October 14, 2020

Who is in control of your attention?  You or them?

As the recent documentary The Social Dilemma highlights, our online attention has become a commodity that many big companies are chasing.  This attention is so valuable that these companies are willing to pay millions of dollars to hire neuroscientists, social psychologists, programmers and engineers all with the goal of getting you to click, like and scroll.  And, each time you click, like and scroll, a little hit of dopamine rewards you and entices you to keep clicking, liking and scrolling.  

What does this have to do with the Ninja Planner?  We often get the question, do you offer a digital version of the Ninja Planner or is there an app?  

The answer is we have intentionally kept the Ninja Planner in paper form for a very specific reason.  We know that where your attention goes, your energy flows.  We also know that the Ninja Nine is the core of the Ninja System, and if you can do the Ninja Nine on a regular basis, then you will be successful in real estate.  

There are arguments for using a digital time management and planning system, but we believe when it comes to maintaining focus and staying on task, paper is the way to go.  Read on to find out why a paper planner is better for your real estate business and your life.

1. Focus

Your ability to focus your attention is directly related to achieving your goals.  Anything that interrupts your focus from the task at hand is slowing you down. A paper planner is never going to ding at you or give you a pop-up notification from another application when you are writing something in it.  No matter what you may think, it is impossible  to multi-task.  Whenever something takes your attention from the task at hand, it takes a period of time to refocus on the task and remember where you were and what you were doing.  This time spent “switching” represents wasted time and a decrease in efficiency.  The more you can focus the faster you can achieve your goals.

2. Avoid “Las Vegas”

It is no secret that some of the psychologists, designers and engineers that work for the social media companies got their start in the world of slot machines and video poker.  Many apps are specifically designed to draw your attention and hook you in.  That is why there are so many sounds and notifications associated with many of these apps.  It is nearly impossible to pick up your phone or open your computer and not be bombarded by messages that distract you from the task at hand.  

You are not going to get any interruptions with a paper planner.  You will get access to just the information you need when you want it. 

3. Retention and Conceptual Thinking

Scientific studies like this one, The pen is mightier than the keyboard: advantages of longhand over laptop note taking, have proven that writing things down by hand aids memory retention and creates a greater ability for conceptual thinking.  I know from personal experience that if I write an appointment down on paper I am far more likely to remember it than if I tap it into my digital calendar.  

Well, that is well and good, but why do I care about conceptual thinking when all I want to do is track my Ninja Nine activities?  Think of conceptual thinking as the space you need to be creative and problem solve.  You may be writing something in your Ninja Planner when the idea for the marketing language comes to you for the new house you're listing or how to solve that inspection objection.  It is harder to have that type of thinking when you are working on a digital device.

4. Week and Month at A Glance

There is real power in being able to look at your entire week or month in a single glance with no scrolling, zooming or clicking.  It is virtually impossible to see these durations on your phone.  With a paper planner, your whole week or month is laid out before you allowing you to easily plan your days and weeks ahead.  

5. Coaching and Mentorship

The Ninja Planner was specifically designed so that you could share the weekly view with your coach or mentor and they could immediately see where they can offer direction to help you.  Everyone knows there is power and accountability in writing things down.  You are more likely to complete tasks yourself when you have to physically track them in your Ninja Planner.  And your coach or mentor will be able to use this information to let you know what you are doing well and where there are opportunities to improve.  

6. Optics when meeting with a client

This one is subtle but extremely important in face-to-face interactions.  Have you ever been in a meeting with someone and you go to schedule another visit and they say “Let me check my calendar” and they pull out their phone and then they get lost in new messages and notifications and you can tell they are completely distracted?  How does that make you feel?  Now, imagine that same scenario where the person pulls out their paper planner and turns to the date and time in question.  You can tell their only focus is actually looking at their schedule and they remain present. How would that feel?  

It is a subtle, but powerful difference, especially if this is near the end of a meeting and this is the last impression you leave them with.  Nothing makes someone else feel more appreciated and heard than receiving your full attention.


The Bottom Line

Your focus is critical to your success.  Realize that digital companies are fighting for your attention and every second you are clicking, liking or scrolling is time that is taking you away from reaching your goals.  

We hope that you will consider using the Ninja Planner as your companion on the Ninja Path. Even if you decide not to, do a digital media audit of yourself and see how much of your energy and focus are being inadvertently lost each day to digital distractions.  

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