4 Tips for Multitasking That Actually Work

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Multitasking can be the remedy for a heavy workload, but too much multitasking can be just as bad; we've got four tips to keep it all in check.

By Peter Ricci

Multitasking is more than a catchy phrase uttered at business symposiums and on trade magazine websites; rather, it’s a survival mechanism, a key to successfully managing the endless array of tasks we all must completely on any given day.

We know, we’re making this sound like a scene from The Ten Commandments, but trust us on this one – multitasking is important! Approaching multitasking with the right mindset, though, is equally valuable, and we’ve got four tips that can make multitasking a clean and fulfilling pursuit for your business needs.

1. Organization – All paths to multitasking bliss begin with this step. Simply put, it will be impossible to manage the many facets of your job if they are not well organized. So, consider ways to use your physical space to your advantage. Have a spot specifically for leads; have another reserved for marketing materials; have another still for showings, and so on.

2. Find a Balance – This tip is equally important. Multitasking does not mean accomplishing all your tasks as quickly as possible; that’s a recipe for disaster. Rather, an effective multitasker can delegate his or her objectives – whether they be calling agents, responding to voicemails, showing properties or scheduling and preparing open houses – and accomplish them with a balanced approach, as this wonderful op-ed on multitasking points out.

3. Maintain a Schedule – A good way to find that balance is through maintaining a schedule, particularly with email. The threat of information overload via email is substantial, and you’re all but guaranteeing yourself burnout by trying to answer every. single. email. from clients, leads and agents as soon as you receive it. So with that in mind, try establishing designated email times, where you check your email ever half hour; or, where you check and answer emails at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., and so on.

4. Be Thorough – As we just wrote, effective multitasking is about achieving balance, not accomplishing everything immediately, and the one flaw of our technological age is that it tricks us into thinking we can accomplish everything instantly; after all, it’s all so quick and easy! But as blogger Penelope Trunk writes, those who “dare to be slow,” and accomplish their tasks fully and completely, are the ones who ultimately succeed. So dot every eye in those contracts, clean every corner before that showing and consider every possible angle in those negotiations.

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