Finding Time

"The big picture is not being perfect; it's just being perfect with your time." 

As a mom, wife and business owner, it's easy to feel all over the place. Grocery shopping, laundry, paying bills and picking the kids up at school are not exactly a part of our big-picture business goals, but all of that (and then some) has to get done. Here are some steps to help you stay laser-focused and get better results in less time.   

High performers have found a lot of success in creating daily to-do lists that coincide with their goals. The key is doing it on a consistent basis. Create a routine or habit of writing down yearly, quarter, monthly, weekly and daily goals, and results will follow.  

Step 1: Put it on a list.

If it's something that needs to get done or that we will inevitably be doing, it must go on the list. Period. When I sit down with my coaching students to review their goals and daily routines, all they have written down is their real estate or business activities for that day. But how can we properly create the time to focus on those income-producing activities if we are lying to ourselves about all the other stuff we have to handle that day?

There are a lot of tools you can use to create your daily lists. You could use the Notes application on your phone, a yellow legal pad or a basic journal. There are some great journals out there for goal-setting and establishing routines. They can be pricey, but I believe them to be worth it. I have used all of them, but my favorite is to use an app on your phone such as Todoist. What I like about the app is that once you understand how to use it, you can automatically set tasks on a routine basis. For instance, if I'm picking up my kids at school Monday through Friday at 2 p.m., I can set that task to repeat on those days and I know that from 1:45 to 2:15 p.m., I'm in the car. On Mondays, I sit down and review my marketing campaigns from 9:30 to 10 a.m. This happens every Monday, it's a routine, it's consistent and my week starts off less stressful because everything is time blocked. Which brings us to step 2.

Step 2: Time Blocking.

As working adults, we are always working on our business. The different types of tasks that we do as real estate entrepreneurs can take up a lot of our time. I can't tell you how many times I've sat down at my laptop to check out what new real estate listings are on the MLS (with the intent of only spending 15 minutes) and realizing it's been a couple of hours. The same could be said for when we go and look at properties, talk to sellers or dive into a good book or online course. One of the reasons I'm so adamant about live training classes is that if I'm attending a two-day bootcamp then I'm dedicating those entire two days to my personal and business growth. That way I can stay focused. With many of my online courses that I offer students, I try to help them time block their learning by releasing one new training a week with action steps so that they don't get overwhelmed and try to get all the information at once. Houses are built one brick at a time. To create stability in our life and business, we can apply that same principle. Our day, week, month, year and life is built one moment at a time.  

Time blocking is done as we create our lists. Whether we are using an app on our phone, journal or notepad, always put a timeframe on your tasks. This helps high performers visualize their day and stay laser-focused on the task at hand. Do your absolute best to stay unplugged. It's easy to get distracted by your phone, text messages or emails. Try setting an auto responder on for your text messages, emails and voicemail. One can time block 20 minutes in the morning and the afternoon to return messages. Time blocking isn't just for business either. I recommend time blocking for the gym, family and self. My days are very busy, but I always time block time for myself too. I'm not one for a power nap, but after dealing with kids and business all day, sometimes I just want silence. At night, I decompress by watching The Housewives. Time blocking isn't about not enjoying TV or reading up on the latest TMZ gossip. If that's your thing, then go for it. The big picture here is not being perfect; it's just being perfect with your time.  

Step 3: Goal Setting.

High performers set goals and seek advice from people who have accomplished similar goals. It's easy to say that you want to flip 10 houses this year or to get in shape. But if a person has never done before what they want to do, then they often run out of steam or become frustrated. If they don't have a blueprint to achieve their goals. then more often than not, it never happens. Seek out professional help or insight when it comes to putting together a real plan to achieve your goals. Hire a business coach, or enroll in a trainer or coach to help you increase your probability for success. What successful people do when building a blueprint to achieve their goals is called reverse engineering. We start with the end in mind and work backwards. One big goal is made up of many little goals. It's the small accomplishments along the way that add up to be results. That's where lists and time blocking come into play. If you have a one-year goal to achieve something, don't just focus on the Macro; look at the Micro side of what it's going to take to get it done. Break down the year into months, break the months down into weeks and the weeks into days.  

Again, it's OK to not be perfect. Ask yourself what you realistically can do and celebrate those small successes. They can lead to big results!

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