The Perfect Day

Like most accomplishment-driven people, I struggle to get everything done in a day. Most evenings I redo my task list getting ready for the next day, experience the pang of guilt about not completing the list, eat a cupcake in an attempt to make the guilt go away, feel guilty about the cupcake and then go to bed swearing tomorrow will be different. Then I met Julie.

Julie is a real estate salesperson who successfully sells approximately 30-35 houses a year, which is a business most agents wish they had. This level creates a busy life. Did I mention that Julie is raising 4 children? If that’s not hard enough, she is also married to a minister. Most of us know that a spouse being in the ministry adds extra responsibilities. What’s really impressive is that she does it all with grace and ease.

After a conversation with some of her colleagues where they offered the same sense of awe everyone seemed to have when Julie’s name was mentioned, I decided to call her and ask for an interview. My interview consisted of one question, “How in the h#&* do you manage your time!” (probably not the best question given the minister’s wife), but it provided the information I wanted.

“Time”, she told me “is irrelevant….you can’t manage time, you can only manage priorities.”

Like most of us, Julie has struggled with “too much in too little time.” She had been through that phase of feeling guilty about her children when at work and guilty about work when she was at home.

Finally, she created what Julie called “the perfect day.”

Julie had answered the question, “What is my perfect day?” To identify her perfect day, she started with a list of priorities. Julie wanted to provide an hour for herself (she called it her power hour) first thing in the morning, she wanted to make sure her kids got off to a good start in the morning by having breakfast and that she was home to greet them in the afternoon, help with homework and make dinner. She also knew that prospecting and service were very important to the health of her business, so both of those activities were also on the priority list.

Julie took these priorities and laid them out on a daily calendar. Her calendar looked like this:
6 a.m. – 7 a.m. Power Hour
7 a.m. – 9 a.m. Kids up, breakfast, school delivery
9 a.m. – noon Prospecting
Noon – 3 p.m. Client appointments/servicing
3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Kids, homework, dinner, laundry, etc.
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Client follow-up, administrative
9 p.m. – 10 p.m. Time with husband
10 p.m. Bedtime

Julie’s goal is to stick as closely as possible to this schedule on a daily basis. She freely admits that she does not have the perfect day every day because of many outside influences….i.e. clients that are in town for a short period of time and need to find a house. But before having it defined she NEVER had a perfect day, she only had days feeling like she was perpetually in the wrong place doing the wrong things.

Of course, here comes the question…….What’s your perfect day?