Welcome to the tenth episode of the Real Estate Tech Show! If you haven’t checked it out already, visit our website www.realestatetechshow.com. We have the domain up and running, and you can download our toolkit of our top ten favorite tech tools.
The tech we’re talking about today is all about time management. The whole reason we run our own businesses is to have the freedom that comes with working for yourself. But that freedom can also be a curse if you don’t know how to manage or your time effectively. Because it’s not just about setting aside time to work. It’s about using that time wisely.I think there’s definitely a value to putting in consistent and intentional work. What I’m not a big fan of is just being busy for the sake of being busy. Click To Tweet
Cory shares two of his favorite time management tricks – the Pomodoro Technique and his own Doctor’s Appointment Technique. Both will hold you accountable to your time and how productive you are with it. You can use your own timer to apply these techniques, or take advantage of some of the tools we talk about today, including:
- Focus@Will, Cory’s favorite Pomodoro-style app. It comes with binaural beats to help you stay focused.
- BeFocused is an iPhone app with a Pomodoro timer
- Momentum will keep you motivated by only letting you focus on one task at a time
The most important takeaway from today’s episode is to value your attention. With so many different things competing for our attention these days, it can be hard to stay focused on the task at hand. We hope that our advice today and the tools that we use can help you be productive and stay motivated.Focus on just one thing at a time. You’ve got one major thing that you can do a day, you’ll accomplish way more than somebody who was four things to do in one day. Click To Tweet
1:35 Are you any good at time management?
2:38 Josh Schoenly’s 9 tips for time management
3:56 Learn how to value your attention
6:08 Writing it down can help you stay focused
7:12 Remember to give yourself a little grace
9:21 Cory’s favorite: The Pomodoro Technique
12:25 Focus@Will app uses the Pomodoro Technique
17:28 Cory’s own “Doctor’s Appointment Technique”
18:50 BeFocused app uses Pomodoro too
20:45 The tyranny of the urgent
23:07 Time management is really energy management
24:00 Don’t forget to drink coffee
25:08 How to use the Momentum app on your browser
27:27 Cory recently started using the Productive app
28:02 Our last minute favorite podcast apps!
Eat the Frog by Brian Tracy
The No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs by Dan Kennedy
Cory: What’s up, Joe McCall.
Joe: You’re a dork, you know that? What’s up, Cory? I’m doing great, man.
Cory: Episode 10.
Joe: This is awesome, can you believe it? We made it this far.
Cory: Episode 10, we made it this far, we made it this far.
Joe: We’re still friends.
Cory: Yes, that’s right. That’s always a good thing. People are downloading, obviously the toolkit, the toolbox that we have where they text the 38470 automagically get the link sent from heaven down to them.
Joe: Yup. You gotta send the word TECH to 38470.
Joe: We’ll send you our toolkit, our top 10 favorite tech-tools and why you need to be using them.
Cory: Yes, yes. Also, we got the website which we’re excited about–the realestatetechshow.com.
Cory: We actually had to get that domain which we’re super excited about, but we did that for you so we can continue to add more show notes and make the site better to add more tools. What are we talking about today? We’re talking all about time management today. Joe, are you good at time management?
Cory: I struggle with it.
Joe: I’m not. You know what? Somebody sent me a blog post today by a guy that I’ve interviewed before in my podcast. His name is Josh Shaunly, and I will try to put a link to this blog post in the show notes.
Joe: realestatetechshow.com. But I’m never been good at time management, man. In fact I’ve always worked the best under pressure like last minute gotta get it done and so I get it done. I always feel horrible about that. But one of the things–let me just read to you the nine tips that he has here real quick.
Joe: I know Cory is a lot better at time management than I am so before we started recording I said, “Hey, let’s talk about time management. What are some of the tech tools that you use to help you manage your time?” This is part of a selfish reason, I wanna do this and talk about it on the show because I’d like to learn more from Cory how you do this stuff.
But let me just read you the nine tips that Josh gives in his blog post. Number one, focus on one thing at a time; number two, block out hours of your day; number three, have one major focus for the day–and I use the Momentum a lot, the Momentum add-on in Chrome; focus at one major focus for the day. Block out the same time each day to implement things; make progress everyday–just a little bit of progress; find an accountability partner–I don’t like that thing, I don’t like accountability partners. No, but anyway, number seven, forgive yourself when life goes off the rails; number eight, focus on the lowest hanging fruit; and number nine, use tools and websites or apps to reach your goals.
Cory: That’s good.
Joe: I just gave you the highlights from that blog post so we’ll try to put the show notes to that. But it’s important just to keep it really, really simple. One of the biggest reasons why I get overwhelmed is that I try to take on too much, I try to do too much, and I over commit, over promise and then when I finally have a chance to sit down and focus, I don’t even have any idea where to start. Does that make sense?
Cory: Absolutely, we live in a world–I don’t how many–it’s over 6,000 advertisements a day that we’re being constantly bombarded with and it’s not getting any easier. The sooner we get the conscious level of understanding that our attention is one of the most valuable things that we have, and what all the advertisers want from us is our attention, then if we realize– I don’t know about you Joe–but when you start realizing something like, “Oh, that’s what you want from me?” Then you start to realize how valuable that is to yourself.
It makes sense like with Chloe or with Nick, we just recently went on a labor day trip and camping and it was really fun, we got out fishing and do all these things. Chloe wants to have so much attention. She wants to have the attention, she wants to have the attention, but you have to ask the question behind that–why do you wanna have the attention?–it’s because that’s valuable to her, she feels known, she feels respected. All of these things that these advertisers want from us, we often don’t put that value on it in our own lives because we just give it away freely.
I’m like you, Joe, someone asked me to do something and I was like, “Yeah, sure, no problem. I’ll just do it.” Even though four other people have asked me to do something, where is my commitment to that? If we’re not careful, then we tend to just do things out of convenience. Someone calls you, it’s just gonna take 5 minutes, 10 things to take 5 minutes, now you have a whole hour going. We can’t rely on that, we have to rely on, I think, systems and tools and obviously, in the world of real estate and technology and combining these two together, one of the advantages of that is saving time, but also it is making the most of the time that you have. Once you have it, how do you make the most of that time? What are some things that you do, Joe, that you make the most of the time that you have once you have it there to get something accomplished?
Joe: A white pad or a yellow pad of paper.
Joe: I typically will try to just write down three things I want to get done that day. That three things grows into this really long list. But that does help because I keep a lot of tasks written down on online tools, on tech tools like things we talked about–an app called Things, I’ve used that a lot. If I can get it on pen and paper, it helps me be more focused for the day.
Joe: But I try really hard to time block. I say, “Okay, I’m going to block aside this time to work on this one thing.”
Joe: You gotta give yourself some grace too. I don’t know if that answers your question but we can’t be so hard on ourselves and I think so many people beat themselves up, don’t they? Because they’re not as productive as they wanna be.
Cory: We beat ourselves up and then we feel guilty often when we’re not working, so it works the opposite as well because we put ourselves in a place where we’re working all the time and then that is our M.O., so when we’re not doing it, we don’t have this other idea that as much–I would say, even at this day and age, now on my 20s I would think I’d put in a lot more hours in work. But as I’ve gotten a little bit older and I’ve realized another perspective–depending on how old you are when you’re listening to this–my perspective now is it’s just as important to unplug and recharge, and recharge everything going on. That could be take a vacation every three months–I know some people listening saying, “I’m taking a vacation in five years.”
Some people wear that as a badge of honor. I did for many years. I used to joke around and see people take vacations, I think, “What are they doing? They’re slacking, they’re slacking off, they can’t handle the pressure.” You gotta get out of the kitchen if you can’t handle the heat, that kind of thing. Depending on who you’re listening to and who your mentors are these days, you can get these guys until you work, work, work, work, work all the time.
I think there’s definitely a value to putting in consistent and intentional work. What I’m not a big fan of is just being busy for the sake of being busy. I don’t have this study but I will put this in the show notes, I will find it. There is a study done that went through the average worker at a company, how much time that they actually are productive for the company out of an eight hour work day, Joe. It was like…
Joe: Three or four hours was not…
Cory: It was less than three hours. What do you do for five hours is you give away your attention. You asked about some other things about time blocking. Some great tools to use for time blocking, because I’m a big fan of that is…
Joe: Yeah, let’s talk about that.
Cory: Yeah, there’s a technique that many of folks have heard, if you haven’t heard of it, it’s called the Pomodoro Technique. They actually named that from a little Pomodoro Tomato Timeline. You set it for a certain amount of time and it’ll go off well. There has been extensive research on if you have these kind of hyper-focused moments or lots of time–blocks of time, and then you take a break.
The Pomodoro Technique is 25 minutes on and by the way, we’re gonna put a free—what’s called a Tomato Timer—but it’s online, we’ll put that in our show notes for you to use. But essentially you go in and you put in 25 minutes of concerted block time for one activity and you get that one activity accomplished and knocked out and then you take a five minute break. It has a little ding noise that pops-up whenever your 5, 25 minutes comes on. But the whole trick is staying focused and blocking everything out on your world for those 25 minutes.
Then on the five minutes, you actually get up, you stretch, I actually do jumping jacks. Believe it or not, if you do jumping jacks, it’s one of the exercises that uses everything in your body— you’re using your legs, you’re using your stomach, you’re using your hands. For a little 25 seconds, 30 seconds of jumping jacks, it gets a lot of energy and it gets a lot of blood flow.
Also, do this technique where I breathe in and I breathe out really quickly. I’ll just breathe in my lungs for about 10 seconds or so, just to get in some blood flow. You also see this little fit desk, that’s right here next to me, Joe, so I’ll get on this little fit desk over here and I’ll just pedal and I can put my laptop over here. I put my laptop on this little fit desk and that’s a good way to break up that monotony of where you are and getting that energy. Because the point is once you take that five-minute break, you just kind of disconnect for a little bit and get away from that situation or that particular focus that you’re working on.
You might go outside, that’s another thing too. I know where you live, you got trees out there, you can just walk around for five minutes, and then you come back and you set another 25 minutes and you do the same thing. You do this for 100 minutes, essentially. On your last break, you don’t take a five-minute break, you take a longer break, you take usually a 15-20 minute break on your last Pomodoro.
Joe: What are some good apps to use for that?
Cory: Yeah, the app that I use that has a Pomodoro timer built-into it, is called Focus@Will. Now, we’ll put this in the show notes as well, it has a fantastic mobile app that goes along with the browser. I think it’s $10 a month, you get like 2 months free if you buy it for the whole year–$100 investment.
Cory: What it is, it’s science behind focus and concentration. They have spent so much time going in and finding out what makes our stimuli focus the most for certain people. For some people listening, you have severe ADHD, everything’s going, for other people listening, you just have to be really relaxed and that’s when you tend to get the most things accomplished. They have these different levels and different music types and sounds so they’re not lyrics to this, it’s sounds.
Cory: These sounds will trigger certain things in your brain to make you more productive.
Cory: What I love about it is that there’s a little chart in there that says, “After you did your techniques, after you did your Pomodoros, it asks you how productive were you during that session? Were you 100% productive? You got things done? Or you’re 75% productive? Were you 50%? As you start to answer these truthfully, then you start to see, “Oh, wow. Maybe I should test this other music sound and let me see if maybe I’m more productive with that one. It really is a way to have a metric and test your concentration.
Joe: Yeah. It looks really good. This looks really good–Focus@Will.
Cory: Focus at will, we’ll put it in the show notes.
Joe: They have a good iPhone app?
Cory: A great iPhone app, they have classical, Einstein genius, focus spa, up tempo, alpha chill. I use alpha chill a lot. Joe, I’ll turn one on here just so we could here it. This is alpha chill. Can you hear that, Joe?
Joe: I kind of hear it. Yeah.
Cory: I turned it up a little bit. Hear that?
Cory: That’s alpha chill at mid-level. I can move it to a high-level which is called the energy boost or a high-level–this is high level. As you’re working, imagine 25 minutes with that in your ear or maybe you like water sounds behind you or more ambient sounds.
Joe: That sounds like someone’s onto the bathroom. Come on.
Cory: I’m not listening to that one either. But here, maybe you like ADHD so this is really intense. The drums start kicking in. Or maybe you like Einstein or classical. I listen to a lot of classical too because it’s soothing.
You have to find out what it is that makes you more productive. Maybe it’s nothing at all, maybe you don’t need to listen to anything at all, maybe just the value of quite to you is something, and that’s fine too.
Joe: That was good.
Cory: But it’s got the Pomodoro timer built-in to it and it’s a really great app, Joe.
Joe: I like that. What other things besides Focus@Will could somebody use?
Cory: Another thing that is really simple on everyone’s phone is they can just use their timer.
Cory: You know, believe it or not, you will tend to use the thing that’s the fastest at the time.
Cory: What’s good about the timer is that if you go in and on your, like for me, it’s this clock on my iPhone, and I’ll go in, I’ll hit edit, and you wanna hit that little plus sign and you can just create a little timer, maybe you just call yours Productivity timer. Then you always have it there so that’s your productivity time, you just set your timer and you might set it for 25 minutes, 30 minutes. The point is you wanna set it for a block time and then get everything that you wanna accomplish in that blocked period.
There’s a mindset that goes with this, Joe, that I’ve used for many, many years, it has to do with hypotheticals. What I do is, what I call this is my doctor appointment technique. My doctor appointment technique is–imagine you’re at the doctor and someone needs to get a hold of you, do you tell the doctor, “Hold on one second, let me take this phone call?”
Cory: No, you don’t do that. One, it’s disrespectful to him; two, you’re probably paying for the session; three, it can wait. But all these other things in our lives, we don’t feel like can wait, we’re reactive to things. We create these patterns for people that says whenever I email or text or whatever and response this fast, we’re creating those kind of things for people, for their expectations, but the doctor appointment technique has to do with you feeling like whatever you set your timer for is a doctor appointment.
Someone tries to get a hold of you, unless they are dying or it’s one of your kids or something like that, you can have like probably two exceptions, you just don’t mess with it, you’re at the doctor. It’s just the hypothetical but it’s a mindset shift that says, “Oh, I have to get this done and nothing can interrupt me from that space.” Does that make sense?
Joe: Oh, it’s very good, very good. It reminded me too, I have another app that I’ve used before, it’s an application on the iPhone, it’s called Be Focused. It uses the Pomodoro Technique. But there’s a free version and there’s premium version. The free version has ads but you can put your tasks in here, and you can set a timer to it, and then you just click go. I don’t know if it does music or not but it gives you charts of the dates, the tasks, work intervals, tasks you completed, the duration. I’m not good at it, I’ve never really used this. You can have different music you can add to it from your iPhone, it’s not gonna give you any music, but you can choose the work intervals, the short breaks, the long breaks, after how many intervals do you get the long break, how many intervals do you get per day. It’s pretty simple.
There’s a lot of apps like this out there. I’m not talking about this like I’m an expert or anything because I definitely need help with this thing. But I think the biggest thing that my biggest takeaway is be realistic.
I love the analogy of the big rocks and the small rocks in the sand. You can’t put all of that stuff into the jar unless you do the big things first. Sometimes I’ll just think about–when I wake up tomorrow morning–what are two things that are going to be stressing me out the most that I just got to take care of? What are my big rocks? If I write that down the night before, then when I wake up in the morning I feel so much better because I know what I’m gonna be focusing on and I’m not going to let the tyranny of the urgent take over because I just gotta get those things done.
Joe: And I feel so much better.
Cory: I like that. The tyranny of the urgent. We tend to do things that’s the easiest. In the morning, or the things that we think–we sit down on our desk, we’re gonna do something, we start thinking, what’s the thing I can knock out in two minutes? What’s the thing I can knock out in four minutes? The challenge to that is think about the thing that’s the hardest. Think about the thing that you don’t wanna do, the thing you’re gonna put off till the end. There’s a great book by Brian Tracy called Eat that Frog!, we’ll put this in the show notes as well. We’ll have a ton of links in the show notes because this is a hot topic.
Cory: We’re both learning to be better at it. But these are some great tools to use, the Eat this Frog! first book is about basically what’s that thing in the morning that you need to knock out.
Jesse Itzler, another guy that you should definitely be paying attention to right now. He has a Facebook page, it’s called Doing Hard Stuff where basically he challenges people to do something very, very hard and he gets them prepared for being a warrior, essentially. Here’s the greatest thing about being a business owner, and here is the biggest challenge about being a business owner—freedom. What everybody wants is the very thing that can eat you alive if you don’t respect it and you don’t take it serious.
Joe: Yeah, it’s good.
Cory: When people say, when I get freedom, they think I can just go and have a good time, party and everything is gonna take care of itself, it does not work that way. You have to set up systems, you have to have other people doing things when you’re taking off so you don’t have to do them and it takes setting up some of those things first. But even before that, it takes the mindset and it takes really understanding what you want to accomplish, how long it’s probably going to take, and setting aside that time to knock out those things that are considered priorities.
My challenge to you listening is think about things that you’re getting done on the daily basis and ask yourself do those have to get done by you? Because time management really has to do with energy management, right Joe?
Joe: That’s a good point.
Cory: We only have a certain amount of energy that were allowed to essentially use the most of. There’s all kinds of studies that say, “Oh, it’s in the morning.” Some people it’s at night for them because of the way their schedule is. But whatever it is for you, get clear on when it is that you’re most productive and guard that, that’s your attention time, guard that and get focused.
Joe: Are you allowed to drink coffee during that time, Cory?
Cory: Yes, yeah. You can drink coffee, you can have juices, you can have…
Joe: I started drinking Bulletproof Coffee recently.
Cory: Bulletproof is good, I did the Bulletproof for a while, now I use Death Wish Coffee now.
Joe: I heard you talking about that.
Cory: Yeah, Death Wish Coffee. Bulletproof is good because it has the MCT oil but you can buy the MCT oil and the Grass-Fed Butter on Amazon and it’s together so you don’t have to put in separately. But there’s some other benefits. I’m glad you like Bulletproof, Dave Asprey is somebody to definitely watch and pay attention to what he’s done with the Bulletproof and he’s built a brand around Bulletproof too.
Joe: Oh yeah. One of the things while you’re talking reminded me of a book that I’ve bought, that I’ve read half of, but it was really good. The half that I did read, it’s by Dan Kennedy, The No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs.
Cory: Yeah, I love that book.
Joe: Really good book.
Joe: He’s brutal when it comes to managing his time.
Joe: And who he lets into his world and when.
Joe: Sometimes you just gotta be a mean-old jerk, sometimes, when it comes to managing, I’m not saying that Dan Kennedy is a mean-old jerk but you know, you need to be firm with that stuff. Do you have any other tools that you use on your phone?
Cory: You mentioned Momentum, I want to talk about that a little bit. We both use that, it really is pretty helpful. I can see it, it’s a visual thing in my browser every time I launch…
Joe: I don’t like today’s picture, it’s kind of Asian temple, like some Buddhist temple next to some mountain.
Joe: But normally, 9 times out of 10, it gives you a really nice–when you open a new tab in your Chrome browser–it gives you a really nice, beautiful picture. It says, “Good morning Joe. What is your main focus for today?” If I type in there work on focus. I’m gonna work on focusing today, and then I hit enter, and it will say that, it will put down just one thing, you could only put one thing, you can’t put on two things on there.
Joe: Everytime you open up a new browser, it’s there right in front of you and it just helps you focus on that one thing. Again, you can’t put your all entire to-do list on there.
Joe: Which is good. Once you finish that one thing, then you can add another thing. You know what I’m saying?
Cory: Right. Yeah. I love it. It’s just a great visual reminder, we’ll put this in the show notes as well.
Joe: It’s great.
Cory: Yeah, it’s great.
Joe: It’s really, it’s good. Cool, this has been a good podcast. I have to get going, Cory, I have a call in five minutes, an important call. But I think the main thing is go back to this podcast to the very beginning and think about those nine tips–eight or nine tips that we gave you. Don’t beat yourself up.
Don’t beat yourself up, try some of these tools that we talked about, the Focus@Will is a great subscription service, they also have a good app. There’s this Be Focused, they have a free version and a paid version, and I was just looking at it here. The pro version is only $1.99. It’s got really good reviews, you can use it on your phone, or your Apple watch. But get the big rocks. Focus on just one thing at a time. You’ve got one major thing that you can do a day, you’ll accomplish way more than somebody who was four things to do in one day.
Cory: Right. Yeah, absolutely. There’s another app, they call it Productive app, I forgot to mention that, I’ve been using it more, Joe, we’ll put that in the show notes as well. That’s a very good one because it already has things built-in as a templates that are already for the most common things that people struggle with. Drinking water, doing exercise, things like that. It gives you stats and what not. But we’ll put that one in there too. Good. Good podcast, it’s a hot topic. I’m always excited about any way that we can get more productive.
Joe: Yeah. You know what, if you wanna be more productive listening to podcasts, real quick my favorite podcast app is called Pocket Casts.
Cory: I love Pocket Casts.
Joe: I don’t know what’s going on with Apple podcast app but it’s horrible. With the new update, they’re coming out with the operating system, the new iOS 11 I think it is, hopefully we’ll get a better podcasting app, I’ve heard about that.
But if you like this show, leave us a review in iTunes. Just don’t use their app. Leave us a review in iTunes if you like this show, subscribe to it, tell your friends about it and get our top 10 favorite tech tools if you text the word TECH to 38470 or go to the realestatetechshow.com, and we’ll get that over to you. We’re gonna have all of our links and things that we talked about on this podcast in the show notes at the website. Cool.
Cory: I like Casts a lot because it’s on the browser and you can speed it up.
Cory: You should check out Breaker though. If you haven’t checked out Breaker on your iPhone for a podcast app, it is a very big contender with Casts. But I absolutely love Casts on my browser but I don’t listen to Casts on my iPhone, I listen to it on my browser. But Breaker is what I listen to on my iPhone.
Joe: I’ll check it out.
Joe: Okay, thanks.
Joe: We’ll see you guys, take care.
Cory: See you guys. Bye now.