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Show Murphy To The Door!

By Amber De La Garza

Not every day is full of sunshine, awards, new clients, and lucrative closings. Some days are loaded with computers breaking down, cell phones falling in toilets, children getting sick, your dog eating little Billy’s presents under the tree, and client meltdowns. Life happens! The question is… are you able to stay on track toward your goals when it does? Or does it take you several hours or even days to get back to the level of momentum you were at prior to the unsolicited event that threw you off course?

Surely, you’ve heard the adage, “Anything that can go wrong will,” because you’ve experienced a time when it seemed nothing could go right. That paraphrase of Murphy’s law speaks to the fact that life is full of unwelcome surprises (and surprise visits from Murphy). Too many otherwise productive real estate professionals don’t just invite Murphy in for coffee when he comes knocking; they invite him to shack up in their guestroom for a week. If an unexpected event threatens your productivity, don’t allow yourself to become stressed out and frustrated to the point you lose sight of all the tasks you had planned for the day. Don’t allow one messed up hour to become an entire messed up day. Fight to get back on track as soon as possible so your whole day, or even your whole week, is not ruined. Here’s how to cope with an unexpected event and give Murphy an eviction notice:

How To Kick Murphy Out

  1. Stay calm knowing, this too shall pass.  When you’re in the thick of an unfortunate ordeal, whether it’s losing your wallet, being dropped by a client, or failing to close escrow, it’s hard to envision a rainbow just beyond the storm. You feel down and out and as a result, make everything seem more complicated. Choose mind over matter. Handle whatever obstacle falls into your path knowing it’s a temporary setback. Then, return to your work.

  2. An hour or even several hours may have been lost while you took care of business. That doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and give up on your whole day! Clear your head of whatever drama just unfolded then re-evaluate where you are. What had you been doing before XYZ happened? Could you still complete that task? Meet with that client? Is it even a priority anymore? Re-examine your to-do list and identify which tasks are still priorities. Their order of importance may have changed. Perhaps you can’t complete a task anymore because you now lack the resources. It’s hard to print handouts if your printer broke down moments before. Add any necessary, new tasks to your task list as well, such as Errand: Buy Printer. 

  3. Focus on accomplishing one activity at a time in priority order for the remainder of the day. The temptation to multitask will increase when you realize how much you still want to get done. Don’t! Multitasking is unproductive. You may not get everything done but that’s okay. Even if you only have one hour left in your day after having coffee with Murphy, the entire day is not wasted as long as you work toward accomplishing your top priority. Keep plugging away at your tasks with utmost effort and efficiency. Even more so now, every minute counts. Don’t waste a single one.

  4. Stay positive and focused. That may be hard to do when your whole world might have seemingly crashed along with your computer, but you’re still breathing and you’re resilient. No matter what obstacle jumped in your path, you’re fully capable of shimmying around it, crawling under it, gliding over it, or plowing through it. You’re an entrepreneur after all. You didn’t take the easy road to begin with. You chose the path of working for yourself because it’s the most rewarding path, not the safest. Tomorrow is a new day. Take your negativity out with the trash and start fresh with renewed focus and determination.

Whenever an unexpected event occurs and throws you off course, it’s likely not the productivity gods testing your ability to stay on track. It’s just an undesirable life event happening as they inevitably do. You can choose to sit in the mud puddle you’ve fallen in, cold, wet, dirty, and sulking, or you can jump out, shake it off, change your clothes, and get on with your day. Don’t let Murphy become a long-term house guest. The next time he comes knocking, show him to the door right after coffee and get on with your pursuit of success.

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About the Contributor

Amber De La Garza is The Productivity Specialist! Amber is a sought-after coachtrainerspeakerwriter, host of the Productivity Straight Talk podcast, and creator of S.T.O.P.! The Entrepreneur’s Success Solution. She helps driven real estate professionals execute actionable solutions to maximize profits, reduce stress, and make time for what matters most!