Tim Ferriss, author of New York Times number 1 best seller The 4-hour Work Week, famously said that “lack of time is actually lack of priorities.”
If you’re finding that you spend too much time in the office and not enough seeing the people you care about and doing the things you like to do, read on.
We’ve taken a leaf out of Ferriss’ book and come up with a few ways you can streamline your working week to make room for the things you’d rather be doing.
Keep your business goals in mind
When it comes to priorities, how do you order your tasks? Do you compile your to-do list based on who will shout the loudest if things aren’t done, causing you to flit from one job to the next?
Don’t. Instead, think only about the future of your business. Be ruthless. Keep a copy of your most recent business plan and marketing strategy to hand and only include ‘to-dos’ that move you towards the mission you’ve set yourself in these documents. This will make you more effective.
Tip: Review tasks from the point of view of how far they will get you towards your goals and prioritise accordingly. Don’t waste time on things that don’t add value.
The Pareto Principle
Observed by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, the Pareto Principle states that “in any endeavour 80% of the results come from 20% of the actions.”
In the real estate business, you can look at this in two ways:
- Which 20% of your clients / services are causing 80% of your problems?
- Which 20% of your clients / services are resulting in 80% of your sales or income?
It may not be easy to answer these questions without a bit of thought but you should find you can use them to inform where and how to allocate your time more effectively.
Tip: Start looking for patterns and you may find that particular clients or services are more lucrative. Perhaps look at ways to increase the number of these clients you work with and reduce other types.
Parkinson’s Law and why you should ‘eat your frogs first’
Parkinson’s law is another facet of time management suggesting that any task you are faced with will increase in perceived importance the longer you leave it. This can often make you more afraid to even begin.
If you have a task you have been putting off – for instance your accounts or social media strategy – it can seem like it’s getting more difficult and occupying more of your brain as time goes on. By starting your day with this ‘thing’ and allocating yourself a limited amount of time to do it, you will likely find that once you start it wasn’t so bad after all.
Tip: When writing your to-do list start with a ‘frog’ – that is one item that you really don’t want to do. Get it out the way first and you’ll feel a sense of achievement; everything that follows will be easy.
Outsource the bits that don’t move you forward
Accounts, admin, photography, social media…Which bit of doing business do you avoid wherever possible?
The good news is, it’s pretty easy to find someone else out there who doesn’t hate it. By taking the leap to add to your team, even using a freelancer or consultant, you can free up more of your own time to do the bits you do enjoy, like selling houses…or of course spending time with your family.
Tip: Speak to your accountant. You may find it makes financial sense to outsource some of the more time-consuming tasks you’re faced with.
Find tools that can help
There are plenty of online tools that can help to save you time. Whether that’s improving your appointment scheduling, finding the right CRM system, automating your social media or investing in a team management tool.
Tip: Advertise on an international property portal like Kyero.com rather than relying on several country-specific sites. This will not only save you time spent uploading details and managing listings on multiple platforms, but will also save you a significant amount of money.
And finally, make sure you have your priorities right in the first place…
As Ferriss describes, it’s not about being rich, it is about being able to do the things you want to do.
We’ll leave you with this thought:
If you earn €10,000 per month working just 10 hours per week, allowing you to spend precious time picking your children up from school and taking them for ice cream, are you more or less well-off than someone who earns €100,000 per month by working an 80-hour week?
After all, it’s not necessarily how much time you have but what you choose to do with it.