This is February. By now you have your goals for the year, have committed them to writing, told the people closest to you (now you HAVE TO DO IT!) and put pictures of what you will have when you reach these goals on the wall above the desk where you work to remind you to keep going when it gets hard and you want to quit. Good.

There are many reasons for having goals, and you have probably heard them all. This is one of mine: when I have a clearly defined, written goal that I have committed to, I get clear on the tasks necessary to accomplish that goal. 

This clarity of focus keeps me from getting distracted. It helps me discern the difference between an OPPORTUNITY and a DISTRACTION.

Here’s how to get clarity on what are the key activities you need to focus to move forward.

1- Define Your True Purpose

In our goal mastery class I explain the concept of precession.

Precession; the effect of bodies in motion on other bodies in motion. The bee enters the flower blossom in search of nectar to make honey. Inadvertently, this causes the bee’s legs to become dusted with pollen so that when it enters other flowers it pollinates. So the bee’s GOAL is to make honey; but its TRUE PURPOSE is to pollinate. Does the bee know its True Purpose is to pollinate? No. The bee just does what it is supposed to do: makes honey. 

Humans are the same. We know our goals but we may never know our True Purpose. As my mentor Bucky Fuller would say, “You may assume you are fulfilling your role if you convert your experience to the highest advantage of others.” If the bee did not have a goal and did not focus on that goal, what might occur? The food chain could be in danger of collapse. (This is actually happening right now; maybe you’ve seen the news reports).

Now, take a business. What’s the purpose of it? One purpose of a business is to add value. Money is simply a by-product of how well we add value; how well we assist others; how well we serve. Money is the method used to measure how well we add value. No value added, no money in the bank. “How do I add value?” you’ll ask.

I’ll tell you: by using your experience to help others. And this is the beauty of our business; we get paid for helping others; the more value we add the more money we make.

2- Remove Distractions

What is a distraction, really?

This gets at a deeper truth: distraction isn’t technology. It’s not a second screen. It’s not social media or email or smartphones or any of the things we often associate with it. In reality, these things are simply ways we fill the time in which we’re already distracted. Distraction, at its core, is this: confusion about what matters.

Multi-tasking is overrated. It diminished our ability to focus.

We’ve all seen the stats. How multitasking makes us worse at everything. We get dumber just by having the smartphone in the same room. 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes. We can’t even watch TV without distractions: 88% of us use a second screen. According to a new study from Adobe, we spend 3.1 hours per day at work on email, of all things.

One key to success is FOCUS. Multi-tasking disperses energy whereas focus concentrates energy. A person without goals is like a ship without a rudder. There is no guidance system. A person without a daily schedule has their schedule filled by others. A person without goals cannot tell the difference between an opportunity and a distraction, so they usually end up chasing distractions and missing opportunities. 

Learning how to establish priorities in life and how to keep focus is fundamental for your success, especially in your real estate business.

For example, let’s say you specialize in a high-turnover subdivision in the northwest part of town. You are focused, you dominate this area, you are busy in important tasks and business is good. Your goal for the year is to increase your listings by 20% over last year, which means you must list 100 properties to achieve your goal. You have your team and systems in place, your assembly line built and are on track. You get a referral for a listing deep in south Austin. Opportunity or Distraction? 

One of your clients owns her own business and needs help finding commercial space to lease. She is impressed with you and asks you for help. Opportunity or Distraction?

An investor calls and wants to buy an apartment with 6% or better cap rate near UT. Opportunity or Distraction?

The power of the written goal one is committed to gives us the focus of energy which provides the clarity of thought allowing us to make better decisions faster today than yesterday. 

It helps answer this question we are constantly faced with: “Is this Opportunity in front of me aligned with my goals, values, purpose? Or is this one big regrettable Distraction?”

It helps me say “Thank you, but this is not my area of specialty. I know an excellent broker who does specialize in this who can assist you and am happy to give you a personal referral.”

3- Keep Your Eye On The Prize!

Identify the key income producing activities for your business these days in a word or phrase, such as: Networking. Listing calls. Presentations. Learning new skills. Social media marketing. Video marketing.

Then do a little exercise as an experiment: rank these aims in order of importance, with no ties allowed. If you could attain only one aim, which would it be? That’s your highest priority. When you organize your day, using your planner or any apps you use for time management, you should always have a master list to prioritize your work.

Then take that one off the list, look at the aims that are left, and ask the question again: If I could attain only one of these remaining aims, which one would it be? Then repeat the process until you’re finished. 

Remember your purpose in life and business. 

As you go along, you may want to revise the wording of the aims, or divide one aim into two or three. When you’re done, write a clean list of aims in priority order; if it feels right, keep it where you can see it each day, maybe your eyes alone. Routinely reflect on your true priorities; feel their weight; let your top priorities draw you in their direction.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!