You could be self-sabotaging your wealth creation efforts without even realising it! How?
By doing what every other busy person investing in houses does…you multi-task.
Of course, it sounds like the perfect solution. Investing in houses is time consuming, so you double down on your multi-tasking efforts, right?
Should you multi-task?
If you think of yourself as a multi-tasker, you might be surprised to learn that science says it’s impossible.
Psychiatrist Edward Hallowell, MD, a director of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health in Sudbury, Massachusetts said that the mental effort we call multi-tasking is simply an illusion.
Our brains…more specifically the cerebral cortex…is only capable of really focusing on one thing at a time. Says Hallowell, “what people really do is shift their attention from one task to the next in rapid succession. That reduces the quality of the work on any one task, because you’re ignoring it for milliseconds at a time.”
You might imagine that “milliseconds” doesn’t make much of a difference, but a University of Michigan study determined that the time delay between switching tasks can add up to a lot of inefficiency.
You’ve already got a full plate. Job, family, community obligations and now investing in houses. So many things require your attention that it’s a natural impulse to try to do many things at once.
I know. If multi-tasking is inefficient, how can you possibly consider adding investing in houses to your already long to-do list?
- Pair those tasks which require judgment (e.g. talking on the phone) and/or decision making with physical, repetitive tasks (e.g. folding clothes).
Why? Because each of these tasks uses a different part of the brain.
- Get adequate sleep…your brain will thank you.
- Spend less time looking at screens, whether it’s your computer, your phone, or a television…give your mind a rest.
- Spend your time doing more of those things that matter the most to you and you won’t be easily sidetracked from reaching your goals.
- Make a commitment and stick with it. Choose what task needs to be done and do it. You don’t have to necessarily finish it before moving onto the next one, but pay complete attention to each task you choose to do, during the time you have allotted to work on it.
Take for example, investing in houses.
You obviously can’t jump straight away into owning an investment property, you’ve got to commit smaller tasks along the way. Work on each particular task for a set time each day and before you know it, you’ll have achieved your goals.
- Train your brain to really focus. If you’ve ever met someone then straight away forgotten their name, your mind was distracted, not focused on the task at hand.
Work on improving your concentration, staying engaged with the “here and now”. You’ll be surprised at how much this one thing can improve your life.
- When you have a sudden thought come to mind – that has nothing to do with your current task – write it in a central location which you can access at a later time.
This will help you stay focused on the task at hand.
- Separate yourself. Let others know you are focused on something and not to be disturbed. Put your gadgets on silent or even shut them off (if possible) to help you stay focused on what needs to be done.
- When possible, organise all of your similar tasks so that they can be done one right after the other. For example, set aside a specific time to answer all of your emails, social media messages, etc. Don’t work on any of these tasks outside of the particular time segment(s) you’ve assigned them.
- Say no and say it a lot.
You’re one person. Don’t be unrealistic with your schedule or yourself. Do only those things which must be done and those things which add to your life.
If you’ve decided that investing in houses is for you, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by everything you’ve got to learn and to do.
Get help from others who have been investing in houses longer than you and focus your efforts on learning and doing one thing at a time.
Your future self will thank you.
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