By Frank Pulley, Business Consultant and
Coach for Bronchick Consulting Group, LLC
As a new investor, you may feel that you are working hard. You may, in fact, be spending a lot of time working With all this hard work you would expect some great results in the form of deals, right? You are asking yourself, “Why isn’t my business moving ahead a lot better?” or “How come some of the other investors are seemingly working on deals and they started out about the same time I did?’ The real question you should be asking yourself is, “Am I Working Smarter?”
Maybe you are a more experienced investor that is “in the game” and actually doing deals. However, you find yourself with too much to do and too little time to do it in. You are constantly operating in emergency mode and pushing back deadlines. In addition, you believe that the quality of your work is suffering, and you feel like you may be missing out on some other good deals because you don’t have time to really take a serious look at them.
Whether you are new or experienced, you may also be feeling very stressed because you are putting in a lot of time, time away from family and friends; time that you could be doing something else! You are feeling very frustrated at this point and your motivation is at an all-time low.
Getting results in a beginning business like real estate takes time. Planning your time and using it efficiently is really the secret to working smarter and maximizing your results.
One HUGE secret is getting organized and staying organized. Asking the advice of a good mentor versed in real estate and business can be a big help.
Here are 7 other tips for getting organized and working smarter:
- Plan Your Day and Your Week. For years I used one of those paper schedule books. The problem was that sometimes I would leave it at the office, or worse yet, would leave it at home. I now use an electronic schedule. (Google Calendar) There are several others out there, (such as Outlook and others) but with this tool, I can access and edit my schedule on any device that has internet access, such as my PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. It can be a bit painful to make the change but I guarantee that it is so worth it! Make sure you also schedule personal items such as doctor appointments, going to personal functions and other items that are necessary to you.
- Use To-Do Lists and Prioritize! A list is fine, but unless you continually revise it in order of priority, it can be counterproductive. Understand that priorities change almost daily. An example might be that you made an offer on a property but don’t expect to hear back from the seller for a couple of weeks. Unexpectedly, the seller responds before you had anticipated. If it’s a good deal for you, all of a sudden, this may jump to near the top of your list! When it comes to business I think of it in terms as to what actions will make my business money sooner rather than later.
- Break Tasks Down into Steps. A lengthy and complex task can be overwhelming and daunting! If you devote too much time to it at one sitting, you will lose focus and accuracy. It is best, time allowing, to breaking the task down into several steps and assigning each step to various days and times on your schedule.
- Batch Similar Tasks Together. By organizing similar tasks such as phone calls, analyzing deals and other items together you can more effectively utilize your time. I find that if I am in the “mode” of making calls, that I can finish them in a quality manner more quickly. This works the same with other types of tasks.
- Learn to Say “No.” As business people, there always seem to be “hands out” and requests for help. Obviously, if it is something that can move you ahead personally or professionally or even genuinely help someone in great need that is fine. However, one must prioritize! We recently wrote an article on just this topic, so for more information, so click here to read it. Along with this way of thinking, it’s important to review what you do each day and eliminate non-essential tasks.
- Devote Time Entirely to the Tasks at Hand. Multi-tasking has its place, but when it comes to talking to someone on the phone or analyzing a deal or reviewing a contract and other paperwork, you must give it your entire focus for that allotted span of time. Mistakes in business can be costly and many are the result of not paying 100% attention to what you should have been doing in the first place.
- Leave a Buffer and Take Breaks Between Tasks. Tasks normally will take longer than you estimate. That is why it is important to leave a bit of a buffer between tasks. This way you don’t feel totally pressured. The good news is, if you finish a task early and sufficiently, then reward yourself with a break. Take a walk, meditate, or go to the gym.
The fact is when it comes to the number of hours, minutes and seconds in a day, and days in a year, we are all given the same amount of time. So why is it that some folks seem to work hard, enjoy success and still have time to play hard? On the flip side, why is it some people seem to always be working, not moving ahead much and never have much time for play? You have to ask yourself, “Which one are you?
Good and effective time management is an essential ingredient in running a business effectively and living a fulfilling and enjoyable life. If you are unsure on how to proceed, consider our Business Coaching Program. In addition to many other aspects of real estate and business, we can help you start working smarter to organize, manage and prioritize your time and help move you more quickly to a successful real estate investing business!