There is a lot of talk about discipline and how important it is in life. I agree that discipline is extremely important; however, I’ve found that it is virtually impossible to be disciplined in every single area of our lives. Most of us are disciplined in some areas, but undisciplined in others.
I have found that by focusing my discipline on certain key areas, I’m able to extract maximum leverage. The goal is to maximize our limited discipline to gain the most leverage from every single day.
As real estate agents, we should be exercise discipline in multiple areas of our businesses. It’s truly a daily challenge. I know. I struggle with it, just like you! However, the single most important discipline I’ve found is this…
Do the most important things for your business first thing in the day – every day. Don’t do anything else until the most important things are finished.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? The problem is, you’re probably not following this one simple daily discipline.This really is the same strategy as the "Pay Yourself First" money management strategy. We all know how important it is to pay ourselves first. It’s important because if we pay everyone else first, there will be no money left over for our own savings. We must put our savings first because nobody else will.
Well the same thing goes for time, if we don’t focus our time on the most important activities first, than there will be no time for these activities. We have a tendency to do the easiest things first, instead of the most important things first. When the easy things are finished, there is no time left for the big things. It is critical to remind yourself:
Easy doesn’t bring in the dollars!
Everything you spend your time on has an opportunity cost. This is because that same time could be invested into other opportunities. Yesterday, I had a meeting where I offered to invest my time into a project. After the meeting, I thought about the value of my time and the possible financial return for the time invested and realized it wasn’t a wise use of my time. I decided not to move forward with the project after this assessment. In other words, every opportunity shouldn’t be chased. Only the best opportunities should be chased. This could easily be re-written as…
- Every listing prospect shouldn’t be chased. Only the best listings should be chased.
- Every buyer prospect shouldn’t be chased. Only the best buyers should be chased.
- Every business idea you have shouldn’t be chased. Only the best ideas should be chased.
To be ultra successful in your business, you must become a master at allocating your time to the highest income opportunities. Every single time you choose to work on lower dollar activities, you lose money. Your choices compound every single day. This means your financial losses compound every single day, too! Throughout a month, you can choose to leave a lot of money on the table.
I have found the best way to instill this discipline in my business is to follow Tim Ferriss’s strategy. In his book, "The Four Hour Work Week", he recommends managing your "To Do" list on a small index card. Keep a pack of index cards on your desk. Each day start with a fresh index card and list the 3 most important things you can accomplish for your business. Now, you can only list 3 items on your index card for the day. This means you must be very selective about which three items you choose. This little strategy forces you to choose higher value activities. This strategy helps you stay focused on what is important for your business.
This one strategy might just be the one thing that makes your business successful.