Sometimes we’re so busy that we can’t see that we’re working harder, not smarter. The problem is that being busy can often get in the way of achieving our goals.
I remember when I purchased my first apartment building, I was spending an inordinate amount of time managing my property manager. I was spending hours PER WEEK dealing with tenant issues, going to court, trying to get final numbers to complete that months’ P&L report, and trying to understand why a unit wasn’t filled yet.
After a while it dawned on me that I was so busy I wasn’t able to focus on growing the business, which was to raise more money and do more deals.
For some of my students, their full-time job gets in the way. They tell me they want to get started with apartment building investing so that they can achieve financial freedom in 5 years, but then they don’t invest the time to actually do anything about it because they’re too busy working a 10-hour per day job.
Occasionally we have to evaluate our situation and the direction we’re traveling in and ask ourselves, “Am I headed in the direction I want to be?” The challenge is that we can only ask that kind of question if we slow down occasionally. And we can only do something about the ANSWER to that question if we aren’t too busy.
Being too busy prevents us from reflecting and changing our life.
Here are the 3 steps to make sure you’re not too busy to succeed.
The 20 Best Books for Aspiring Real Estate Investors!
Here at BiggerPockets, we believe that self-education is one of the most critical parts of long-term success, in business and in life, of course. This list, compiled by the real estate experts at BiggerPockets, contains 20 of the best books to help you jumpstart your real estate career.
Step #1: Make Time to Slow Down
There’s a reason this is the first step! Because without this first step, there’s no way you can do steps 2 and 3. You must FIRST make time to slow down.
We all have the same time as everybody else: 24 hours in a day. So it’s not a matter of TIME per se; it’s really about setting PRIORITIES.
So if you tell me you want to invest in apartment buildings to achieve financial freedom, but you insist on working 12 hours per day (including your commute), spending 2 hours with your family in the evening, watching 2 hours of TV and sleeping 8 hours and “taking the weekend off” by running from one event to another, then by your actions you are demonstrating what your true priorities in life are.
You must first examine how you spend your time and money, and that will tell you what your true priorities are in life. Then compare them with what you say you want.
Do you need to make some changes?
Maybe you can’t watch 2 hours of TV per night. Maybe you should get up an hour earlier. Maybe you should carve out 2 hours per weekend.
But first, you must make time.
Step #2: Reflect
Once you’ve been able to carve out SOME time to slow down, the next step is to REFLECT.
Here are some questions to ask yourself during this “quiet” time:
How do you like your current life? What do you love? What do you not like so much? How bad is the situation you’re currently in? Is it worth changing?
What do you want? If fear or money were no object, what would want to experience for yourself? Then involve your family: What does your spouse want? Your children?
Dream again. Write them down.
Step #3: Determine What You Need to Do Next
Once you’ve taken some time to reflect on your situation and about what you truly want to experience next, brainstorm how you might get there.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with the 101 impossible things that would need to happen to get there. Just identify the next 3 things you should do to get you closer to your goal.
Then MAKE THE DECISION that you will commit to this course of action.
Now align your priorities with how you spend your time and money.
Here is what this might mean for you and your family:
- You might have to watch less TV.
- You might have to spend less time with your family.
- You might have to play less golf.
- You might have to get up an hour earlier in the morning.
- You might have to work less hours. And if that’s not possible with your current employer, you might have to find another less demanding job that MIGHT pay less.
How Serious Are You?
Changing your habits is always painful—especially if you’re busy. You’ve done what you’ve done for so long that you stop questioning it, and besides, everybody else is doing it too. You’re no one if you’re not busy. We tell ourselves that being busy is good.
It actually gets in the way of your experiencing the life you really want.
So stop the insanity. Slow down just enough to reflect on your life. Are you getting what you want from life? If not, what needs to change? If you have a family, you’ll need to involve them in this process. Together, examine your priorities and commit to making the necessary changes to how you spend your time and money.
If you’re too busy, it’s going to be tough to change your life. But if you follow these steps to slow down, reflect, and take intentional action, you’ll be able to experience your life to the fullest.
Talk to me. Are you too busy? How is this affecting your life? What do you think you should do about it?
Be sure to leave a comment below!