Timelines are a necessary part of our personal and professional lives. We set deadlines for real estate transactions and we create weight loss goals. Whether it is a closing date on January 5th or needing to shed a few pounds in 30 days, these finish lines are setting you up for failure and frustration.
What if I told you that shifting your finish line a day, a week, a few months, or even a whole year would lift stress and help you achieve better outcomes?
Here are five reasons why:
1. Raise your gaze and stop focusing on the exact moment
When I was just starting in real estate, I used to hyper focus on the closing day for a transaction. “I did it! We closed” was a sentiment that was self rewarding but left the clients feeling abandoned and potential future referrals went right out the window. I now move my finish line to three months past the closing date.
By continuing the transaction, I check in often with my clients to make sure they have everything they need with the new property. By being more engaged, my clients feel even more support and appreciate the effort. Naturally, they want to continue to have me as their Realtor and refer their contacts to me.
2. Things happen and you need to be ready to adapt
Setting a weight loss goal, especially ahead of a vacation or a wedding can be very stressful. We start out strong, working out and eating well but inevitably we miss a few scheduled runs or bike rides and we give in to the donuts in the break room. Instead of a doomsday scenario being created in your mind, get ahead of this by moving your finish line to two or three weeks past your trip or wedding.
You will find yourself making up for the missed workout or being even more disciplined after a cheat meal. Why? Because you have taken the pressure off of the timeline. You know things happen and you are giving yourself the space to adjust.
3. Create better focus and achieve better results
This is especially true with your personal life. My wife and I are about to start the Home Edit process of minimizing and reorganizing our home. She is the neat and tidy one while I am a little less disciplined with organization. She is also the type of person to dig into a project like this and try to get it done in a weekend. I, on the other hand, am the type of person who likes to pace something out and to take a little more time.
After we discussed some of the goals we want to accomplish with this method of organizing, I asked the question, “Would you be open minded to spreading this out over the next four weeks instead of trying to do it this weekend?”
By agreeing to this, it took the pressure off for her and now we can focus better on each individual task without having to rush everything.
4. People do things in their own time for their own reasons
I recently had a new lead register on my real estate website. When I asked if the property he inquired on was the only one he was interested in, he told me that he just started looking and that he was two years away from being able to buy anything.
In my early days, I would have a preconceived idea of how interested this person was in purchasing real estate and anything short of that expectation was a disappointment. I wanted people to register on my site and find something in the next 30 days.
I quickly learned that I needed to let people share their truths behind what their timeline was. By utilizing some Exactly What To Say Magic Words, I showed genuine curiosity and found out that his daughter graduates in two years and that is when they will be able to buy something. My response? “That is great news!”
You want to find out the timeline for the people you are working with so you can better understand their motivation and expectations.
5. Finishing something ahead of schedule is pretty satisfying
By giving yourself some space and working to create better focus, you end up being a lot more efficient. This will lead to you completing tasks and projects ahead of time. Coming from a former procrastinator, I know that there are few things more satisfying than finishing something ahead of schedule. This finish line adjustment will create better habits as you approach work projects, client management, and personal goals like exercise and organization.
The best part? You can always level up and add a few more things to that project you did not think you could achieve in the time given.
Moving your finish lines will feel weird at first, but you will become addicted to this new perspective of setting timelines and goals. Good luck!