The burnout rate in the real estate industry is eighty-five percent in the first five years. That is, only fifteen percent of professionals last any longer.
And while the remaining class, as a whole, is made up of unique individuals from all walks of life, practicing entirely different business models, there are distinct characteristics that encompass the group in its entirety.
Most notably, the income level of the those that last more than five years is, on average, four times greater than those that do not. It’s a perfect observation of the Pareto principle (80/20 rule) at work.
On the surface this makes perfect sense. I mean there are few truths more discouraging than making a quarter of what your colleagues do. But peeling back the layers reveals a lot more about the differences in these two constituencies, primarily that there are fewer than you might expect.
The truth is, there are very few variations in the natural abilities of the combined groups. And more importantly, according to a yearly survey conducted by The National Association of Realtors, industry professionals work an average of forty hours per week regardless of their level of production. The variations lie primarily in consistent habits and belief systems. These divergences combine to create an indisputable distinction: The difference between those that make it and those that don’t is the way in which they use their time.
It’s commonplace, in today’s lightning-paced social atmosphere, to find agreement in a mutual lack of time. We tell ourselves there are never enough hours in the day; convince ourselves that we’d certainly attain whatever goals we set forth if we could only find the time. But if we’re really honest with ourselves this is rarely the case. A more accurate depiction of our relationship with time is that there’s more than enough of it and we have poor management skills.
If you’ve ever told yourself that there aren’t enough hours in the day, try standing still for twenty-four straight. The truth is the day is long as shit, we’re just not productive for most of it. In turn, it’s those that utilize it most efficiently that realize the best results.
As far as polishing your time management skills, there are a myriad of different books that offer tools that can sharpen that part of your skill set. I’d recommend The One Minute Manager, Eat That Frog!, and First Things First. But if you’re looking to make an immediate change in your capacity to accomplish your daily tasks, let me offer a piece of advice that will radically enhance your abilities.
Wake up earlier.
I know, it’s like where does he come up with such amazing insight?
Here’s the thing: most of what we do from the evening on either isn’t that important or has no relevant correlation to a specific time of day. Meaning it can be done whenever. And I don’t mean to be insulting, I’m speaking from a purely empirical standpoint. In the very plausible scenario in which you are not, in fact, a vampire, there are very few reasons that you cannot accomplish the entirety of your daily tasks during general waking hours.
Beside the fact that countless studies have shown that rising earlier leads to better sleep quality, healthier dietary habits, lower stress levels and heightened levels of productivity, it doesn’t take a rocket Scientologist to understand why getting up early rather than going to bed late helps you get more done.
It’s time for us to admit that using Snapchat filters to give ourselves animal faces and binge watching Westworld isn’t getting us any closer to wherever it is that we want to be. But that’s pretty close to the level of pertinence of just about everything we stay up late doing.
Of course I’m generalizing, but the underlying point is that there’s not much we can accomplish in the wee hours that’s restricted to us at any other point in the day. Attempting to burn through important tasks late at night is to put our least effective selves on the job by working in our least productive state: If you need something done effectively, don’t ask the guy who’s about to end his shift. Ask the guy just starting his.
The first inclination of the early riser is not to spend the better part of an hour Facebook stalking people and making dope Spotify playlists to listen to in the shower. Those that wake at dawn do so with a purpose, a tone that resonates consistently throughout the day.
But what if you’re just not a morning person? What if you just don’t operate as well before the sun is up? Surely there’s some sort of genetic predisposition people have that makes them night owls rather than early birds.
Stop it. There isn’t. Training yourself to get up early is far from difficult if you’re willing to commit to a few mornings of discomfort.
Pretending you’re not a morning person is basically the same thing as saying “Hey, I’m kind of a pussy.”
Well, from your lips I suppose.
It’s time to start using yours more efficiently. Commit to making yourself as effective as possible with what you’re allotted and that begins with giving yourself the benefit of your most productive states.
You’re a stone-cold badass and you deserve to be at your best. I believe in you. Now go forth and do something great.
If you need me don’t reach out too early, I’m not up until 5.