I mentioned some Linkin Park lyrics on a recent podcast episode from the song “In The End.” The words say: “time is a valuable thing, watch it fly by as the pendulum swings. Watch it count down to the end of the day the clock ticks life away.”
Time is so valuable. We’ve all heard the phrase “time is money.” But it doesn’t really set in or make true sense until we take the time to figure out what our time is really worth.
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I was at a real estate meet up last week and one of the guys running it was an older gentlemen who has been in the game for 30 or 40 years in my market. He was one of those guys who can make whatever joke he wants and just interject with irrelevant humor and nobody gets mad at him. But he also is a living, breathing encyclopedia.
He had answers to every strange question people could think of. He had experiences with all kinds of deals and issues over the years.
He was joking about how he was in Home Depot the other day and then thought to himself “I’m such a loser.”
The point he was trying to make was that he knows what his time is worth, and he should have had one of his construction guys doing that for him because his time is better spent doing other things.
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The beggar and the millionaire have the same 24 hours in a day. But how they utilize those hours are worlds apart.
There’s only so much we can do in 24 hours. Science and countless books talk about the importance of a good night’s rest (8 hours a night for adults is recommended).
I’ve met people who sleep 4 or 5 hours a night consistently thinking they are getting more done. But then they are burnt out and cranky… how much quality work can you do when you’re operating in those conditions?
So assuming we are sleeping 7 or 8 hours a night, we really only have 16-17 hours a day to make it happen.
What does your day look like?
Let’s look at a day through the lens of two people. They could both have the same position at the same company, yet have completely different days.
Let’s say the first person is Average Abe (I’m just making this up but it’s what I imagine a bunch of people do across America and the world):
- 6:45am – wake up, get ready for work
- 7:15am – leave to work (listening to terrible radio hosts that are not funny)
- 8:00am – 5:00pm – work, browse social media, work, coffee break, work
- 5:00pm – 5:40pm – sit in traffic to get home (while listening to pointless radio or just music)
- 6:00pm – 11:00pm – eat microwave dinner and watch Netflix or TV
11:30pm – go to bed
In short, Average Abe basically going through the motions and doing the bare minimum required. Other than putting in a few hours of effort at work, the learning and growth stops there.
Let’s look at Super Sally’s schedule (this is what I try to do for myself as well):
- 5:00am – wake up, do a 1 hour morning routine
- 6:00am – healthy breakfast, pack meal preps for work or the day, head to gym
- 6:30am – 7:30am – workout while gym is less crowded (listen to podcasts or watch informative youtube videos while on the treadmill or elliptical).
- 8:00am – 5:00pm – work, user a timer and time block tasks, stay focused on one thing at a time
- 5:00-5:40 – commute home while listening to podcasts or audio books
- 6:00-7:00pm- cook and eat healthy dinner
- 7:00pm – 10pm – read in an area she wants to grow in, work on creating content for a passion project (blog, podcast, youtube, etc.), research and pursue a side-hustle
- 10:00pm – hit the bed
Both people can literally have the same job and pay, but you can bet that Super Sally is going to beat Average Abe hands down. Sally in this example is utilizing any down time to continue learning and growing, to get better in all areas of her life.
She’s going to get so much further because she is actively working to learn during times when Average Abe is just plugging in hours watching pointless television or shows.
There’s an amazing quote that says “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” You can literally outperform people who are naturally smart and gifted by working harder than them more consistently.
There’s a bunch of ways you can optimize your time. Here’s a few things that I do and recommend.
Listen to podcasts or audiobooks during down time (when you’re driving, or waiting in a lobby for a doctor’s appointment, etc.)
Outsource as much as possible. Basically anything that isn’t your core competency should be outsourced.
For me right now, my main focus is generating real estate leads and closing deals (that’s my income producing activity with highest return on time spent).
I get my groceries ordered online and delivered to my house. I hired a few virtual assistants (VAs) to do real estate research recently. I’m working on having them handle the editing and uploading of my audio for podcasts and video content for YouTube.
I even hired a housekeeper for the first time ever last week and it was amazing. The house has never smelled so clean.
Some of you may be thinking, “But Chris, housekeepers and ordering groceries online is expensive.” Let’s do some math.
Sure, it’s $120 bucks I could have saved by doing it on my own, but what if I got a real estate deal in that hour with a $20K profit margin?
I could cover 166 home cleanings. If I have her clean my house once a month, that is 13 years of a clean house. Imagine if it takes 2 hours a month to keep my house clean. 13 years of time bought at 2 hours a month comes out to 312 hours saved.
I bet if I spend 312 hours on real estate I’ll get several more deals. The profit from those deals can more than cover other tasks that seem expensive to some, but really aren’t when you think about it like this.
I know people that try to save every single dollar possible. They want to mow their own lawns, clean their own homes, get their own groceries, etc. It’s really a mindset shift to get from thinking like that to thinking the way I’m talking about on this episode.
Another time saver is ordering online. Better yet, do the subscription set up on Amazon so it’s “one and done” for anything you use frequently. I have 2 cats and a dog, and all of their food, treats, and medicines come in automatically every few months.
Once you start to outsource, automate, and scale yourself by doing things like hiring VAs, you can increase your output significantly. If you’re stuck doing everything in your life or business, from meal prepping to shopping to cleaning your house, you’ll find yourself stretched thin.
Here’s another bit of advice I want to give you that I really need to take myself. Know when to draw the line. Sometimes you have to make exceptions to being productive 24/7.
Your family or friends may want to grab dinner and spend time with you, and that may mean you have to drive 30 minutes through traffic to a part of town you hate driving to. Ya gotta do it sometimes!
I sometimes find it hard to “turn off” and relax. Even when I’m watching Netflix with my girlfriend, I feel like I need to be typing notes out for my next blog post or coming up with ways to improve my website or content.
I think this is something that many productive and self-driven people face. We feel guilty if we’re ever not working on our business.
A piece of advice I heard on a podcast recently is to go ALL-IN at the task at hand. When you’re working, focus on that 100%. When you’re spending time with friends or loved ones, don’t check your email.
As you continue to get better at this, you can sit back and relax more because so many things will be getting taken care of on autopilot even when you are not physically working.
It’s an amazing feeling to come home to a sparkling house. To come home to the yard being freshly cut while you were out for the day doing other things.
Even to walk to the door to get groceries that were delivered. It’s time you save that you can spend on things you want to do, like reading a book that you previously “didn’t have time” to read or growing your side-hustle or business.
Can you imagine spending just 5 or 10 hours more a week on your core competency, the thing that you are the best at or that gives you the highest monetary return for your time spent?
Heck, even spending just 2 more hours a week on something. Your life will change drastically.
I urge you to try and identify a few things in your life that you can potentially delegate or outsource completely. You can come back and thank me for all the time I’ve helped you buy back. Enjoy!
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