How to Minimize Distractions (& Maximize What You Get Done) in Your Work Day

How to Minimize Distractions (& Maximize What You Get Done) in Your Work Day

3 min read
Marcus Maloney

Marcus Maloney is a value investor and portfolio holder of residential and commercial units. Marcus has been named the “Equity King” for his impressive ability to find real estate opportunities with massive amounts of equity.

Marcus, a high school dropout, went from G.E.D. to M.B.A. Although his education has a major impact on his investment philosophy, the real impact came from his upbringing.

Marcus thrives on completing successful transactions. As a young kid, his parents and grandparents faced many challenges; as a result, it made him think of ways he could help. His mother and grandmother were avid investors—not in the market but in people. Marcus was a recipient of those investments. And his early years were hard work growing up on a farm.

Marcus was a strategist at an early age. To relieve the burden of his family buying him clothes when it was time to return to school, he decided to make a small investment that paid big dividends. Marcus decided to purchase a small piglet at the beginning of summer, feed it until it became fat, and then sell it to a local farmers’ auction before the school year started. This was one of his first transactions and the beginning of his adventure of finding equity in every opportunity.

Marcus’ hard work continues today: He has completed over $3.3 million in wholesale transactions. Currently, Marcus is a licensed agent who wholesales virtually in multiple states while building his investment portfolio. Although wholesaling provides great money, he saw the opportunity to buy some of the deals he found and convert them into cash flowing rentals.

Marcus currently holds seven rentals, two of which are commercial units. He’s also done the unimaginable and purchased a school, which was converted to a daycare center. Again, he turns what is a marginal profit into a significant equity position. He leverages the equity by using the BRRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) strategy to increase his portfolio without any money out of pocket.

Marcus has been featured on numerous podcasts, such as the Louisville Gal Podcast, the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever podcast, FlippingJunkie, and many others. He’s currently a featured blogger for BiggerPockets, the largest community of real estate investors in the world.

Along with completing transactions and working to build his portfolio, he provides mentorship to aspiring investors. This is done through one-on-one interactions and through his successful YouTube channel and blog.

Marcus does utilize his M.B.A. for more than real estate. As a consultant for a successful non-profit institution south of Chicago, he uses his expertise in the development of human capital. His philanthropic efforts help existing stakeholders develop in their capacity to serve those in need of assistance.

Marcus completed his M.B.A. in 2011 from Olivet Nazarene University.


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I recently wrote an article about “The 5 Inarguable Truths About Succeeding in Wholesaling,” and I’ve had an overwhelming response regarding the metrics we measure and why it is important to measure them. One thing I did want to integrate in that post but overlooked was the importance of daily targets.

It amazes me how newbie and seasoned investors see the grand scheme of how their success will look but overlook the consistent daily process that needs to be developed and completed in order to reach those high aspirations. I would like to introduce what needs to be outlined daily to work more efficiently and effectively to reach your goals.


A Simple Activity to Manage Distractions

Lack of time management is the leading killer of productivity, and if you are not managing how you use your time, you will lose it with nothing to show for it. I had to implement numerous things to ensure I manage my time wisely. I am a dreamer and a wonderer, as are most entrepreneurs, so working from home can be a challenge. I can become distracted by the littlest things.

Related: 4 Steps to Supercharge Your Productivity With Scrum Project Management

These small distractions, as incidental as they may seem, can make you lose focus tremendously. I utilize a daily processing sheet that helps me coordinate my activities. Some people like to use a to-do list or some form of checklist, and I’ve found these list can be useful, but often they are not as effective because they do not rank priority. Each day is highly important, so I rank the following the evening before:

  • Highest priority, highest impact activity
  • Highest income producing activity to focus on
  • Projects that support my weekly and monthly goals and objectives
  • People I need help or feedback from to accomplish today’s goals
  • Really important things that came up today
  • People I will contact today
  • Projects to work on if I have extra time

Once I have three activities under each heading at the end of the day, I rank myself from 1-10 on my level of focus and the tasks I was able to get accomplished. This is not as easy as it might seem because it can be rewarding if you get high marks and downright depressing if you get low marks. The great part about this is you know exactly what you did or did not do. Then I take it one step further and document what my distractions were for the day.

Distractions come in many different forms; for example, I was distracted because my iPhone was loosing wifi connection for some reason, and this distraction took 30 minutes of my day. I could have done a high priority or high income producing activity during that time. So this distraction possibly could have cost me money, but more importantly it cost me time.


Eliminating the Inefficiency of Multitasking

This leads me to the inefficiency of multitasking. I am not a big advocate of multitasking. I’m sure many of you may think multitasking is essential to get as much done as possible. It is my belief when multitasking, you can only give a certain percentage of focus to each task. So essentially if you’re working on three tasks, you can only spread your 100 percent focus across these three things. Ask yourself, is giving 33.3 percent on an activity acceptable? Would you like for someone to give 33.3 percent of their focus to your business? Absolutely not, so why would you give less than 100 percent focus to each task?

I do have a great solution for the ultimate multitasker. My coach introduced me to the Pomodoro Technique, which is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, seperated by a short five-minute break. The method is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility. To maximize your mental capacity on a project, you will work 25 minutes and then break for five minutes. This helps you work at your optimal level on task.

Related: 7 Highly Actionable Tips to Help Your Productivity Soar This Year

It is important to focus on quality rather than quantity, as you can be more effective by doing one thing great versus five things subpar. As a wholesaler, the majority of the time your focus is to get a deal and everything that leads to getting a deal, i.e. marketing, vetting calls, setting appointments, and negotiating. It is understandable that in the beginning you have to master all areas; however, by using the methods listed above — daily processing sheets and pomodoros — you will become more focused and master your craft.

These are a few of the the time management tools and project management tools that I use.

Are there specific tools that you use that help you overcome a lack of productivity and minimize distractions?

Let’s develop a list of tools that we can all benefit from. Please provide insight.