Time Management Tips to Find Hidden Time

 
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Going to a leisurely lunch with co-workers is fun, but my strategy is cheaper and has fewer calories.

Working full time, raising a family, and investing in real estate doesn’t happen by chance. In order to do each of them to the level you desire, you will need to find time hiding in your day. You may think you are too busy, but I assure you if it is important to you the time is available.

 

Here are some examples of how I use my hidden time to keep all the plates spinning:

  • 15-Minute Lunch Breaks: I’m assuming that you eat lunch during the day. This is a perfect time to check your real estate related email, make a phone call to schedule a painting estimate, or line up an electrical subcontractor. I can accomplish all of these things, while eating my lunch in 15 minutes. If you have a little longer for lunch, drop by a home improvement store or specialty shop to pick up a few items or scout out appliances. Yes, going to a leisurely lunch with co-workers is fun, but my strategy is cheaper and has fewer calories.

  • 60-Minute Soccer Practice: This is a great time to work on real estate. I send emails, work on project schedules, research topics I have been noodling, read a chapter in a book, and still fit in a workout all while waiting for soccer practice to end. Sure, I could spend this time wandering the aisles of Target, driving through Starbucks for a latte, or gossiping with the other parents, but these activities don’t make me any money. They are just excuses to waste time. I don’t have time to waste and neither do you.

  • 30-Minute Bedtime Routine: If your kids are like mine, they enter a time vortex once it is time for showers. I have not figured out how such little people take so long to get ready for bed. Use this to your advantage. Review the tasks you planned to complete today, plan for your day tomorrow. Are there any emails to your insurance agent, lender, realtor, or cabinet supplier you can send out tonight so when they arrive in the office tomorrow morning the ball is in their court? Then when you check your email at lunch tomorrow, things can keep moving along. Yes, it is great to catch a Netflix episode, but crushing your goals has a better plot line.

Key Take-Aways:

1. Notice: Spend a few days noticing how you are spending your downtime. Don’t judge yourself, just notice them and make a note that they exist.

2. Plan: Identify some activities that are stalled or are stressing you out. I would bet most of them can be done on your phone or laptop.

3. Execute: Start with one recurring time slot (see my examples above or substitute your own) and make a commitment to tackle one or two tasks during that time. The sense of accomplishment you will feel will be your motivation to keep doing it.

Carissa Swanwick