It’s time for Time Mastery Tip #2!
Let’s talk about efficiency. Efficiency is a GREAT thing! Figuring out how to do things quicker and easier will make a difference in your day.
However, a common mistake that I see many people make is that they spend a lot of time and effort trying to make their low value activities more efficient … when instead they should be figuring out how to ELIMINATE them.
What is a low value activity?
A low value activity is anything that you can pay someone else to do for less than your hourly rate.
A low value activity is anything that is not dollar productive.
A low value activity is anything that you don’t enjoy and meets one of the two criteria above.
Examples? Housecleaning. Grocery shopping. Laundry. Putting lockboxes on/taking off. Brochure delivery. Assembling (and maybe even delivering) your own pop bys. And a million other things.
Are all of these things important? Yes. Is it important that they be done by you? NO.
How about things that you are spending time on because you feel like you should or you have to, but don’t really need to be done at all?
Case in Point: Years ago when my kids were very young I used to sell their clothes at kid’s consignment sales. It was important to me because I wanted to get some return value from our investment (this partly came from guilt over clothes with tags still on them/barely worn … don’t judge, you know you have this too!). Finances were also tighter then (this was around 2008/2009) and I thought this was an important use of my time.
I would spend about a day and half (or more) each time pulling out/sorting through clothes to sell, printing and attaching the tags, putting them on hangers, delivering them to the sale, etc. About a day and a half of work and when it was all done I would walk away with about $150, maybe $200.
There was a time when I would try to figure out ways to make this more efficient. By now you probably know how I work. I had a system. Collecting hangers, using a tagging gun, etc.
Then one day it dawned on me. Was that day and a half worth of my time really only worth $150? Of course not. I could show rentals and make $300. I could preview properties, connect with other agents, prospect and make a connection that could turn into a $5,000 or even $10,000 commission. I could use that time to follow up with my clients, market my listings. Or better yet, I could use that time to spend with my family or maybe even doing something for myself. If I was spending a day and a half prepping for the sale that meant I was having to use other time to complete my “real” work and that was naturally going to cut into time with my most important people.
So I let it go. Now I bag or box up the clothes and donate. It is easy (and efficient) to drop it in a clothing donation bin, drop off at a church, or arrange for a donation pick up. 1 hour tops and I can feel good that I am helping someone else.
What low value activities are you currently doing that you could eliminate instead?
(If you would like to watch my full presentation on Time Mastery that I gave at the Virginia Women’s Business Conference last Fall you can find it on our Empowering Women In Real Estate YouTube channel athttp://bit.ly/EWREYouTube.)