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Lighten Up! Streamline Your Home Office

June 08 2012

3718 homefinder agentlightenupSo many real estate agents work mostly or exclusively in home offices. While we can't lessen your workload (and don't want to – keep on selling!) we want to offer you some tips to eliminate the unnecessary clutter from your desk and inbox to help you move through your business day more efficiently. Coupled with the longer summer days, lightening up your workspace sounds like the perfect solution for smarter working and more play!

Streamline your workspace:

1.) Purge. Don't feel bad about throwing away items you don't need. If you have an excess of cap-less pens, pencils without erasers, or unnecessary scraps of paper, throw them out. This will make room for the items that you need, and will save you from searching for a tool that works.

2.) Notepad. Keep a notepad next to your phone for the phone numbers, addresses, names, etc. you jot down throughout the day. This will keep all of your notes in one central location, rather than trying to organize a day's worth of scratch paper and scribbles.

3.) Wires. Between your phone, tablet, laptop and smartphone, it's easy to get overwhelmed by your wires and cords. Purchase a charging station to charge your electronics in one location, or plug all of your cords into one power strip and tie them together with a Velcro band.

4.) Files. Scan and PDF your files, so you can eliminate excess paper. If you need to keep the hard copy, establish an organized file folder system – alphabetically, in order of priority, or in order of use.

5.) Organize as you go. To keep a manageable desk, spend a few minutes organizing your space before you close down for the day. This will help you to face the next day with a clean start.

Streamline your email:

1.) Decide quickly! After you open an email, you should be able to: reply, delete, file, forward or schedule an appointment. By making an immediate decision, you will greatly eliminate email overload. Also, don't be afraid to use your delete button!

2.) Five minutes. Answering emails throughout the day that require substantial effort can add several hours to your day. If the email requires more than five minutes of effort, move it to your to do list to and set aside some time to address at a later time.

3.) Unsubscribe. Instead of regularly deleting email blasts you receive, set aside some time to unsubscribe from these lists to minimize the volume of emails you receive. It will also help you from getting distracted throughout the day.

4.) Email file folders. Every email system has a file folder system that allows you to create folders. Use these to categorize emails by priority, category or action item such as: industry news, folders for each of your clients, pending emails, pending projects, high priority, etc.

5.) Pick up the phone. If you anticipate an email chain becoming longer than five emails, it's often easier to pick up the phone to resolve the matter in less than 60 seconds.

We hope these tips will help you gain a few more hours in your day to spend with clients, tackle a new project you haven't had time for, or to simply enjoy the sunshine! Do you have any tips for lightening up your workday? Share with us below.

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