5 Simple Steps to Getting Organized and Motivated

At times we all lose a bit of motivation, and often times we wonder how do we organize our lives to become better focused and organized.  I have been fortunate that my life filled with people who take on a ton of projects and keep working on them and completing them.  I found myself annoyed by these people because I couldn’t figure out how to be more like them.  And then one day, I asked them: “How do you do it?”

1 – Start Being S.M.A.R.T.

Don Adams as Maxwell Smart
Not Smart Enough

SMART is an acronym for (S)pecific, (M)easurable, (A)ttainable, (R)elevant, and (T)ime-bound. I’ve talked about S.M.A.R.T. goals a couple of times here at MyPathToRealEstateWealth

A SMART goal would be: Add 14 Doors to my rental portfolio by purchasing another duplex every other month for the next 12 months. We have outlined a Specific goal 14 Doors, which is quite measurable, by breaking it down to 1 duplex every other month, we make it attainable and relevant, and then we wrap it up by making it time-bound to a year.

2 – Develop a Routine

Most of the advice in the blog-osphere talks about Mindset Exercises, Motivational Quotes, and daily planning.  I build this all into the same exercise.  I use mind-map software to read a Mindset Article, A Motivational Article, and to build my plan for the day. Here’s a screen capture of a mind-map:

TheBrain Screen Capture

You can see in this screen capture that I can quickly zoom through all of my days, and down at the bottom are quick links to other topics.  With TheBrain program, I can quickly paste links to websites, copy images, write notes, do voice recordings.  A little of pre-thought while setting up your mind-map and the true power of using a program like this is that you can interconnect things so you can categorize you thoughts in the way that works best for you.

TheBrain Screen Capture

The most important thing is to make your investing routine.  The same time every night, do the same thing. While drinking your first cup of coffee, read your blogs, check BiggerPockets, and browse Redfin. Do it over and over and over. I once heard that it takes 45 days to break a bad habit and only 20 days to form a good habit.  Can you commit to doing the same thing 20 days in a row?

3 – Process Your Task

Talk to somebody, write a blog post, keep a journal, post on Facebook, tweet, or draw comic strip.  It’s about mentally reinforcing the things that you have done.  I’ve done something as simple as keeping a text file about properties that I found on Redfin with a quick analysis breakdown on it, and finally transitioned into the mind-map software. If you are in the habit of reading a lot of blogs or news articles or forum posts while learning if you just read it and think “Huh, that’s cool”, and don’t process it somehow you are wasting time.

Did you check Redfin and have a gut feeling? Analyze it.  And then process it by writing it up, or saving your excel sheet and sending it the a Realtor. Processing your task internalizes it and makes you better.

4 – Visually Track Your Progress

Having a system to see what you’ve done is motivational. It is important for everyone no matter which of the learning styles you are to have a visual or physical driver to show your progress.

  • Driving by your first investment house?  Motivational.
  • Putting your first $20 bill on the wall of your business?  Motivational.
  • Excel Generated Cash Flow Chart?  Motivational.
  • Seinfeld Calendar?  Motivational.

I use the Seinfeld calendar.  I took each type of project that I am working on and use different color dot for each.  A blue dot for Real Estate Related Projects. A red for working out. A yellow dot for programming practice.  It makes a beautiful reminder that fulfills the need to see progress on projects that you may not feel like you are getting anywhere with.  You could do something as simple as a colored dot for each day that you read a real estate blog, or book.  A learning color.  Add a second color when you go deal shopping. Do you already own property but want more? Use an excel spreadsheet with an amortization graph to get inspired.

Simple Net Worth Chart
Net Worth Chart

5 – Reflect

No matter how you get done what you get done.  You need to go back and reflect. Goals don’t do you any good unless you review them and tweak them. Taking classes doesn’t do a lot unless you take a final at the end of the semester.  Setting time aside at the end of the day or before you sit down and turn on the XBox and unwind is going to give you a better of understanding of what you’ve done and really drive that inspiration to keep going.  One of the things that is super important in real estate is having a track record.  Writing down your daily actions is building a track record for yourself.  You’ll find that you build your confidence and build momentum.

What tools have you used that have or haven’t worked in changing your habits?  I believe in self-improvement and I want to see what other have done to make themselves bigger, better, and smarter.

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