Rules for CORE Agents #30: Better a Holiday Than a “Hollow Day”

You ever come to the end of the day, exhausted in that satisfying way that reassures you that you’ve had a good, productive day?  And then when you review what you accomplished, you realize that you spent the whole day getting a whole lot of nothing done?

I mean, you were AT work.  You were in the office. You were doing work-like things such as making photocopies and sitting in front of the computer and drinking coffee and all that.  It certainly felt like work.  But then you really take a hard look at it, and you realize that you frittered away a lot of the day.  Maybe it was because you had something really difficult to do: a call to an angry client, some paperwork drudgery, some “prospecting” that you were dreading. So you ended up spending much of the day “warming up” to the hard task.  You cleaned the desk, checked your Facebook page, meandered around the office.   You were at work all day, but you didn’t actually work.

I call these “hollow days”: days that you spend at the office working hard but accomplishing little or nothing.  The worst part of the “hollow day” is that you basically stole a day from yourself, and your family, and your life.  You could have taken off for the day and enjoyed yourself, recharging your batteries for a more productive day later in the week.  Instead, rather than take a holiday, you took a “hollow day” (you have to read that out loud to enjoy the clever wordplay).  .

So make a simple commitment to yourself.  When you’re working, work.  Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into the comfort zone of feeling that you had a full, satisfying day unless you actually got real “work” done that day: (1) servicing existing clients: taking out buyers, preparing listing presentations or CMAs, negotiating deals, completing paperwork, etc., (2) developing new clients: working your sphere, following up with leads, preparing mailings, etc., or (3) learning: training, weekly meetings, reviewing inventory, doing market analysis.

Nothing else is “work.” Chatting with other agents? Not work.  Picking up laundry?  Not work.  Surfing Facebook?  Not work.

And to be fair, make the reciprocal commitment: when you’re not working, don’t work!  You’re entitled to have a life.

The point is this: working is fine.  Playing is fine.  Do one or the other.  But don’t try to do both at the same time, or you’ll do both things terribly.


This post is part of a series of what I call the “36-1/2 Rules for Client-Oriented Real Estate Agents,” a collection of short takes on the CORE concept that I’ve developed over the years of discussing and teaching the system.  We’ll count up to the 36th rule over the next few months, and then the 1/2 rule.  You can get the full list of rules by clicking on the “36-1/2 Rules for CORE Agents” category on the blog – scroll from the bottom if you want to read them in order.