Mobile Home Park Mastery: Episode 218

Tricks To Harness Time

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It’s been said that time is our greatest asset as it’s finite and irreplaceable. However, most people do not use their time to its full capacity. In this Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast we’re going to review some practical methods to literally stretch your productive time which, in turn, gives you an important edge in building your mobile home park assets.

Episode 218: Tricks To Harness Time Transcript

I'm 60 years old in human years, but I'm pretty sure I'm 120 years old. This is Frank Rolfe, the Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast. I'm going to talk about different tricks I use to harness time.

Back when I was at Stanford University, there was a guy in my dorm named Nick. Nick was from Singapore. And Nick got so much out of his time. It was amazing. He was a pre med student, he had a perfect GPA. He was also on a varsity sports team. I asked Nick, "How do you do it? You're the hardest course of study at Stanford and you're acing it. You're on a sports team. And you always seem to be able to show up at every dorm party and event. How do you do it?" And Nick said, "Well, I do that you see, because I have erased all of my non valuable time. I've cut it all out of my schedule. I work hard. I play hard. And I don't waste time."

And I started analyzing how much time I was wasting. I was an economics major, and I wasn't in any kind of sports team. And I really started just being curious about time and how we all use our time. I've also started reading books, written long ago, books from the 19th century, early 20th century, to see how people used their time back then. I came to an amazing conclusion that we today get so little value out of our time compared to how people were in the past. In the past, people typically worked about 10 hours a day, and they did it six days a week. Right off the bat, they had 50% more productive work time. And also they seem to be, in their spare time, doing other items. A lot of people were farming, making their own food, taking care of their own agricultural business, or they were in a lot more clubs and different items and church and all kinds of things. Americans today, however, don't put in nearly as much effort.

Let's analyze for a minute how the modern week works. We all know there's 24 hours in the day. And we're all supposed to sleep eight hours a day, that's healthy. And most jobs are eight hours a day, which leaves you a full eight hours a day on weekdays for recreation. So we have 40 hours a week of playtime. But then on weekends, we have no obligations typically besides sleep. So on those days, we pick up 16 hours a day. So the bottom line is the average American who has a full time job, and gets the right amount of sleep has 72 hours of free time. That's a giant amount of free time.

So how do you then start getting your time amplified? And the key is to multitask. Now here's how I multitask my time. That's how I've been able to do so much work, I believe, in my regular working life. I got out of Stanford and started my first company when I was 21 years old. So at 21 years old, fending for myself, not having a salary, not having any kind of safe environment like most people do, who get out of college and have a normal life. I learned to do all kinds of multitasking to make myself more productive.

First thing I love about multitasking is the cell phone. Now the cell phone is an amazing tool because you can talk on that cell phone from really pretty much anywhere. You can talk on a cell phone from your car, you can talk on a cell phone while you're doing something else. The cell phone gives everyone today a 24 hour capable form of production. Didn't have it when I started out. Back in the 80s, they didn't have cell phones. I remember when people first started having car phones installed in their car. And later we had those bag phones, remember those things? Most people don't unless you were working back in the 80s. It was a bag that was kind of in a briefcase. Then we had the brick phones, those giant bricks that were kind of tan colored. Nothing like we've had today and back then to use a phone was very tough. Number one, the signals weren't any good. Number two, they had almost no reception inside of buildings. Number three, they were uncomfortable to carry around. But today we all have a cell phone. So what can you do with a cell phone when you're just out doing your normal life? Well, I can go for a walk for example, and call people while I'm walking. Getting in my regular exercise. I can still multitask that right? Back when my daughter was in sports, I would go out to her events. Let's say she ran track. When she ran track, I'd be out there at the track for four or five hours or more. But the entire time I was able to be productive because I could still call using that time. I could call to see if there were mobile home parks to buy, I could call mobile home park managers. I could call anyone I needed to. I could get a lot of my calling done for the week, while I was already doing something additionally. Very, very highly efficient way to work.

Also the laptop, you've got to love the laptop. Again, we didn't have laptops in the 80s. You wanted to use a computer in the 80s, you would have to carry around, you have to strap your body this 100 pound gigantic instrument. Today, laptops so light, it's just crazy, they're hardly even bigger in some cases than then the cell phones themselves. You can put that thing in your lap, you can be anywhere. You can be at a sports game, might be at a restaurant, there's no limitation to where today you can conduct business on your laptop, build spreadsheets, do whatever it is you want to do, email letters to people, no limitations.

The modern car is so adaptable to multitasking. If you have CarPlay in your car, oh, that's the best of all. You can hands free make calls as much as you want, receive calls. You can carry a legal pad in there just ponder life. I do some of my best thinking while I'm driving. Looking down the road, moving the steering wheel. Heck, I can do one more item, I know, let's think. I'll come up with my plans, what I want to be doing, unlock a lot of theories and mysteries of life.

The other thing you need to do if you want to go ahead and multitask effectively is you have to be very, very good at planning out your day. Every night, I plan out everything I plan on doing the following day in micro minutiae. I have one column which are meetings, I have another column which are calls. So I lay down every single thing that I need to be doing as far as actually physically meeting someone or physically traveling somewhere. And the other column every call I want to get in during that day. And once I've laid all that stuff out, now I'm going to drop back and I'm going to prioritize. So how do I do that? I do that with a highlighter, I have a yellow highlighter. If you look at my daily schedule, you will see all of the key items that I need to get done each day are very clearly highlighted in bright yellow. That way I know what are the key items, what are the key demands on my time, and that's how I'm prioritizing it.

And throughout the day, while I'm doing all these many items, whether making calls or going to meetings, or whatever it is you have, I cross through each item when I get it completed. So I can at a moment's glance, look at my little legal pad and it tells me what I've got done and what I don't have done. And I then, as the day progresses, can then reprioritize my time saying, What are these remaining items is the most critical.

Now I don't always get every item done each day. Some days are more successful than others. Some days, I'll knock out all of the items that require me to meet or travel. But I never, ever am able to complete my calls. Because you see my call list is gigantic. My call list, I don't cross those off. Many of those calls are repetitive calls, maybe calling brokers looking for deals, maybe calling a mobile home mover trying to find someone who can move a home. Whatever the case may be, I only cross calls off when there's no further use for that number, or that person, or that contact. So effectively, that call list over the years is going to be huge. Now periodically, I cull through it, I have a blue highlighter for that. When you get the blue highlighter, that means it's off the list. No reason to call anymore. But until then I'm burning through those call lists all the time.

Now, again, I carry these pads with me. I have the pad for calls. And I have the pad for things I had planned to do that day. And what do you think I do? Well, everywhere I am throughout today, I'm looking down. And if nothing else, I can certainly be calling. If I'm in the car, if I'm waiting for something, there's no limitations to what I can do with that phone. And I always have those lists with me to make sure that I don't say, "Well gosh started this would be a great time to make a call but I just don't know who to call. I don't know their number."  Nope, that's not the case with me. I've got all that right there before me, and I'm ready to go.

The bottom line to all this is most Americans just are squandering time like there's no tomorrow. You only have so much time on Earth. So the key is you've got to grab that time. And you've got to harness that power and see how far you can push it. I'm willing to bet right now that if you keep a timesheet and you use these tricks I'm describing, you will find that in the next day or so, you will get 50% more stuff done than you did prior.

Now of course it takes work. Yes, it takes effort. Planning out your day like that each day, yeah, it's a bit of a challenge. But after a while, you realize that that little extra effort you're putting in each night allows you to do that amazing ballet of time usage the following day. Really, harnessing time effectively is probably one of the greatest traits of most successful people. Why? Because they're improving the odds of success. While most people are only getting out whatever production they can, in a normal eight hour regular old day, those who harness their time are maybe doing two times that level, two times that level of offerings on deals, two times that level of talking to brokers and other people. And in the end, they succeed because they just got more shots. If you go to the carnival, and you get three balls to throw at those milk bottles for $5, but you think you do better with six, or with nine. That's what harnessing time can do for you.

I'm a huge believer in effective time, the importance of everyone multitasking, having no waste of time in your day. And if you don't waste that time, you will definitely be more successful. And definitely you will as a mobile home park buyer and operator. This is Frank Rolfe, the Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast. Hope you enjoyed this. Talk to you again soon.