Three Ways to Be More Productive
How to Make More Money in Less Time:
As we head into the New Year, most people are focusing on goals and resolutions. It is such a fun time to look forward with a lot of optimism. Often time’s goals have to do with money. Of course we would like to make more and more money. One small step that will help you accomplish your financial goals is to be more productive. Doing more with less is one key to growth. Here are three things to help you become more productive.
Time Blocking: This is my favorite way to virtually guarantee that you reach your goals. Time blocking is when you set a specific time each and every day to do a certain task. For the longest time, I have time blocked reading because I think educating yourself constantly is vital to success. Other things I have time blocked that has made tremendous differences is time to look for houses and prospect for sellers.
For time blocking to work, you need to commit to it. Meaning you do it and nothing else. If I block a time to read from 8:30am to 9am each morning, that is what I do with no distractions, NO MATTER WHAT. I don’t get distracted with my phone or email account. In fact, I will turn every distraction off so I can focus. It is not uncommon to feel that something is more important to accomplish, and decide to use the time you blocked off. The second you do that, the idea of time blocking is broken and your success will suffer.
I highly encourage you to time block for your education and for bringing in revenue. If you are a real estate investor, you might consider time blocking to make phone calls to landlords and sellers to find deals.
Prioritize: Deciding what to do next can be stressful and
can really slow you down. Have you ever felt so busy you don’t know where to start or what needs to be worked on? Eliminate the stress, the time waste, and the fact that you could be working on less than important items by prioritizing your tasks. The last thing you want to do is put something off because it is uncomfortable, just to do something more enjoyable but a lot less important. As you prioritize your tasks, consider the 4 quadrants introduced by Stephen Covey.
Quadrant 1: Urgent and Important
Quadrant 2: Not Urgent But Important
Quadrant 3: Urgent But Not Important
Quadrant 4: Not Urgent and Not Important
The idea is to focus your time in quadrant 2. If you can stay there, you will be super successful because the money making tasks will get done and very few tasks will ever end up in quadrant 1. The trap here is to spend time in quadrant 3, because a task being urgent feels important to accomplish. The problem with this is as soon as you stop focusing on quadrant 2, tasks move to quadrant 1 and you become less effective and a lot more stressed. Not everything needs to get done, spend your time on things that make you money.
I create a task list each night. I just write all the things I want to accomplish in a day down as a list. In the morning before I start the day, I prioritize my list. When I am not on a call, in a meeting, or in the time I blocked for something else, I work on the next task with the highest priority. There is no question on what to work on, so I waste no time thinking about it. I don’t always complete my task list, but I know that the items not completed are not important.
Single-Task: It was not long ago that I was interviewing candidates for an opening we had with Pine Financial. In many of the resumes and some of the interviews, candidates bragged about being able to multi-task. Multi-tasking, obviously, is being able to work on several things at the same time. I am a terrible multi-tasker. Actually, I believe everyone is a terrible multi-tasker. As soon as you split focus, you become less productive. For someone to say they are good at doing something that I think is a mistake makes me not want to hire them.
This is part of the reason I am such a strong believer in time blocking. If done correctly, it forces you to focus. Focusing not only helps prevent mistakes and keeps quality high; it significantly speeds up the process and gets results quicker. So I can stay focused in my office, I switched the time that my email downloads new messages to 4 times an hour. Before I would get notified each time an email came in, all day long. I can’t even tell you how many times I stopped what I was working on to read the incoming message. What I can tell you is, every time this occurred it took me time to get back into what I was working on. Since I made the change, I have noticed a significant improvement in what I am able to accomplish each day.