If you had to guess at how much time you waste in any given week, what would you say? Minutes? Hours?

It’s an uncomfortable concept. While we all like to believe ourselves above time wasting, numerous studies have found that people waste a lot of time at work every week — it’s normal, but not great for your bottom line.

Real estate professionals are overworked enough without having to worry about hours of wasted time. So what can you do to overcome it?

There’s more advice out there on time management than there are hours in the day. Certainly, you could do with less time spent doom scrolling or playing mobile games, but those are obvious time sucks.

Today, I want to highlight the concept of fake work.

What’s fake work? It’s a broad category that covers all the things that feel productive and useful, but that don’t — and won’t — make you any money.

Some of these things are important, but most of them can be done in short order — or by a virtual assistant — instead of taking up time that you could be using for income-generating activities.

Here are three tips to help you avoid fake work and focus instead on the things you actually like doing — the stuff that makes you money.

Plan Ahead

I’ve noticed that I tend to fall into fake work when my planning is subpar. What I mean is that seemingly “important” admin tasks or the like tend to crop up when other plans fall through or when I have a blank space on my schedule.

I could be using that time to work my Sphere of Influence or prospect. Instead, I prioritize the things that don’t actively make me money, almost by default.

Better planning would largely fix this practice. Using My Perfect Week Scheduler or my Daily Success Habits tracker helps reveal what the most important, dollar-generating activities actually are.

Lead With Revenue

This all really comes down to a question of thought process and perspective: do I view my time as inherently valuable or as something that I make valuable through my actions?

Don’t devalue your time by focusing on things that don’t make you money. If you spend your time doing $20-an-hour tasks — or worse, doing things that don’t help your business at all — then you’ve determined the value of your time and consented to spend it that way. If you want your time to be more valuable, you need to learn to lead with revenue.

Leading with revenue is about valuing your time by focusing on the daily tasks that actually make you money. It’s about cutting out distractions and building pillars of income that support your business through any market.

Report To Someone

Accountability is powerful. Report to someone to avoid fake work.

Accountability is powerful. If you’re on a real estate team, you’ve probably seen the power of accountability in action already. If you’re an individual agent, finding an accountability partner is essential to your continued success.

This could be a family member, a partner, a friend, or anyone you trust enough to ask you tough questions when you miss a goal. This is not a cheerleading position. Having someone to whom you report goals and numbers means that you’ll have a greater focus on those goals and meeting those numbers. 

When performance is measured, it improves. Use that fact to create excellence in your real estate business.

The biggest threat to making your time truly valuable is wasted time and fake work. The first step in overcoming fake work is to recognize it so you can start focusing on the things that actually make you money. When you recognize the problem, you can overcome it. Make better plans, lead with revenue, and create a culture of accountability and you’ll create a greater return on time in your business.

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