How the Chaos Theory Kills Your Productivity

by | Mar 18, 2022

In a long post from the archive, Matthew Perman explains why attempting to fill your calendar and task list to the brim with productive tasks is a mistake.

Researchers have found that whenever most systems—such as airports, freeways, and other such things—exceed about 90 percent of capacity, efficiency drops massively. This is called the ringing effect.

The same is true if you try to over-systematize your day-to-day work.

How do you avoid this trap? Perman has lots of great suggestions. Here are two of the ones I found most helpful:

Only schedule/plan tasks to 75% capacity. This is backwards to how I think, but planning less may result in accomplishing more.

This acknowledges the reality that unexpected events happen, and they’ll impact even the best plans. For sure, this will help you accomplish more of the right things because at least those items will be on your schedules.

See your schedule as a time allotment of your roles. Each of us has roles we consider important in our lives—both personal and professional (ex. recruiter, coach, spouse, parent, etc.). Most people have 7 to 10 important roles in their lives.

If your schedule becomes a description of these roles, we can divide our week into time zones each representing the important responsibilities in our lives.

For example, if coaching agents is one of your roles you might want to create Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1pm to 4pm as your coaching time zone for this role. Focus all your coaching activities and tasks into this time zone (don’t pack it too full) and focus on other tasks during other time zones.

These time management best practices you can personally start implementing right away.

Also, coach your agents to approach their schedules in the same manner—you might find everyone in your office is a lot more productive.

The Simple Psychology of Real Estate Recruiting [eBook]

Unlock the secrets of effective real estate recruiting and learn how you can build trust, foster rapport, and understand the psychology behind candidate decisions. Discover techniques for converting acquaintances to hires and retaining agents by addressing their needs and aspirations.