A new year is upon us, and there’s no better time than now to start the year off on the right foot. Setting achievable goals that help grow your mortgage business is the key to a successful year. However, when it comes to achieving those goals, how you manage your time each day has a huge impact on the outcome. There are many factors that affect proper time management, but most can be resolved simply by tweaking your daily routine and behaviors a bit.
Identify Top Time Wasters
How you spend your time at work may vary day by day, but most of us have certain behaviors that become habit. Whether you procrastinate on tasks until the last minute by chatting with a co-worker or you tend to get sidetracked by focusing on less important projects over urgent ones, these behaviors can add up and put you seriously behind on accomplishing your overall goals for the month. Take some time to consider what you should spend less time doing in order to successfully reach your goals – and then use the tips below to help you stay on track with effective time management.
Focus on Your Goals
Once you’ve pinpointed your biggest time wasters, it’s time to turn your productivity game around to get on the right track. In order to properly manage your time, it’s important to lay out your plans and goals for the week and the month. Start by choosing a goal you’d like to achieve by the end of the month – what kinds of activities do you need to do daily in order to get there? List them out. Envision what you’ll feel like once you achieve this big goal in order to stay motivated throughout the month.
Use Time Management Tricks to Stay on Track
So you have a goal to work toward – now it’s time to prioritize your projects and use your time effectively. What steps can you take to get you where you need to be by the end of the month?
- Organize your projects. Be sure to identify those that are urgent vs. ‘important’ – for example, a loan closing next week that needs attention would be urgent. All work is important, but understanding the difference between urgent and important tasks can help you better outline priorities.
- Consider batching or time-blocking as a way to systemize tasks. Batching involves completing similar tasks in a group to streamline them. Time-blocking requires a certain level of diligence, as you’ll set aside specific times in your day to complete important tasks.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate work. Sometimes, in order to accomplish important goals, you have to share the workload with your team. Take on your highest priority project and identify the right people to delegate other projects in order to successfully accomplish your goals.
- Use time-management tools to help you stay focused. Whether it’s an app like Evernote to help you manage your thoughts, ideas and images in one central location or one like Toggl, that helps you track your time to see what you’re spending most of your day working on, tools like these can help you use your time more effectively.
- Develop a marketing strategy that works for you. Understand your audience and how to best reach them. Build an editorial calendar to keep your communications on track. Spend time where your audience is most active.
- And finally, step back every so often and evaluate what is and isn’t working.
As a loan officer, you have three main areas of focus: 1) supporting your current consumers, 2) building relationships with your B2B audience, such as real estate agents and builders, and 3) building an active prospect pipeline. When it comes to managing all three areas of your business and accomplishing big goals you have set for yourself, never let daily tasks get in your way. Yes, you have to check email and meet with clients in your office, but make time to get out of your office and prospect consistently, too. Using a mix of the time management tips above can help you maximize each day and allow you to keep your focus on building a thriving mortgage business all year long.
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