Lists to Success

Lists to Success

Who makes a list? I do all of the time. On work days I prioritize projects, appointments, calls, notes, and errands. On other days I write down all of the items to get done, places to go, people to see, things to do. Then whatever doesn’t get accomplished or scratched off the list, goes onto tomorrow’s list or a future list.

Why do I make a list? First, it prioritizes what must get accomplished, secondly it proves that I was successful with all the effort I put forth. Mostly I put on it the high priority items, rarely do I put on mundane tasks such as ‘make the bed’. A daily work list includes about 3 items, more than that doesn’t leave space for emergency phone calls, property checks, or resource gathering. Weekend lists tend to be less specific and longer or ongoing items. I could have 5 or 6 items on it that need at least to be touched in some way, such as yard work (which could mean dead head the rose bushes and rake leaves, or it could mean cut back the oleander bushes-a huge task in itself), groceries (which could mean 2-3 stores to get the favorites or best buys), garage sale (which could be an hour outing or all morning!), and crafting (which could mean a little knitting, scrapbooking a page or an album, or playing the piano).

When is a list appropriate or even necessary? Well let me tell you, I might have spoken to a client last evening just before dinner (read: low blood sugar) and promise to set up a search, but once dinner is eaten and a new day has begun, guess who forgot her promise? A quick note to remind myself is imperative. The weekend comes and goes in a flash, did I get anything done at all? Oh wait, yes! I can see from my list that I not only got the yard work caught up on, I did the laundry, and cleaned out the linen closet, which wasn’t on the list! I am stocked up for the week with groceries and finished knitting that prayer shawl. I even sat on the patio with the dog and enjoyed the birds singing. Sometimes I’ll add an item or two to the list of things I accomplished, but weren’t on the list, but were significant enough to have been on the list.

Where do I keep these lists? On a workday I’ll make a list for the next day and put it in my lap top when I close it. Top three things to address and then the rest of the day is for exploring, creating, randomly calling friends and family just to hear them panic when they hear my voice and wonder, “Oh no, why’s she calling in the middle of the day/week, what could be wrong?” Surprise! I just wanted to check in and say hello. I keep a running list by the placemat at the table for weekend chores. That seems to be when I unwind and look around and think, “I’d like to move the couch”, or “Wow! Is it ever time to dust the furniture”, or “Are we out of milk already?” Because between the thought and the weekend, it might disappear.

How do I come up with a list? As a full-time Realtor I have a routine to stick to especially when things get wonky and eventually when things slow down. There are certain tasks to accomplish to keep the business on track for generating new clients. That discipline has helped keep a more level flow of business. When things are crazy busy the details can slip though the cracks, so keeping track of and staying on top of each transaction’s unique details are listable items. When the business gets to spinning some projects can be put on a back burner, but without a future to-do list they might disappear altogether. What could be a creative and beneficial idea might never resurface and could make life better.

On a personal level, lists are a lifesaver to my shopping. I am easily distracted. It doesn’t even have to be a shiny object for me to take a different path than the one I set out on. Usually, it’s a clearance rack that takes me way off course both budget-wise and time-wise while shopping. When I stick to my needs list I can travel closer to the isles that fulfill the list and avoid the isles with lots of distractions.

What is the point of the list? For me it helps tackle the priority tasks in a day so that I complete the critical points of making a real estate transaction smooth and deliberate. For personal success a list reminds me of my goals and the small and consistent actions it takes to keep me from falling off the tracks. Both personal and business lists keep me from multi-tasking of which accomplishes only making a mess of the day and ends up with more mistakes to correct.

If you’re planning on buying or selling real estate, I’ve created several handy lists to get you ready-I’d be delighted to share them with you.

Remember, it’s always a good time to buy or sell your real estate and I am here to help you navigate the process.

Lori Zurcher, 602-689-2354