As an investor, what you do with your day is largely up to you. There is no clock to punch or manager looking over your shoulder. If you want to take a long lunch, there is nobody telling you not to. This freedom, as it turns out, is one of the reasons many are attracted to the business in the first place. However, the freedom to create your own schedule is a double-edged sword. If you are not careful, time could become an issue for you and your business. It is absolutely imperative to take advantage of the time you have. The best investors are those that know how to maximize the time they are given. There are only so many hours in a day. If you spend them doing the wrong thing, you will end up spinning your wheels. Here are five ways to get the most out of your day:
1. Focus on important tasks: Real estate investing is no different than most jobs out there: it is easy to get sidetracked. It is entirely possible to be working on a new deal when you get a call about a rental property you own. Before you know it, you are being pulled in a few different directions. When you get stressed out and have multiple tasks to handle, focus on what is most important.
In any given day, there could be a half dozen things that you would like to get done. Some things will be easier than others. If you ignore what is most important, you are simply putting things off until tomorrow. Focus on the one or two things that are the most important and go from there.
2. Make firm decisions: The average day has many decisions to be made within it. While it is important to think things through, at some point you need to trust your gut. Not every decision you make will determine the success of your business. Some decisions are meant to be made in a matter of moments, and not dragged out through the day. The most successful investors are those that can evaluate situations and quickly make decisive decisions.
There is no need to go back and forth. Questioning your direction will take your attention away from other areas of your business. Even if you are doing something else, you are thinking about your decision. Learn to quickly process information and situations. When you have made your decision, run with it and don’t look back.
3. Learn to say no: Along with learning to make firm decisions, you need to learn how to say no. Not every opportunity you get makes sense for you and your business. You may want to be everything to everybody, but that is not realistic. By trying to do too much, you end up doing nothing. Learning to say no to things that will eat up too much time will help you focus on what is really important. With every opportunity that comes your way, you need to determine the risk versus the reward. There is nothing wrong with saying no. In order to maximize your day, you will have to walk away from certain obligations. This doesn’t mean you should shut the door on them forever, but right you should say no.
4. Dedicated technology times: The single biggest distraction that we face currently is with technology. On one hand, technology has made a lot of everyday tasks easier than they have ever been. On the other hand, it has also allowed us to waste more time doing nothing than ever before. Instead of focusing on a task, we get caught up in a post we saw on Twitter or Facebook. Before we know it, we have been on our devices for an hour. In addition to social media, email access can slow you down. An email from a Realtor about an old deal can distract you for hours. Instead of reacting to every post or email, set up designated times for use. By blocking off time in the morning and afternoon, you can avoid technology distractions.
5. Don’t get stuck: Dealing with problems in real estate can be a very time consuming ordeal. Whether you are looking at issues with a rental property or a current rehab, these can bog you down. While these tasks may be important, you need to stop yourself from getting stuck handling one issue. Think of your business like a conveyor belt: the minute you stop what you are doing other things will begin to pile up. Spend enough time handling what is important, but when you are done, quickly turn your attention elsewhere.
As an investor, you need to constantly bring deals in while pushing the ones you are working on to closing. If you get stuck in one area, your business cannot grow and you won’t be as efficient as you need to be. It is not enough to work hard, you need to work smart. There are only so many hours in a day, and you need to take full advantage of every one of them.