There is absolutely no doubt that managing all the aspects of a career in real estate can be completely overwhelming. For many agents, the intentions are there, but the trouble is all of the last minute nonsense (an emergency water leak at a listing, a missing key in a lockbox, a problem with the AC at one of your recent closings) can completely derail those “best laid pans of mice and men.” 

Make Regular Planning a Habit

The key to controlling this problem is to make regular planning a habit. James Clear, the best-selling author of Atomic Habits, thinks motivation is overrated: “Stop waiting for motivation or inspiration to strike you and set a schedule for your habits.” Motivation flows from action, not the other way around.

That’s why having a daily planning ritual is so important. Some mornings we feel motivated to seize the day and create a to-do list that reflects our big ambitions. But those days are the exception. We need to get things done even when we wake up tired and disengaged, wanting to return to bed or longing for Friday at 5 PM. Those are the days that it is most important to approach the day with a plan.

Start by setting an alarm for your daily planning session at the same time every day—either during a work shutdown ritual or first thing in the morning. To make building the habit easier, bundle your new daily planning session with an existing habit like drinking your morning coffee or listening to music.

Here’s How to Plan Your Daily Rituals 

Bundle a daily planning session with an existing habit. Use a to-do list app like Todoist to set a recurring task to plan your day, or simply set an alarm on your phone.

Use a to-do list app like Todoist or Apple Reminders to set a recurring task to plan your day. Habits are easier to build when we see the results of our dedication right away. Luckily, planning your day is a habit that pays off immediately. You’ll feel more organized, focused, and motivated with a plan for the hours ahead. Over time, planning your day will become second-nature.

Having trouble turning your daily planning into a habit? Don’t break the chain! Keep your daily planning habit going on the weekends, even if you’re aiming for a laid back day. Add errands, a movie, or dinner dates to your daily to-do list on a Saturday or Sunday to make real space on your schedule for relaxation, leisure, and side projects.

Atomic Habits has tons of great suggestions for ways to gain control of your day and stick to a regular plan. And, if you are looking for support in that area, have a look at Pipeline Planner; the tips, tools, and space in the real estate daily planner, may help you to accomplish your planning goals!