The principle is simply this: time management.
I want to show you how to get more done, in less time.
If someone approached you and said, “Do you want two more hours of time every day?”, you would say yes. I have never met a single person on earth (with the exception of someone who is very depressed) who doesn’t want two more hours in the day.
Two more hours in a day is thousands of hours over the years. You’d end up adding on years to your life. Not in the longevity of how long you live, but what you do with the time you have.
Here’s what’s funny: everyone has the same amount of time. The problem is never “I don’t have enough time.” The only question is, what are you doing with the time you do have?
You could be the president of the United States. You could be a millionaire. You could be working at McDonalds. You could be in prison. It doesn’t matter. You have the exact same number of hours every day, and you have control over how you spend that time.
This is why the most successful people in the world put a huge premium on their time. In fact, if you asked any of them to coach you, you might be shocked at their hourly rate. Why? Because they value their time. You can’t get a refund on your time.
People who value their time are smart, because time is their most precious asset. By valuing time, they can have more money, deeper relationships, a healthier body, and they can do things they wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
Time management, in my opinion, is the most important aspect of self-discipline when it comes to success.
Brian Tracy, the author of “Eat That Frog”, said this: “As you learn to master your time, you simultaneously master your life and take complete control over your future.”
Today, I’m going to give you two “Dos” and two “Do Nots” that have served me very well in my experience as an entrepreneur.
Do #1: Automate
Find a way for the monotonous tasks you do every day to become automatic so you are not personally managing them yourself.
When I started renting out condos in Austin, I realized there was a lot of tedious work involved. Even though the money was very good, and we were netting $20,000 just from one condo after 6 months, I realized I needed my time back. So I hired someone to clean them for me.
I paid this person $500 a month to clean these condos. You might think, “Well, that cuts into your profit.” It does. But if I compare that $500 to the time it saves me, (it was around 15-20 hours a week), it is a very good trade-off. I value my time highly. With that extra time in the week, I could go set up another condo, and another one, and another one. We did this until we had six condos going. There was no physical way I could keep scaling if I didn’t automate the cleaning process. So even though I dropped $500 a month, I was able to add more condos.
You might ask, “Well, don’t you have to pay someone more with each new condo you add?” Yes, absolutely. But I couldn’t keep scaling and scaling and scaling when I was cleaning them myself. But now, if someone else cleans them, there is no limit. It’s not using my time anymore. As long as I have a good cleaner and I set everything up for them, it runs like a machine. It keeps putting money in my bank and I have to do very little.
The temptation is to think, “If I buy this program or this tool to automate things for me, it will cost you money.” That is true, but think about the time it saves you. If you add up the time you spend sending emails every day over a year and spend it on finding products instead, you could have 20 more amazing products making money for you! So spending $20, $40, or $50 a month on a program to automate things for you is totally worth it. Automation is so important because it helps you to value your most precious asset, which is time.
Do #2: Delegate
White automating means creating a system for something to be done automatically, delegating is assigning one-time tasks to someone who can do them as well as or better than you.
Let’s say you’re trying to create the packaging for your new product. It’s a much better use of your time to go to Fiverr or Upwork or someone who designs for a living and pay them to design it for you, especially if you are not a designer by trade. If you can find someone and pay them $50 or $100 to design that packaging for you, you can spend your time finding more products.
That is a very good trade-off. You have valued your time. Yes, you lose a little money, but you end up making a lot more in the future.
I can not overemphasize how important it is to focus on valuing your time.
Every second that goes by right now you can not get back.
We just lost a second and can’t get it back.
We just lost another second and can’t get it back.
It’s kind of a scary thought. I’m not trying to freak you out. But let that feeling drive you to value your time. It is so important. Being an entrepreneur is a war for time. The biggest beast you have to face is not only your own insecurities and fears, but also the time you have.
I’m spending time right now creating this blog for you because I believe it is a valuable use of my time. I enjoy it. It helps me to know what I’m teaching better. It enriches my life and your life, and I think people are amazing. So if we can find ways to help people, that enriches life for everyone.
Do Not #1: Multitask
Do not multitask. Multitasking is a curse word in my home. We just don’t do it.
I know some people claim “I’m really good at multitasking” and some people are really good at switching their brain from one thing to another, but numerous studies and tests have been done where they set up two groups of students with mixed genders (so it wasn’t guys versus girls, since a lot of people say women are better than multitasking). They had one group switch between two tasks constantly while the other group just did one task at a time. The group focusing on one task at a time always performed better and had better results.
It’s very hard to be anti-multitask in a social media world. I’m not against social media. I think it’s great. But it’s much better to set aside times to focus on each thing you need to do rather than trying to do everything all the time.
People become addicted to constantly checking Facebook or Twitter to a point where they really get nothing done in the day. They have all these little pieces of information, but nothing for themselves.
You have to protect yourself from that. If you have to remove certain apps from your phone because you carry it with you all the time, do it. Don’t let “urgent” get in the way of important. 50 years down the road, you’re not going to say, “I’m so glad I checked Facebook.” You’re going to say, “I’m so glad I built a business, spent times with my loved ones, ate healthy, and had time to go to Italy and Spain.”
Let go of multitasking. Do one thing at a time.
Do Not #2: Procrastinate
Procrastination has almost become a joke in American culture. But it's very bad, and I’ll tell you why. We tend to procrastinate on things we don’t enjoy doing. Usually, the things we don’t want to do are the most important things that need to get done so we can move on.
Brian Tracy wrote a book called “Time Power” that I recommend reading. It’s an awesome book. In it he makes a great point; “If you’re going to get up in the morning and you know you have a task to do, do the hardest thing first.”
This absolutely annihilates procrastination. Then the rest of your day is a lot easier: you have more energy and focus, because you took care of the beast. He calls it “eating the frog first.”
I’ve watched this video many times. It’s an awesome video.
My daughter walks around chanting “Eat the frog first!” sometimes, I love it. It’s become part of the culture in my home. Do the things you like least the first. Remember, it has to be something you can’t automate or delegate.
After you finish reading this, take a pen, pencil, or your computer and write down every task you have to do in a day. Ask this simple question: Can I delegate that? Can I automate that? For the ones that you can’t, find out how you can do them first in the day, so that the rest of your day is much easier.
Bonus: Jedi mind trick
Here’s an extra tip that really works. It’s something you do for yourself.
In the morning, after you’ve done whatever you needed to do: eat breakfast, go on a walk, taking time to think and pray, work out, whatever you need to do to get your heart ready for the day, sit down.
Make sure there are no distractions around you. Close your eyes. Imagine everything you need to get done today. Imagine doing it fast, with joy, and efficiently.
I guarantee you, if you do that every morning, you will see a difference. It really works.
Imagination is what leads to action. People first imagine something. They think about it, fantasize about it, then they act on it. That’s how some of the most amazing inventions were created. Just imagine yourself barreling through your day at lighting speed, and having fun doing it! What this does is it tells your brain “this is possible.” When you can visualize something in your mind, it is much easier to do.
Athletes do this. Before they run the 100-meter dash, they imagine “I’m going to go at this speed, come around this corner, use this technique, breath this way, life my knees this high, and keep my toes pointed this way.” They imagine it first. Then they do it.
You know, I love doing chin-ups. I love to go outside and find horizontal bars to jump on and do chin-ups on. Sometimes I’ll find a bar that’s really high, that’s not supposed to be for working out, like a playground swing. When I jump to grab it, I’ll barely graze it with my fingers, but not actually get it. So what I’ll do is stop, think, and imagine myself grabbing it. Then I jump and grab it.
It works. I showed my son this as well, because he kept missing the bar. When he stopped and visualized it, the next time he jumped, he grabbed the bar.
Your imagination is powerful. You can use your creativity to work for you, instead of against you.
I hope these principles are really helpful for you managing your time. Value your time, and you can build wealth. Have an awesome day.