WRITTEN BY PJ WADE
Whether you acknowledged the new year by decluttering your home or not, decluttering physical space is second in importance to regularly and deliberately decluttering the space between your ears.
As a new year begins, it’s common to self-confidently, even joyfully, toss out “stuff” that’s accumulated over the past year:
- Attacking closets to dig out long-forgotten stuff clogging up this storage.
- Sorting through drawers to discover what’s essential and what’s not.
- Rummaging around in workshops, play areas, hobby rooms, and other once-productive corners to decide what is truly useful and what’s just taking up space.
For real estate professionals — and many of their clients — productivity-enhancing brain decluttering will ensure that 2018 is a stellar year:
- Attack touted areas of expertise to dig out long-forgotten or dated core material that is undermining modernization and relevance of this hard-earned professional expertise. The resulting improved communication effectiveness enriches relationships with prospects, clients, and colleagues.
- Sort through relationships with clients, past clients, and everyone else who matters, to discover who’s essential to your success and that of clients’ and who is dead weight or destructive. Save time and energy to enhance focus in marketing, strategizing, and goal achievement for you and your clients.
- Rummage around to discard out-dated dreams, mis-calculated goals, missed opportunity, failed strategies, and other persistently-distracting past experiences — personal baggage. Decide what is truly useful about your past and worth integrating, and what’s just taking up brain space.
Move from unconscious to conscious to remove brain clutter.
Just as your tongue cannot stop poking at a sore tooth, your brain keeps poking at wrongs you’ve committed or feel were committed on you as well as at many other “sore spots.” Take an honest look at what continues to bother you. Which past experiences, from distracting injustices to ego-pumping triumphs, crowd out productive future thinking? What keeps you awake at night? Whatever disrupts your routine becomes your routine if it is not addressed. Get on with life.
Let your brain explore these Five Essential Good Brain Habits.
Five, so you can count them on one hand and keep track of how you’re doing:
1. Self-Determined Wellness is the result of a series of good health habits that keep you eating, moving, thinking, living… in your own best interest. Wasting time on what you haven’t done or should do but don’t, gets you nowhere. Concentrate on what you do and why, and what you can successfully convince yourself to add to your healthy routines.
2. Productive Self-Discipline is the result of confidence in yourself, commitment to what you want to spend your life doing, and what you want your reputation to stand for. Feedback from forward thinkers and mentors will help you progress.
3. Valued Sense of Humor is the result of practice stressing the positive side, removing bias, searching out ridiculous, thoughtless perpetrations, and focusing on laughter that makes everyone feel better. Humor has taken serious turns, so take care to stay current.
4. Persistent Curiosity is the result of an actively engaged brain and a belief in endless possibilities. What anti-clutter inspiration — not just mindless screen time — keeps your thinking fresh and relevant?
5. Constructive Compassion is the result of belief in the importance of contributing to the lives of others by helping them improve their forward thinking. This is not about you, but how your contributions will be valued by prospects and clients.
This is my list. Make it yours or build your own. Ask people what they value about you and how you can improve your approach to the work you love. First, thank them for their suggestions without making judgements or “yeah but” comments. Then, spend time constructively evaluating their suggestions from the perspective of clients and your 2018 goals.
For example, after years in real estate, you have a long list of past clients. When you think of and refer to those on this list as “clients,” you do them and you a disservice. Clients are those you are contracted to serve; those who are legally bound to you and your broker.
Once they have bought or sold, even if they become friends, these buyers and sellers are not clients any more. They owe you nothing, not even loyalty. They are prospects — perhaps warm or even hot prospects — but prospects none the less. Passively sending out newsletters will not attract these prospects as quickly and effectively as employing the strategies you successfully use to engage new business.
Think of past business as “clients” already committed to you — when they are not — and that’s clutter. Shift to constructive-prospecting strategies for those who at least know your name and stand back!
Decluttering is an ongoing, never-ending process since your brain is continually bombarded by “junk” in this 24/7 vortex of information and what passes for it these days. As you carve out space in your decluttered brain, you’ll discover room for amazing ideas and creative thinking — your’s and those of others.
As professionals, you can also help buyers and sellers attack their brain clutter and clarify their 2018 real estate goals.
In your decluttered state, you decide how 2018 is going to unfold for you and clients.