- Choose to manage your time; don’t allow yourself to be managed by time.
- Using time-saving hacks will change your life and your business.
- Don’t waste another moment in mind-numbing nothingness.
I hear this all the time: I don’t have time to blog. I’m too busy “actually working.”
Huh. Well, I challenge that statement. I challenge you to challenge yourself. The reality is, you do have the time. You simply choose not to have the time to be productive in that arena.
The average American watches about five hours of TV a day. This isn’t how long the TV is on; this is how much TV we are watching.
Now, don’t start with me that you don’t watch that much TV. If you watch TV, you spend a lot of wasted time watching it. And, if TV isn’t your thing, then something else is — browsing Facebook? Getting caught into the rabbit whole of the web? Getting involved in conversations and debates in Facebook groups? Attending every event known to man? Hanging out at the local pub every evening?
The truth is: we find the time to do what we want to do. It’s not enough to say that something is a priority, our actions must show that something is our priority.
If building a real estate business is a priority for you, then you need to challenge yourself and look at what you are doing throughout the day, every day.
Everything is a choice. What you do today influences your tomorrow. If you choose not to make the time to blog today, then you’ll never build a real estate business with a pipeline of people reaching out to you who already know, like and trust you. Yes, that’s a bold statement. It’s also the truth.
If you won’t make the choice to blog (or vlog) then you’ll never build an easy, smooth, consistent business. A business that doesn’t have to spend it’s time cold calling and cold converting.
It’s that simple. And it’s that hard. It’s not easy to admit we are choosing something different. And then, sometimes it’s not easy to take action and keep taking action.
Here’s the deal: you have to find out where you are throwing away time. Yes, you want to look at the big things (like five hours of TV or Facebook a day), but you also want to look at the small things.
I woke up this morning about an hour earlier than normal. I picked up my phone and started scrolling through Facebook. An hour later, I put the phone down and went on with my day.
Now, I got up when I initially wanted to, but, when I was thinking about it, I realized that I really wasted that hour. I didn’t do anything truly enjoyable or productive while I was on my phone on Facebook.
I could have been doing something that would propel me forward — spending time in God’s word, exercising, working on my “One Thing,” writing a letter to my dad, doing something special for someone else, leveraging my time so I had more free time later in the day to get a massage or be with my family — and yet, I just let that time slip by.
Everything we do is a choice. Everything. Even something as mundane as me picking up my phone earlier this morning.
Make better choices
So, if you are ready to make some time-saving choices, here are some tips to help you:
1. Analyze your big chunks of time
What are you doing that is more mind-numbing and not truly beneficial for you? TV, in any form, is not beneficial for you. Sure it can be enjoyable, but spending an hour or more a day on it is not beneficial.
It’s also not relaxing. Don’t fool yourself into thinking it helps you relax at the end of the day. A walk, a massage, a bath, sitting around the firepit with people you love, sitting on the porch enjoying nature, meditating — those things help relax you.
What about your time in the office. What are you really doing? Track your time. Are you spending time focused and productive or are you having a whole lot of conversations with your colleagues, spending a lot of time in meetings or “getting ready” to do something productive?
Remember, it’s all a choice. Ones we make every single day.
2. Use all your 15 minutes
This involves taking advantage of all of the little chunks of time the pop up throughout the day. That extra 10 minutes you have before you need to be somewhere. The 15 minutes you wait in line. That extra hour I had this morning that I totally wasted.
Watch out for these moments, and don’t get lost in your phone playing Candy Crush or watching YouTube videos. Utilize those moments to take down thoughts, record topic ideas or think of conversation inspirations.
1. Turn off the notifications on your computer and your phone
Seriously, you don’t need to run over to Facebook every time there is a little red notification. You don’t need to know every moment you receive an email. It is amazing how much more productive you become when you aren’t chasing the distractions.
2. Turn off your TV
I’m not just talking about not watching it; I’m talking about not letting it be on in the background. Ever. Background noise from the TV does not help you stay focused. It does the opposite. It distracts you.
3. Close Facebook
Seriously, when you are focused on doing your “One Thing,” you need to close everything and eliminate all distractions. Don’t fall into the thought trap that leaving Facebook open in another browser because I need a brain break once in a while is a good thing to do. It’s counter-productive. It’s ruining your productivity.
4. Close your email
Yep, I said it. Close your email, and don’t go into it until specifically scheduled times of the day. It’s called batching, and yes, you can do that in real estate. Ideally, you’d schedule twice a day to dive into your emails — once in the late morning and once right before the end of the business day. That’s it.
5. Delete time-sucking apps from your phone
Do you have a habit of checking Facebook, email, Twitter or Instagram when you are waiting in lines or a group of people but want to look like you are doing something? Guess what: this is bad juju for you. You need to delete those apps and start engaging in the moment.
6. Remove yourself from Facebook groups
There are a million and one Facebook groups for real estate agents. Some of them are insanely popular. Those insanely popular ones are unproductive time sucks for you. You don’t need to know about every software tool out there. You don’t need to know which ads are “the perfect ads” to run on Facebook (here’s a hint: perfect ads don’t exist). You won’t miss out on anything.
7. Get help! Hire people to help you!
Even if it’s just a high school student who comes to your home or office three or four hours a week to help with filing, envelope stuffing or something else. Get help.
Outsource your lawn maintenance. Outsource your house cleaning. Outsource your grocery shopping — have Amazon, Safeway or a local concierge service deliver your groceries. Outsource your dry cleaning to a cleaner who picks up and delivers. The point here is to get help with things you don’t love doing.
As I said earlier, there is always time for what you want to do. And, to make sure there is always time, you want to implement time-saving hacks. But you also want to do what’s most important every single day, before you do anything else.
Every single day you should be doing your One Thing, first — before anything else. Nothing else is as important as getting your One Thing done. Don’t assume you know what I’m talking about when I say this.
Please grab yourself the book (“The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results“), read it all the way to the end, and implement it. Don’t be like me and assume you know what it’s talking about. Don’t be like me and think you’ve heard this all before. I hadn’t. You haven’t.
Read it. If you read it and implement it, it will be a pivotal change for you in your business and your life.
Are you ready to start using your time better and getting your blog pumping in business? I created Get Your Blog On, a five-day blogging challenge just for you. It’s free, and it’s been so much fun. I hope you’ll join us. Click here to join the Get Your Blog On five-day blogging challenge.
Christina Ethridge is the founder of LeadsAndLeverage.com, helping real estate agents capture, convert, and close Facebook leads.