We always have more to do than time to do it in. That’s why time management is probably the biggest component of the $19 billion self-help market.
It’s also usually a core component for real estate investors training and coaching. You see, when you start getting more of the right things done on a daily basis, you will see huge performance gains.
My goal in this article is to give you the best resources and share my top takeaways from numerous books, years of courses and seminars, and all the real-world practice of the techniques I’ve learned as a long-time real estate investor.
Why Time Management?
We all start every day with a very limited number of hours. During those hours we have many choices of what we can do with our time. Pareto’s Principle (aka “The 80/20 Rule”) would suggest that 20% of the possible activities will produce 80% of your results. I think the numbers might be even more extreme.
Regardless, the goal of time management for real estate investors is to do MORE of the 20% activities, and LESS of the time-wasters.
Fighting the Time Vampires
The other challenge we face, to use Dan Kennedy’s terminology, is the Time Vampires. These are the people who are constantly trying to suck your time like a vampire sucks blood from its victim. We need to have hyper vigilant senses, and be constantly aware of and avoiding these people.
Why is it SO Important to Real Estate Investors Specifically?
As entrepreneurs, it’s almost as if we have a magnetic field attracting time wasters. Nobody is micromanaging us, and we are free to waste time to epic proportions if we so choose.
That makes it all that more important that we manage our time effectively to get all the revenue-generating tasks done. Instead, one of two things often happens to us:
1. We don’t generate as much revenue as we could, or, worse, as much as we need to.
2. We end the workday (you have one, right?) with a feeling of incompleteness.
Poor revenue generation doesn’t require much explanation, but the second challenge might…
A Feeling of Incompleteness
This is a nasty problem faced by real estate investors who don’t manage their time properly. It manifests itself like this… it’s 5PM, the end of the workday for most of the employed world.
They are commuting home and most have already forgotten about the office and started thinking about the family, the television, a cold beer, or whatever they look forward to at the end of the day.
You, on the other hand, have this awful feeling, like the day has flown by and you didn’t get anything important done.
There are 2 options at this point… keep working into the night or call it a day, though you’ll be stuck thinking about work/feeling like a failure/feeling overwhelmed/etc. Tell yourself you’ll do better tomorrow… but you won’t.
This is the dirty underbelly for real estate investors… not getting a regular workday/workweek, taking stress home with you, feeling like you’re never able to keep up with everything that needs to be done.
Can you relate? If so, you have a time management problem… read on.
Can’t I Just Hire an Assistant?
You may think that the problem is that there just isn’t enough of you to go around, and the answer is hiring some help.
Well, if you can’t manage your time, how will you manage theirs? Instead, get your time management under control, then, if you still need help, you’ll be firing on all cylinders and getting a maximum return on the investment.
Time Management Education
So, if we can agree that you need to manage your time better, it’s start to start learning some specific strategies and implementing them in your real estate investing business.
I’ve invested in a LOT of resources trying to tame time management, from inexpensive books to uber-expensive seminars. What I’ve found? Most of the concepts taught in the expensive seminars come from the inexpensive books. There… cat out of bag.
So, here are 4 resources (plus a bonus), that will cover what the high-priced programs (for real estate investors and also the personal growth crowd) cover for next to nothing. If you want even more distilled details for real estate investors, look for my other article, Real Estate Investors – Top 3 Strategies For Time Management.
Find all of these books at your library, or on Amazon.com for about $10-15 each. They’re in the order I’d read them.
1. No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs by Dan Kennedy – This is a great book for less than $10… essential reading. Best takeaways… avoid the time vampires and block your time (assign a chunk and then shut everything else off).
2. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen – The handbook of “GTDers” (people who use the methodologies outlined in this book. My systems incorporate GTD methods. Best takeaways… the system for organizing paperwork into actionable and reference, and the idea of separating the immediate from the someday/maybe.
3. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss – This was the “it” book for awhile, while we all dreamed of working fewer hours. Read it for some great actionable strategies, especially for limiting wasted time on email and outsourcing. Best takeway… taming your email.
4. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy – I summed this book up in #2 in Real Estate Investors – Top 3 Strategies For Time Management. This is the much longer version. Best takeaway… focusing on the frogs (doing the important stuff before the easy/fun stuff).
The 5th resource would be any of the Franklin Covey time management books/classes/resources. I started with these, and they worked pretty well for a while, but I will say that I’m no longer crazy about the level of detail and size of task lists. I also found all the talk of rocks and saws a little obtuse.