Efficient time management skills for agents are as important as it is for any businessman. Especially if you have to deal with hundreds of clients on a day-to-day basis. However, it is one of the most undermined skills. Everyone knows its necessity, yet very few actually understand what it means.
Time is not something that you can control. It’s unidirectional and you cannot manipulate it. But you do have control over how you can manage the use of time. Simply put, you can either spend time by thinking, speaking or doing.
Effective time management is not an independent skill. You must practice and develop multiple traits in order to build strong time management strategies. Here are some highly effective tips for you to practice and reap the benefits of excellent time management:
Segment your time by creating a schedule
We, humans, are creatures of habit. So, creating a daily schedule for yourself would simply mean that you are tapping into your natural instincts. Hence, doing so reduces the need for strong willpower and motivation. Your mind is automatically set to complete these tasks. A study by a surgeon named Maxwell Maltz in the 1950s found that it only takes a minimum of 21 days for anyone to form a habit. Later, another study by Phillippa Lilly, a health psychology researcher, concluded that, in average, it takes 66 days for anyone to form a strong habit.
Proper scheduling of your tasks, is a must-have time management skills for agents. An agent’s day usually starts early and ends late, especially if you are an agency owner. Creating a time management schedule helps you accomplish more through the organization of tasks. Chores tend to finish faster so that you can focus on other priorities or have some time for yourself.
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Goal setting and prioritizing is the key to success
Any serious agent should set professional goals. Goals are what helps you measure success. They act as a check point to achieving your ultimate dream. Setting goals help you provide a direction. It also helps you facilitate your plans. Meaning, goals are guidelines to your plans. Always keep in mind that your goals should overlap with the goals of your clients. Doing so will help you close deals more often.
For example, if you are running an education agency, what you need to understand is that there are three types of students.
- One who completely wants to experience the lifestyle of that place and couldn’t care less about what college or university they end up in.
- One who only cares about the best universities and is not there for the lifestyle experience.
- Lastly, the one who seeks the best of both worlds.
You must first decide which of these clients would you prefer to cater and set your goals accordingly.
If you’re catering to the first type of client, your goal should be to provide moderate education for the cheapest price.
If you’re catering to the second type of client, your goal should be to provide the best education no matter what.
And if you’re catering to the third type of client, your goal should be to provide a good education for the most reasonable price.
Once your goals are set, you can now easily prioritize your tasks accordingly. Always keep in mind the crucial difference between tasks that are important and those that are urgent. Finish the urgent ones first but never procrastinate to complete the important ones too.
Constantly guiding your team with task prioritization also assists with agency time management. Many offices now use SMART Goal Planning or Kanban methodology to smoothly prioritize office tasks. You can also make use of online task & workflow management platforms like Trello that function under a similar concept.
Avoid multitasking whenever possible
Though it seems as if multitasking is one of many necessary time management skills for agents, this is not true. The disadvantages of multitasking greatly outweigh its advantages. Multitasking almost always gives you a false sense of accomplishment. So, how do successful agents manage time in the first place?
Well, the answer is simple: Most successful agents don’t multitask at all! It is a known fact that multitasking reduces daily productivity by up to 40%. Alternating between tasks causes your brain to stress. This is because it has to switch between different circumstances which require extra energy. Hence, your focus is diminished. Multitasking also causes the loss of attention and memory in the workplace. It also reduces cognitive functions. Avoiding multitasking also helps you manage risk, so you are better off without it.
Stress management is also crucial time management skills for agents
While it is true that moderate pressure in work is a good thing, too much can cause stress. As an agent, you should learn to recognize the difference between pressure and stress. Its symptoms are quite easy to recognize, however, most tend to misinterpret it. Fear of being laid off from work, regular overtime, lack of patience and high irritability are the most common symptoms. As a professional, you should not give in to these experiences but always seek out help.
Handling stress can definitely help with time management for professionals. In case you have experienced these symptoms, always reach out to friends, family, and coworkers. Bottling it up inside you will never yield a good result. Also, keeping your tasks well organized by maintaining records, helps manage time for super busy agents. As long as you are stressed during work, you will never be able to get anything done in time.
Upgrade your agency with time, trends and technology
Nowadays, everything is based on research. Hence, better time management skills for agents are emerging to enhance your agency’s performance. It may be through effective client and partner communication or by treating employees as customers. It is apparent that people are not afraid to try out new ways and experiment a little. One of these advancements is the development of technology in office management.
CRM (Client Relationship Management) Systems are becoming very trendy these days. This is because a CRM offers its users the freedom from human errors and redundancy. CRMs also provide data security through cloud servers and remote access to your office from any corner of the globe. Adopting such technological solutions can definitely help education and migration agents with their time management.
Agentcis is a prominent example of such a CRM used by agencies around the world. It streamlines all your agency data into a single platform making client management experience much smoother and easier.
The importance of time management skills for agents cannot be stressed enough! These are a few simple time management tips for agents and professionals. However, it is just the tip of the iceberg! You should definitely start by strengthening these abilities. Practicing these skills will definitely make your job much easier and organized. Remember that there are no shortcuts to success. So, realizing your dream will require a lot of patience and hard work. Just keep in mind that your dream might be just another milestone away!