Discipline Equals Freedom & The Art of Time Management
Discipline Equals Freedom & The Art of Time Management
By: Ward Richmond
Let’s start this off with a quick story told by one of my favorite humans, Warren Buffet:
“When I was sixteen, I had just two things on my mind – girls and cars. I wasn’t very good with girls. So I thought about cars. I thought about girls, too, but I had more luck with cars.
Let’s say that when I turned sixteen, a genie had appeared to me. And that genie said, ‘Warren, I’m going to give you the car of your choice. It’ll be here tomorrow morning with a big bow tied on it. Brand-new. And it’s all yours!’
Having heard all the genie stories, I would say, ‘What’s the catch?’ And the genie would answer, ‘There’s only one catch. This is the last car you’re ever going to get in your life. So it’s got to last a lifetime.’
If that had happened, I would have picked out that car. But, can you imagine, knowing it had to last a lifetime, what I would do with it?
I would read the manual about five times. I would always keep it garaged. If there was the least little dent or scratch, I’d have it fixed right away because I wouldn’t want it rusting. I would baby that car, because it would have to last a lifetime.
That’s exactly the position you are in concerning your mind and body. You only get one mind and one body. And it’s got to last a lifetime. Now, it’s very easy to let them ride for many years. But if you don’t take care of that mind and that body, they’ll be a wreck forty years later, just like the car would be.
It’s what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate ten, twenty, and thirty years from now.”
Warren Buffet is the man. Am I right? His self-discipline is enviable and is known for saying, “We don’t have to be smarter the rest; we have to be more disciplined than the rest.” Keep in mind, the guy still eats breakfast at McDonald’s every morning which basically humanizes him so even if you are Warren Buffet, there’s always room for improvement.
One of my favorite podcasters and authors is retired United States Navy SEAL, Jocko Willink. Jocko’s latest book is titled Discipline Equals Freedom. This is a great read and has become my new mantra and go to hashtag.
Living a disciplined lifestyle is not easy and I’m nowhere close to perfect. Nevertheless, aspiring to continually make small, yet impactful and calculated adjustments to my lifestyle has served me well and the journey continues to be interesting, rewarding and fun!
For me, Monday is Game Day. Waking up on Mondays is similar to how I felt on Fridays when I was in High School and wore my football jersey to class and attended the Friday Morning Pep Rally. Packed with adrenaline and ready to kill it.
I wake up Monday morning in attack mode. If you wake up on Mondays feeling bummed out that you have to go back to work, change jobs. Do something you love. Life is too short.
Here is a snapshot of how I spend my typical Monday in an attempt to manage the precious commodity that is time and work like a beast to achieve my goals in the most efficient manner possible.
Don’t let “manufactured emergencies” weigh you down. Have a plan and stick to the plan. Time block your days to spend time on whatever it is you need to be doing to get to where you’re going!
4:45AM: WAKE UP EARLY
It’s the best. Trust me. If you are not waking up early, you are missing out.
Take some time when you wake up in the morning and fill your heart with gratitude and meditate.
This is how I try to begin every day. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s not.
I use the Headspace app for 10 Minutes and find it to be very helpful with creating and maintaining a meditation ritual.
Once I spend a few minutes dusting off the mind, I dust off the body. I personally like to attend hot yoga class first thing in the morning. In my opinion, there is no better way to start the day.
7AM: ARRIVE TO OFFICE/ READ NEWS/ SOCIAL MEDIA
Driving in traffic is for lazy people. Don’t be that guy or gal. If you are driving in rush hour traffic on a consistent basis, this is a symptom of a much greater problem. As Tony Robbins would surely ask you, “ARE YOU MANAGING YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE OR CREATING YOUR F***ING LIFE?!”
The first thing I do is read the WSJ Logistics Report.. In my opinion, logistics is the backbone of the planet. If you read this report, it will tell you everything you need to know about the economy, real estate trends and politics. It’s the best.
Next, I post something on social media. This is an integral part of my marketing strategy. I try to post something meaningful, motivational or funny every day. A little funny goes a long way!
8AM: SALES MEETING
During this time, I methodically review and measure our team’s business development activities. We track cold calls, meetings, presentations, wins and closings. We also discuss market trends and ideas for improving our win rate. We sometimes crank up “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled and I go on a 20 minute passionate rant about work ethic, discipline and Tony Robbins.
9AM: STRATEGY MEETING
I am a big believer in the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen – something Tony Robbins calls CANI – Constant And Never-ending Improvement.
Each week, our team meets to focus on any or all of these three things:
The purpose of our weekly team meeting is to work to improve these three crucial areas of our business. We analyze what we have and what we need. What are we good at and where can we beef up our game? We might spend a full hour talking about Execution or we breeze through all three in 20 minutes. It really depends on the day but we set aside an hour every Monday to focus on CANI.
As a commercial real estate broker, there is nothing more important than blocking your schedule to allow time for prospecting.
This is critical. I am a 12-year veteran and still methodically prospect for one hour every day.
If you are a rookie in this business, you need to set aside 4+ hours every day – minimum. If you are struggling in your career and feel lost, I can tell you right now what’s wrong: You are not prospecting. Get with the program.
11AM: EMAILS/ MEETINGS/ CONFERENCE CALLS/ MARKET TOURS
This is when the real work happens. Part Therapist/ Part Doctor/ Part Lawyer. Disclaimer: I am not a Therapist or a Doctor or a Lawyer. However, during the hours of 11-3, I sometimes feel like all three!
This is when I meet with people. This is when I listen to and analyze their problems. This is when I get on calls to strategize and problem solve and negotiate.
This is when we go to work and we execute on behalf of our clients to generate tens of millions in cold hard savings. 11AM-3PM is Prime Time, baby. I work hard during this time. I might easily talk to 50 people and fire off 100 emails. By 3PM, I am tired of hearing myself talk and think. Seriously. Dead.
3PM: LEAVE OFFICE
Leave the office before traffic starts.
You know the drill, get out before traffic begins. Driving in traffic is for Sheeple, not People. Don’t follow the heard. You will get slaughtered!
I try my best to never schedule anything after 3pm. Of course, the occasional meetings will come up, and I will return emails and hop on calls as needed but in general, when I can make it happen, I like to be done at 3pm. I am at my best in the morning. At 3pm, I’ve already been going hard for 10 hours.
Depending on the day I will work out again, mediate again or take a much needed power nap!
Rumor has it, fellow Woodrow Wilson High School graduate, Trammell Crow, took a nap every afternoon!
After a brief reprieve, I finish up strong and return all emails and phone calls by 5:30pm from my home office. I love finishing up my day in the comfort of my own home.
5:30: FAMILY TIME
I make my best efforts to switch my phone to airplane mode and put it in another room when 5:30pm rolls around.
This is extremely difficult for me and something that I work hard to do every day. I know that it is crucial to unplug, shift gears and focus on spending quality time with my wife and young kiddos!
9PM: CHECK EMAIL ONE LAST TIME, READ A BOOK & GO TO BED
This may not be recommended by Tim Ferriss or Tony Robbins, but given the nature of my job and my email addiction problem, I check my emails one last time at the end of the day to make sure something crazy didn’t go down while I was watching Barney with my daughter.
After a quick email check, I read a book. I typically read self-help books. They are the best. This helps me go to sleep with a new chunk of knowledge that I didn’t have when I woke up that morning. CANI! I read about 25 books per year. My 2018 reading list, so far, includes Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, Jen Sincero, Napolean Hill, Jocko Willink. Currently, I am reading The Art of The Deal by President Donald J.Trump! No matter what you think about DJMFT, read this book. It is Pure Gold.
Finally, I go to sleep. This takes me about 15 seconds!
Manage your time. It is the most precious asset that we all have.
Speaking of Donald Trump, let’s end this article with a great quote from another US President:
”If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I would spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln
An abridged version of this article was originally published on the DCEO Commercial Real Estate Blog.