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The 10 x 90% = 0 Rule for Real Estate Agents


Many real estate professionals have high drive and entrepreneurial personalities. These are fantastic traits until it’s time to really focus on one thing at a time. Let’s be honest. High-performance salespeople tend to bounce from thought to thought like a tennis ball at Wimbledon. This sort of undisciplined work can make agents susceptible to the 10 x 90% = 0 rule. This concept shows that if you have 10 tasks that are 90% complete, you’ve essentially accomplished nothing. For some real estate professionals, this can be the crux of their business. It also may mean the difference between success and failure for them. This article will discuss some strategies to help you avoid this pitfall.

Be vigilant and recognize the problem.


The old adage that knowing is half the battle is very true because sometimes we don’t even realize we’ve left 10 projects 90% complete. We end our day patting ourselves on the back for working so hard, but in reality, nothing was completed. Once you recognize there’s an issue, you can start to address it.

Look out for subconscious blockages.


There are many ways that our subconscious feelings can keep us from achieving success. If you get flustered when it’s time to make a sales call or when you are presented with an intimidating task, you could be experiencing a fear of failure. This can be a debilitating fear because your mind assumes you’ll fail, discouraging you from even starting. On the other hand, you could be experiencing a fear of success. If you are getting worried about how other agents in your office will react when you receive a luxury listing, this is a fear of success. This is another debilitating mindset that can keep you from pursuing your goal.

Avoid getting distracted and focus.


How can you remove distractions? Start by creating a work-only zone where you don’t open your bills, you don’t eat lunch, you don’t browse your phone, and you don’t shop on Amazon. Let’s imagine you have a desk in a home office and this is your “work-only” desk. If you’re at your work-only desk, you aren’t scrolling through social media (phone or computer). If you want to scroll through Instagram, you would step away from your desk to do that. Keep this work-only zone as a place where you are intensely focused on your highest value tasks. When you do this, you begin training your brain to know that it’s time to stop messing around and get to work!

Build some strong habits.


If you commit yourself to completely finishing something for work, you have to hold yourself accountable to follow through. We often sit down with serious conviction to complete certain tasks, and within minutes, we are online shopping or letting someone distract us with phone calls. You may be tempted to compromise because it’s a client calling or you need to check a text from a friend, but this is undisciplined thinking. The disciplined person doesn’t want to program their brain with all these confusing messages. If a disciplined person is committed to finishing a high-value task, they won’t do anything else until it’s finished. Disciplined people do this to get twice the amount of high-value work done in half the time. If you can do this, you will quadruple your productivity.

One task at a time.


When trying to finish multiple tasks at once, stop and try to get one thing 100% complete. Don’t allow yourself to work on anything else. There’s a sense of accomplishment when you totally complete something and this is a feeling you want to cultivate. Instead of jumping from task to task, try to positively reinforce your mind to finish tasks as they come. You can increase this positive reinforcement by rewarding yourself with a break, snack, or a walk after completing a task. This will help your brain create a connection between receiving a reward and finishing a task. Now you’ll be encouraged to get another task 100% complete.

Here’s the bottom line.


If you can’t fully execute your tasks, you may be putting your business in jeopardy. This sort of scatter-brained work happens to the best of us, but only the successful agents can bounce back to a more disciplined routine. There’s no secret for attaining discipline at work; it’s only a matter of staying focused on the task at hand and realizing the danger of the 10 x 90% = 0 rule. It’s always important to match our workflow with our long-term goals, which can’t be achieved without completing today’s tasks.