Podcast

Episode #92 – Become More Productive In Just 10 Minutes a Day With Task Journaling

You can know everything about real estate, go to every seminar and hire every coach. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to get things done. If you waste your time on social media instead of checking off to-dos, you’ll never maximize your potential.

But you don’t need a complicated system with 17 lists—all you need is ten minutes a day, a pen and a sheet of paper. With task journaling, your workday will become a smooth ride—NOT a few tasks in between hour long breaks.

If you want to be more productive and stop wasting so much time, listen now!

Show highlights include:

  • Why you’ll never have the perfect productivity system (and why you need to learn it anyway). ([2:26])
  • How “task journaling” makes checking off to-dos almost automatic. ([5:16])
  • Do this after you finish a task and never wonder why it’s already 8pm again. ([7:34])
  • Why workaholics get less done in more time. ([9:51])

To get the latest updates directly from Dan and discuss business with other real estate investors, join the REI marketing nerds Facebook group here: https://adwordsnerds.com/group

Need help with your online marketing? Jump on a FREE strategy session with our team. We’ll dive deep into your market and help you build a custom strategy for finding motivated seller leads online. Schedule for free here: https://adwordsnerds.com/strategy

Some options for your task Journal:

https://evernote.com

https://roamresearch.com

Read Full Transcript

You're listening to the “REI Marketing Nerds” podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of AdWords Nerds, a high-tech digital agency, focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition, and live a freer, more awesome life. And, now, your host, Dan Barrett.

Dan: All right, hello, everyone, and welcome to this week's episode of the REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett here, from AdWordsNerds.com with you.

Want to talk to somebody about your real estate investor marketing? If you want some help finding motivated seller leads online, if you just want to say like, Hey, it'd be nice to talk to somebody about all this weird stuff that's happening. It'd be nice to figure out what other investors are doing. What are you guys seeing in the market? What's going on with Google Ads? What's going on with SEO? What's going on with Facebook ads? Bing? Is Bing still a thing? [01:14.2]

If you want me to talk to somebody about that, you can hit us up at AdWordsNerds.com/strategy. We'll get on the phone and we'll help you out with all of that for free.

This week I wanted to do something a little bit different. I've been doing a lot of real estate investor interviews. Have you been listening the last couple of weeks? I've had a couple of absolute fire ones that I'm really excited for you to hear if you haven't heard them. But if you have heard them, then they were amazing. And I've done a lot of episodes on coronavirus and COVID-19, and how it’s going to affect the market, and we've got to stay on that. That's really important obviously. We're going to keep talking about that.

But I want to take a step back from the headlines and the stuff that's current events, and I want to talk about something that's near and dear to my heart that I do a lot of work on outside real estate investing that can really benefit you—and that’s productivity. [02:20.6]

Look, there's a lot of stuff about productivity out there and everybody's different, and the reason I study productivity is not because I think, Hey, I'm going to find the best way, or, Hey, I'm going to find the ultimate plan, or anything like that. It's because I need, right? And I look for productivity because my business is kind of all over the place. It's constantly changing, right?

I was literally in the middle. I was doing a training for my private, high-level coaching clients in this program that we call REI Marketing Mastery, and these are clients that I talk to every week. We do two coaching calls a week. Our team works on their accounts. We help them with their SEO. We do their PPC, all sorts of stuff, right? [03:12.0]

These are clients that I'm very tightly connected with and I'm constantly doing new trainings for them. So, I was doing this training that utilized Facebook ads and, literally, Facebook changed the way that the ads worked in the middle of the training and broke the process I had designed. Then I had to go back and literally start all over and prove that it could work, and then learn how to implement it, right? It was all this stuff. It really threw a wrench in the plans, and that stuff happens all the time with all my marketing and it happens all the time in real estate.

If you're a real estate investor, you are used to having one kind of idea of how things are going to go and then, all of a sudden, something else happens, right? Like the contractor gets coronavirus or, hey, just a pandemic hits, right? You never know. There's always a million and one things that could make a deal turn sideways, and it creates this work environment where … [04:11.2]

I think real estate investors do a really great job of being systems-oriented and process-oriented. Lord knows, there are a lot of people who've done amazing work on that. Joe McCall is a really good example of someone who's been on this show that does a really good job of systemizing his business. Dan Schwartz is out there teaching investors through his company, InvestorFuse, how to do this really in a really high-level way. So, there are definitely a lot of people working on this stuff.

But no matter how great your systems are, no matter how great your productivity is, no matter how great your team is, we are in a business, you and I, where the unknown is expected, right? We're in a business where things go sideways more often than not, and you have to be able to adapt to it and get things done. [05:03.2]

And so, I've been fascinated by systems that help productivity forever, and one I found in particular that I want to talk to you about that’s really cool and is very simple is called “task journaling.”

Task journaling is this incredibly simple idea that I've actually found really, really useful. I've applied it inside my own business and I think you could apply it in yours. Here's what it is in a nutshell. I think we're all used to to-do lists, to-do list apps, to-do list systems. You’ve basically got a list of things you're trying to check off or cross off during the day, and I'm a big fan of lists. I use lists a lot.

But what I've started doing is I'll have the list maybe off to the side, but what I've started doing is just doing a quick journal entry on an ongoing doc or even just on a piece of paper that’s labeled for the day about what's happening. So, I'll sit down and I'll look at my to-do list and let's say my to-do list is, Hey, you’ve got to respond to somebody that messaged you on Facebook or whatever. And I'll just say, Okay, I'm writing this in my little journal here. [06:13.1]

So, okay, sitting down and I know I’ve got to get on Facebook, so the first thing I’ve got to do is jump into Facebook. I'm going to go do that now, and then I'll go and do the task. When I finish the task, I'll come back and I'll just update the journal and be like, Okay, I just finished that. It went well. All right, what's next time on my to-do list? Let’s see, it's to record the podcast. Okay, cool. So, I’ve got to record the podcast. Again, just free-flow, stream-of-consciousness journaling in this journal.

And I say, Okay, I’ve got to do the podcast then. I'm not really sure what I'm going to record about. Oh, maybe this week I should record about something productivity-based. I haven’t done that. Actually, task-journaling would be a pretty cool topic. I'm going to do that. I just got to go and do this, open up Logic, which is the program I record this in, and get started. And then, I'll go and do that task. [07:00.6]

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And so, every time I'm switching tasks, so when I'm going into a new task or I'm leaving a task that I’ve just completed, I'm going to update the journal. And this does a couple things.

One, when I finish the day and I look back, I get this really cool breakdown of exactly how my energy and focus, and progress went throughout the day. And if you do this a lot, you start to see patterns that can be really useful. For example, maybe you notice a certain type of day you're a lot more productive or you notice an energy drop-off at a certain point, or you notice that you have a lot of trouble transitioning out of tasks, or whatever it is, you start to notice your own pattern. So, that's really, really valuable. [08:14.3]

Then, the other thing that happens is I find that the act of journaling actually makes it easier to transition between tasks. This is sort of a truism in productivity that one of the biggest problems with people's productivity is that transition period between tasks when they're starting a new one or ending an old one. That's where we tend to get lost. Usually, if you're focused, you're in the flow state, you're doing something, that's not the problem. The problem is getting started and finishing.

So, I find that the act of journaling on what's happening, just kind of writing this little thing down and sort of keeping an ongoing record allows me to make this mental break between tasks a little more clear, a little easier, right? I find it easier to start new things and I find it easier to end things. [09:07.8]

And the other thing I've noticed is that when I'm ending a task, journaling about it just a little bit, again, writing a couple lines about what I did and how it went, and what I have to do next, allows me to let it go in a way that I find really, really valuable.

I don't know about you, but I tend to think about work a lot, so things will kind of occur to me as I'm getting in bed for the night or things will occur to me during the day. They'll just be running in the back of my head as sort of this processing routine that my brain is constantly going through. And while that's all well and good, and there's a lot of value to using your subconscious mind, I think to help you process tasks and events and all this stuff, I think it can lead to this lingering sense that you're forgetting something, right? It's hard to turn it off. [10:00.9]

A general principle that I've found to be true is that, if you can really focus on work when you're at work, and just crush it and kill it all day, a big part of maintaining that level of energy, and achievement and productivity, a big part of that is being able to turn it off when you need to turn it off, being able to truly relax when you need to relax.

Lord knows, this period we're living in can be so stressful and anxiety-inducing. The ability to just flip the switch and go into not-work mode when you need to is going to help you recuperate and recover in a much better way, and that's going to make your work time much more efficient. So, you can actually get a lot more done and be a lot more effective by really not working when you're not supposed to work, and really working in 100-percent capacity when you are supposed to work.

I find that this journaling process, getting it out either on a piece of paper, or in a Google Doc or in an Evernote note, or I've been using Roam Research, which has been really great for this—R-O-A-M research. We'll do maybe another episode on that another time—it just allows me to let go of these things in a really profound way. [11:22.6]

And so, not only do I find that it's easier for me to transition between tasks, and not only do I find that having a record of the day allows me to spot my own sort of patterns, tendencies and bad habits, I also find that this makes my rest time, my recuperation time, my not-work time more valuable, and that has just increased my productivity overall.

So, it's this really simple idea: have a piece of paper—have a Google doc. Have an Evernote note. Have a Roam, a Daily Notes page, whatever you're taking your notes in—and just do a quick couple of sentences, free-flow stream-of-consciousness journal as you transition into and out of tasks throughout the day. I've certainly found that it has made me more productive and a little happier, and I hope it'll do the same with you. [12:14.4]

By the way, if you like this kind of stuff, productivity stuff, I'm a huge productivity nerd. I will happily bring this into the podcast if it's something people want to hear about. If you think it's off-topic, whatever. But let me know. Send me a message on Facebook. Leave me a review on iTunes or Stitcher, or wherever you get this podcast. I'd really appreciate it.

And, by the way, if you want to interact with me more often, the Facebook group is the place to do that. It's the REI Marketing Nerds Facebook group. You can go into Facebook, type in “REI Marketing Nerds,” or go to AdWordsNerds.com/group and you'll find us in there.

Look guys, this is it. Speaking of recuperation time, I'm going right into a team meeting and then into lunch, so I'm going to enjoy that. And before I do that, I'm going to make a little note in my transition task journal that this podcast went excellently. I hope you feel the same way. I will talk to you next week. This is Daniel Barrett from AdWordsNerds.com signing out. [13:14.2]

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