Lessons Learned: Get More Out of your Day With Daily Deadlines

Scott CostelloAll, Blog, Lessons Learned 9 Comments

After last weeks lesson about doing The Wrong Kind of Busy I started really analyzing how I spend my weekday nights (my real estate investing time).  It was a very good exercise to try and identify what are the money making activities and which are not and cross those off my list.  Then I thought to myself “Self, how can I be more productive?”

To answer this question I have to really think about the situations in my life where I have been most successful at completing what I had to get done.  I thought back to all the projects I’ve had at work and in my school days.  I remember back in my freshman year of high school we were assigned this year long paper, open topic, that would be due the following May.  As most teenagers would do, I put it off until mid April.  Of course I got it done, but it was only because of the threat of failure if May came and I had no paper.

Similar cycles have occurred over and over again in my life.  My most productive times have been when I had a time limit set for a job. So I thought, why can’t I set up my weekday evenings with time limits for each of my Money Making tasks?  And that is what I’m going to be doing from now on.

Why This Should Work

Of course this will add a little pressure to my day, but for me pressure helps me make choices.  Why?  because if I only have an hour to accomplish a task, I don’t have time to ponder my options.  I just have to pick one and live with the results.  If I had all night, I would most likely waste a few hours researching and trying to make the “wise” decision.  The key to a successful life is action now and adjusting later.

My Daily Schedule

I’m going to be breaking up my evenings into 1 hour chunks and then assign each of those chunks a category (real estate, blog, other, etc.).  Once I’ve got that setup, I will slot each of my daily tasks into those hour.  Bingo, I have my schedule!  Here is an example of what I’m talking about.

7:00pm to 7:59pm (Category: Real Estate Phone Calls)

8:00pm to 8:59pm (Category: General Real Estate Investing)

9:00pm to 9:59pm (Category: Blog)

10:00pm to 10:59pm (Category: reading, other)

With this schedule, it will keep me from spending to much time on things like blogging.  I will say though, I bet I get more accomplish with regards to my blog in that one single hour then I normally do on most nights because I will be fully concentrating for that hour.  I won’t be checking email or fantasy sports because I know I have only one hour to finish what I want to finish or it won’t get done.

So what does everyone think about this idea?

Scott Costello
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Comments 9

  1. Scott,

    I think it's a good idea but don't forget to make you list of what you NEED to get done in each specific hour or you'll just be “winging it” each other doing busy work but you'll think it's ok because it's in it's “proper hour” category. Know what I mean?

    Btw, I think there is a name for giving yourself a small amount of time to get something done….ya know like “blah blah blah's” theory lol I read about it in the 4 hour work week I believe.

    And ya know, I work better using “blah blah blah's” theory too….because the scenario you described in high school…that's me if I don't put that “theory” into effect.

    Oh yeah and remember to ask yourself when you're making your list for each specific hour if what you want to do will help that particular thing be successful? I.E. Will this make my blog be more successful? Will this task make my rei career more successful? etc. etc.

    That's courtesy of your friend/reader Jason here…..when I do my to do lists now, I add at the very top of my list: Will this make my atm or real estate business successful? It works wonders. Thanks Jason if you're reading this!

  2. I guess I didn't make it clear that I would be placing my tasks that I deem are key to my success into those 1 hours slots just like you are saying.

  3. Good point Carey. Think like a CEO. If I were the CEO of my company would I want my employee doing this task. Is it in the vision of my company. Does it work towards accomplishing the companies long term goals.

    Another suggestion I would give yourself is rewards and punishments. Rewards are better. IF I accomplish these tasks I get 1 hour of baseball tonight. Or if I complete this long term goal, I get that ipod. If you fail to do that task, first look at why you didn't complete it. Is that a good excuse? If no, then look at ways to correct that failure. Force yourself to do something you don't like. Cook for the wife or mow the lawn…whatever. Something that makes you not want to not do that task in the future. Something that will motivate you.

    Just some ideas. I have tried to hold myself to times before and found that I'm better at doing so with some incentive.

  4. Scotty, I like the concept and agree with the comments made. I definitely think you need to give yourself some rewards and ensure you've allocated time appropriately with the wifey 🙂 Happy wife, happy life!

  5. My main goal is to keep my wifey happy 🙂 During the week though she doesn't get home from work until about midnight so from when I get home from work at 5pm It's me and our dog. This is why my weekends are devoted to my wife only.

  6. Pingback: Creating a Schedule is Not Easy | Struggling to Get Started

  7. thats an great idea! i see myself alot in what you write and how you describe how your subconcious mind acts. saved this as a bookmark to apply in my life as soon as my “search of where i want to settle down trip” is over. great blog-great content thank you scott!

    1. Thanks for commenting Theo. I appreciate the kind words and feel free to ask me any questions that you think I’ll be able to answer 🙂

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