Today, we're talking about being ruthless with time management.
And I'm told quite often that I am ruthless with my Time Management.
For example, the producer for a podcast I did, Jonathan Rivera says,
"I think that you don't waste your time. I think you've got it down and I think you're tight with what you let you and what gets your focus."
The reality when it comes to me and managing my time, I'm better now than I use to be.
And I'm just speaking about since the boom of social media. Maybe you were wasting as much time as I was with social media. I think all of us were wasting a lot of time there for a while.
The Time Management Perfect Storm
The real estate market was tanking and the internet with social media was starting to make this big wave at the same time.
Many agents and trainers went All-In on the idea of technology, social media and Internet Marketing because it was free or very cheap. People weren't quite sure how to deal with the new real estate market that they were facing. Add to that all this technology and online stuff at the finger tips.
It's basically free to get started with a Wordpress website, Facebook and twitter, so why not? The only cost was your time.
Now what had to be decided was, is it worth it?
Was all this time online and using social media worth the time invested?
For me, I worked out what really works for me and what doesn't work through tracking and measuring. So, I was probably busier with activities four or five years ago than I am now, knowing what works and sticking with that. So that's part of it of being ruthless with your #time management.
This is what I work with my 1 to 1 clients on and Members of my programs also. Tracking and measuring their time and it's effectiveness.
How Time Management Became Important To Me
Let me give you some background here so you have some context of how and why I view time as I do.
Before I got into real estate full time, I was working at a water park where we were deep water certified and we had ridiculously dangerous water slides.
The owner of the resort wanted to be very innovative. He even commissioned new innovative slides to be designed that had never been built anywhere before.
I was running that water park and it scared the hell out of me actually, because we were basically making these really dangerous things and then saying, "Okay, stick your four-year-old in here."
It was so scary.
I was dealing with big things like spinal injuries. We're having to pull people out on backboards and sticking them into the back of ambulances. I had to defib someone that was having a heart attack and their heart had stopped. Dealing with maybe a little bit smaller things like concussions or shoulder dislocations or someone slipping in the bathroom and breaking their arm.
I was literally dealing with life and death situations there for a while and so when I got into real estate, I was like: it's just money. It's not someone's life or death.
Start Of My Real Estate Career
If you were to talk with my high school teachers they would not consider me the most focused person… the best at time management…or the most productive person in the world.
I would usually finish my homework just before class… IF I finished at all.
Caring about time… getting things done… focus… #productivity… I couldn’t care less!
Hanging out with friends and wakeboarding was all I cared about.
When I went off to college my habits didn’t change.
After a couple semesters I realized that giving my money to college didn’t make sense when I didn’t show up for the classes.
I was too busy to show up classes…
… too busy wakeboarding… too busy traveling… too busy sleeping in.
After dropping out of college, tired of dealing with life and death situations and getting my body beat up from all the wakeboarding, it was time to find a career.
Real estate it was.
I had swore I would never get into real estate.
See, my parents were Real Estate Brokers.
I grew up in real estate, around real estate, surrounded by real estate. Real estate drove me CRAZY!
Real estate was the last thing I wouldn’t to do.
But when push came to shove, I knew real estate was something I could do.
Plus, I wouldn’t be dealing with life and death (like I my previous job). And I wouldn’t have to do manual labor, which would have beat up my already Broke-Down-From-Wakeboarding-Body.
So… I started my real estate career. It was 1997.
And I did OK. But I still wasn’t focused… or that productive… or managing my time well.
I was just cruising… just coasting through my days and weeks.
…A phone call.
My best friend, since I was 5 years old, was in a car accident.
Tommy and I had grown up together. Tommy’s dad was my basketball coach. Later on we became neighbors. After Tommy got his drivers license he became my ride to school.
We traveled all over the country wakeboarding together.
Tommy and I were inseparable, until he moved to Biloxi, Mississippi.
I was starting my real estate career and he was trying to “find himself.”
It had been about 6 months since I had last seen Tommy before that call.
While living in Biloxi, Tommy’s car was hit by train.
His body survived but that’s about it. He was left in a comma.
Eventually, once his condition stabilized, Tommy’s parents moved him to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. So he was closer to their home.
Since Tommy was closer now, I would visit Tommy every night. I would finish up my appointments, pack up my paperwork and make the 2 hour road trip to Milwaukee. I would hang out with Tommy, telling him about my day and what paperwork I was working on.
While sitting with Tommy I would work on my files and paperwork. Once finished, I’d pack up the paperwork and drive the 2 hours back home again.
This became my schedule. My new routine. My day had become significantly shorter. With all the driving and time spent with Tommy I was forced to become more efficient, more productive, more focused and manage my time better.
It took this tragic accident to FORCE me to realize that time is precious. Time should not be wasted. Time should be maximized. Time should be cherished.
On July 4th 2005, after years of battle, Tommy passed on.
This event and time in my life was significant.
It gave me perspective.
Life is short.
I still have fun… I still fool around a lot… but now, rarely do I waste time.
To be candid… life hasn’t become much easier. There as been even more tragedy and loss since losing Tommy.
My nephew Chris, who was just 11 years younger than me, was killed in a car accident in 2007.
Perspective… Reality… Time is precious… Priorities… Clarity all in instant again.
Time management wasn't necessarily a switch that I threw or a book that I read or a system that I learned. It was things that were happening in my life that said time is precious, time is limited.
Moments are few.
Prioritize what's the most important.
Stop Wasting Time and Energy Being Dramatic About Everything
I see people that get so bent out of shape, so dramatic, so over the top about something and they're writing these little diatribes on Facebook or whatever it is. They get so worked up about the littlest thing and I just sit there and I think, "I really hope I am not around you when something seriously bad happens."
When some serious shit goes down, how are you going to respond to that if you're flipping out about this little thing?
It scares me to see people get so worked up about the littlest things. I just have to assume that nothing super tragic has ever happened in their life if they are treating some of the things that they treat with such seriousness.
When you start looking at the big picture like the time with your family, your friends, and you don't know how much of that time you have, it really all is small stuff.
This is an actual conversation I was having with my niece, my goddaughter who was 21 years old at the time. Her and I talked about this on the last vacation we had together. The last time I saw her before this was when I flew her and her little sister to visit Katherine, my wife, and I here in the Seattle area last year in January. So her and I were talking about that it's been a year since we've seen each other.
I said to her, "Courtney, if this is the pattern that we're on, then I most likely, best case scenario will get to see you 50 more times in my life. I just don't know if I'm okay with that if I only to get to create 50 more memories with you. We have to do something different about this."
How much time do you think you have left with the people you care about?
How many more memories are you going to be able to create with them?
3 Tips On How To Become Ruthless With Your Time Management
Tip Number One
To become ruthless with your time management you've got have Clarity.
You have to know what it is that you want for your life, for your business, for the world that you live in.
You have to know what it is that you want.
If you don't know what you want, start to think about what you don't want. You have to start somewhere.
Either way, you have to take time and make time to think.
One of the biggest problem with technology is we dive into technology as a break from reality, as a distraction from our own thoughts and feelings. But, you have to sit there with your own thoughts and your feelings and get a clear picture about what you want.
If you don't spend time thinking about these things, you're bound to give in to every little thing that comes along the way and wants to distract you and throw you off of your path.
Tip Number Two
Being ruthless with your time management means not giving into immediate gratification or the distractions that exist in today's world.
You have to think bigger, see further.
Look at the big picture of things. Like I did with my niece, we were talking about 50 years out from now. We're talking about me being on my deathbed. It might seem a little depressing, but what would really be depressing is if I'm laying on my deathbed and I've only hung out with her 50 more times in my life or even less.
That's even more depressing.
Tip Number Three
The third tip to becoming a ruthless time manager is start trying to make your schedule for two weeks out.
Stop living day to day.
It's like living paycheck to paycheck.
A lot of people are living day to day. They have no idea what they're going to do until they wake up in the morning and then their email tells them what they're going to do, whatever is sitting in their email inbox.
Start to make your schedule for two weeks out.
For example, if you know in order to meet your business goals, your objectives, you need to have three appointments per week, go and block those periods out so that you know where to fill those in.
For two weeks out from now, go, "Okay, I'm going to have appointments on Tuesday and Thursday night and one for Saturday morning so when I get a buyer lead or seller lead, I'll say, 'Here's my time available.'"
Schedule that out for two weeks at a time.
Start to see how that works for you just so that you can start to protect your time a little bit better.
Again, see a little bit further than what you're doing now. Maybe, you're living day by day or maybe it's week by week.
Two weeks out at least gets you to start thinking a little bit bigger and see a little further out.