t Fool Yourself!

YPN Lounge, Unclutter Your Space and Your Mind

Do you have any tips for managing your workday? How do you stay as consistent as possible with evening and weekend showings? What works and are there tricks you use to keep on track when you feel like deviating?

  1. Georgia

    Only one small timeframe missing…”getting ready.” Shower/makeup/hair is the time frame that is sometimes used up instead of working out. This is on average for women a 45 minute time slot. Both need to happen.