Make Time To Move Forward With Anna Kelley

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TBT 117 | Time Management

The importance of time management in balancing a healthy personal life with a successful career cannot be impressed enough. Time management truly is the key to ensuring that you go into each activity mentally strong and ready so that you can create the best outcome for yourself in every situation. Penny Zenker’s guest is Anna Kelley, a founding partner at Zenith Capital Group and ReiMom, LLC. Anna emphasizes certain techniques that make time management more manageable. Are you having a hard time getting everything you need to do, done? Anna’s tips, tricks, and techniques may be the perfect place for you to start!

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Make Time To Move Forward With Anna Kelley

I’m excited to have Anna Kelley. She’s a dear friend of mine and also made a lot of major changes that I would love for you guys to hear about. She’s a founding partner of the Zenith Capital Group, Apex Multifamily, and ReiMom, LLC. She’s a former top-ranked financial relationship manager for a private bank and began investing in real estate years ago. Anna has purchased, renovated and rented millions of dollars in real estate across numerous asset classes while working full-time. You guys can understand that she’s balancing and she’s got a lot of good time management tips for you. She’s also raising four children at the same time, running around with travel teams and stuff like that.
If you want to learn something about productivity, you ask somebody like this, who’s juggling all these different activities. She’s retired from her corporate career, so she made the plunge to go away from that full-time income into her real estate full-time after creating financial freedom through her rental property investments. That move into real estate, she was able to move in full-time. She has active ownership in, and manages a rental portfolio valued over $60 million and has invested in over 2,000 doors as a limited partner. She actively seeks out the best multifamily investment opportunities for her partners and investors. She is a sought-after speaker and enjoys helping others to overcome fear, increasing knowledge and minimize risk in real estate. She’s also an Amazon number one bestseller. Welcome, Anna.
Thanks, Penny. I’m so thankful to be here and thank you for that gracious and kind introduction.
You’ve been kicking it. That’s what happens. All of a sudden, you look back and you’re like, “Look at all the things I’ve done.”
I pinch myself and say, “The hard work has finally paid off.”
There’s a lot of people who might be new entrepreneurs or a long-time entrepreneur and are struggling with the situation. We’re in lockdown now and everybody’s at home. Some people shut down their business. I wanted to ask you where you are because you made that move from the full-time salary to being a full-time entrepreneur. How is this impacting you in terms of your mindset because that’s a major part of it, and also in terms of how you’re setting yourself up for success?
In terms of just the mindset, I went through 2008 and 2009 and the Great Recession that we had. At the time, I worked for AIG, one of the largest corporations in the country and in the world. AIG ended up almost going under. They had a multibillion-dollar bailout by the US government and I was losing my job. In the span of a week, not unlike what many people are experiencing today, my 401(k) was decimated. I thought I was losing my job. I found out I was pregnant with my third child the same week, and my life was falling apart. At the time, I had a pity party. I cried for days. I had to finally pull myself up and say, “These things are completely beyond my control, but I still have something I can contribute and certain things I can control.” I chose to move forward the best I could one day at a time, taking action steps to try to get myself out of it, and to prepare myself if things got worse. My biggest thing at the time was losing a job.

TBT 117 | Time Management

Time Management: Some things are inherently beyond your control, but as long as you still have things you can control, you can choose to move forward the best you can.

There’s a lot of people who are in that particular situation now. They might have lost their job. They might be down on themselves and on everything. You said something that was important and I say that too. That’s the thing that gives me inner peace is, “I can only focus on what I can control. If I can’t control it, there’s no point in worrying about it,” because that stress just makes you less resourceful to do anything that you can control. How did you come to that? How did you pull yourself out? Was it just reminding yourself that or was there something that helped that to trigger for you?
For me, personally, my faith is a strong part of my life. There’s a proverb that says something to the extent of, “Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow has enough problems of its own. We have enough issues to deal with today.” There’s another one that says, “Don’t be anxious about anything. You pray and you move forward.” I had to realize that anxiety, as much as there is some biochemistry, and I’m not minimizing that, but we have a choice of whether we stay in a state of anxiety. We have a choice to say, “I’m having these feelings. These are real situations that are happening that are causing me to worry, to fear, to be sad and distraught over what I’ve lost, but I also have a mind that can tell me that my emotions can’t see everything in the future. My emotions can’t see the hopeful things and the things that I can do today to get myself out of the situation.”
I knew if I let my emotions overtake me completely and make me cry in my bed for days, which I did for a while, it’s okay to cry and feel and to release and get those things out. You have to be able to say, “I am a full-bodied creature, mind, soul, spirit, emotions. I can tell myself the truth that is counteracting the fears of the emotions that I’m having.” The truth is, for me when I lost my job, AIG is not the only employer in this country. Yes, I was in insurance and yes, I had a very specific job that was hard to duplicate, but I had to tell myself I have many skills that are marketable that I can pivot and use those skills to find something else to do to bring myself income if I lose my job.
Number one, I hadn’t lost my job that day, but even if I had, I had to say and create an inventory for myself. I wrote down on paper, “What can I control now that can bring me additional income and that can help me take one step now to get myself in a better financial position?” I took notes and I told myself, “I am productive.” We talk about productivity. “I have financial acumen. I can run projects.” There’re all kinds of things that you can do now and remind yourself of who you are and what you can do. Who out in this economy today needs what you have to give? I took one day at a time to pull myself out and remind myself of the truth. Feel, but don’t wallow in the feelings and get up and then take action to move you forward. That’s all you can do.
That’s a great exercise that people could do. Take a sheet of paper and put it into three columns. One of those columns is what you can control. Identify what you have. Do an inventory of the skills, knowledge, experience and connections. All of those things that you can control, recognize and that you can be grateful for that you have in your life. In the middle, you put things that you can influence. You don’t have control over it, but you can influence them, and then you have things that are out of your control. I do believe that when you create an inventory like that, it makes a huge difference. I love percentages because it tells you something. Put a little percentage under each column as to where you’re currently spending the majority of your energy and your thought, then decide where you want to. Clearly, you want to zero by the things that you can’t control.
I would add a fourth column to that because that talks about a financial inventory. A lot of times, some people have a strong financial acumen and have a budget. They know exactly what their personal financial statement is, what all their income is and the sources of money they can tap or credit. Some people don’t. They just fly by the seat of their pants with their finances. When you lose a job, you’re forced to say, “I have a certain lifestyle, the money has been cut off.” You have to be able to ask yourself, “What assets, cash or other retirement accounts do I have that I can do something with? What are my expenses?”
Things you can control are cutting out expenses that you don’t need and looking at where you have resources whether it’s your own money or credit resources or retirement, then saying, “How else can I optimize those resources today to cover the cashflow needs that I have to cut my expenses?” For me, without getting into a lot of detail, I had a 401(k). I knew I could borrow from my 401(k), so I didn’t want to liquefy it and take my losses in the market that had tanked, but I could borrow from it. I borrowed from my 401(k) and I bought a four-unit apartment building that would bring me in about $1,600 per month.
Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow has enough problems of its own. Click To Tweet I had a low rate policy. I didn’t have to pay back and I created extra income. For you, it may not be real estate, but you can say, “Can I access those funds to get me through?” Just having the weight off of your needs being met, your housing needs and your food needs primarily, allows you a little bit of peace to be able to say, “Now I don’t have to worry with anxiety every day, what am I going to eat? How am I going to pay my mortgage?” Now I can have the freedom that that part’s covered and I can take some time to think through all the rest of the decisions I need to make in order to get back on track.
Credit card companies everybody appreciates that this is an extenuating circumstance. Credit card companies are giving you 1 to 2 months where you don’t have to pay back. There’ll be no penalty and no fee. All you need to do is say that you’ve been impacted by the quarantine and that you don’t have income coming in. They will note it on your file and you can get that extension. That maybe goes in the influence column. My mom always taught me, “If you don’t ask, don’t get.” You can always ask. They can always say no, but you could ask, “Is there anything that you can do for me to help me out?” Go to people that you’re working within those contexts and see what your bank can do, see what your credit card companies can do. Ask what options you have with your 401(k) or with any of the other investments that you have. This is a chance for us to think creatively and we’re already out of our box, so to speak. It gives us the opening to be able to think differently and ask different questions. Who knows what other things we can put into place? That would be a huge long-term benefit.
Because this crisis is unlike any other we’ve ever experienced, the government is doing things that can help you to weather the storm. With your mortgage company, if you have a federally backed mortgage, you can defer your payments for up to a year. The key is you’ve got to call them and say, “I’ve been affected by COVID-19. I’ve lost my job. I need to seek a forbearance for the next twelve months.” They can’t report it to your credit report. It’s something that the government is mandating. If you need that, take advantage of that, but make sure that you don’t just quit paying things, but that you’re proactive that you call.
Another thing that’s supposed to be coming out, assuming the House approves with the Senate did is, an unprecedented ability to withdraw money from your 401(k) if you absolutely need it without paying the 10% penalty if you’re below 59.5. I’m not giving you financial advice or telling you that’s the wise thing to do, but it’s an option available to you that never has been that you should talk to your advisors about. It’s important to realize what options are out there. Do the research, take some of that time that you’d be crying in your bed and get on and research, “What are my options?” Seek some advice from people that can help you ask the right questions and get through this difficult time.
There’re all these different things that we might not know about. Do you know of any resources or one place that you can go to find out where some of these relief options are?
I don’t. I’m just staying connected. CNBC puts out a lot of information. They’re the ones that put out the thing about the 401(k) right away. They’re on top of what’s happening in the markets and mortgages. You can google COVID-19 federal relief programs because there are some other programs. In fact, because a lot of your readers are entrepreneurs, there is a program that’s supposed to be passed that allows small business owners $50,000 up to $10 million loans. Zero percent interest through this SBA 7(a) lending program that the government is going to streamline because of COVID-19. It will allow you to take a loan if you have any employees. If you’ve already laid them off, you can hire them back.
If you haven’t laid them off, if you promise to keep them employed, then the government will end up forgiving that loan. It’s free money to keep your business afloat. I would stay on top of that. Go to Google, look at the news as soon as this bill passes and call the Small Business Association. Look on their website for the 7(a) loan. That’s something that can help a lot of entrepreneurs that have any employees to keep their businesses afloat. If you don’t have employees, you can still apply for 7(a) loans because you’re affected by COVID-19. You have to stay on top of the news and see what options are out there. Those are things that are coming out that can help a lot of people who are impacted by this virus.
Sometimes when you want to stay on top of certain topics, you can create a Google Alert. That might be something people can do, is put up a Google Alert so that it sends you an email with all the related articles that come on that. There’s something that we can all do to be able to stay better informed. One more thing to put out for the reader is I found this great tool, which is a digital organization tool. It’s called Platstack. I’m not sure if the piece that allows sharing has been released, but you can set up all your digital links.
Let’s say you set a Google Alert and you pull those in, and then you pull those into Platstack. You can also categorize them. What it allows you to do is with one click of a button, it’ll open all of those links at the same time. If you just want to collect them for another time when you’re going to do the research or act upon them, you can collect them there and then it’ll open all of those tabs at the same time. You might use that in real estate for researching different properties and it’s a cool digital organization tool that may support people at this time.
One more thing I thought about is, schedule something on your calendar when you’re down in this time to say, “I’m going to spend an hour researching ways that I can monopolize on these different programs that are available to me now.” Research how you can utilize programs for free money. How you can hold off on expenses. Spend some time cutting your expenses and figuring out what you could let go, that’s not absolutely necessary. If you time block chunks on your calendar, it helps you to keep moving forward and keep reminding yourself that, “Whatever the problems are of today that I’m dealing with in my business, in my family, either through this trial or any other times, I need to spend some quiet time moving forward one piece at a time.” Even if you can only get a couple of actions done a day, block your calendar and make yourself sit down and do it.

TBT 117 | Time Management

Time Management: If you’re not intentional about your personal goals and desires, the tendency is for them to fall by the wayside.

For people who aren’t using time blocking, we can use this to jump into that. I know for myself it’s the same thing. There’re extra things that I’ve got to get done and options to look at, things like that. If you can just do 1 or 2 things a day, it makes you feel better. You know at least you’re moving forward with it. There’s a real recognition of progress and to not putting things off, but to chunk them out with time blocking. That’s probably a resource or a strategy that you’ve used in the past. Is that correct?
I have, but I didn’t get good at it until now. There’re always things you can tweak. When I worked at AIG and I had a full-time job, my day at work was extremely time blocked because we had meetings all day, every day with project management in different projects. It forced me to be very productive at work. When it came to my personal life, I didn’t really have anything on the calendar. It’s like, “Here’s my evening. I’ve got four kids. They’re all in school, in sports.” I have to borrow time every moment that I could get to focus on anything else that I needed to do personally. That was either first thing in the morning, lunch breaks or evenings after they went to bed.
I worked 70 to 80 hours a week literally for twelve years trying to get everything done that I needed to, between my job, my husband’s business that I was helping get off the ground, the real estate and the kids. My work life was very structured thanks to calendars and blocking off my time, but my personal life was not. It wasn’t until I retired and I realized there are so many opportunities and things I want to be involved in, but I was committed to the moment my kids came in the door, I’m wife and mom and I’m not working on anything else that I need to do. I found myself quickly as I think many entrepreneurs probably do. When you’re totally free and your time is your own, you think you can handle a lot more things than you can.
Unless you’re just a slacker. Some people might fall in the extreme of, “I’ve got all this time and I can’t get myself to do anything and be productive.” I was on that other extreme. I’m still taking on too much and because I am, my time is quickly getting away from me. I’m not spending strategic time on the things important to me personally like going to the gym, cooking healthy, having my quiet time in the mornings and doing something to grow spiritually, doing something to grow financially, date nights with husband and friends, those kinds of things. I just made them fit whenever I had the time and I found that I never had time.
You weren’t as intentional about those things. It just happened naturally at work, but you weren’t as intentional about your personal goals and desires, so they fell by the wayside.
I might be for a time. Let’s say I’m focused on my diet and I’m intermittent fasting. My calendar is telling me, “This is when you can eat. This is when you have to cook,” or whatever, but then all the other things, I couldn’t figure out how to stay productive on all the things that were important to me all at the same time. I tended to be unbalanced. I was all-in in 2 or 3 things, everything else fell by the wayside. What I did months ago is I said, “I recognize that I’m still taking on too much. I recognize that I’m still not getting enough sleep because I’m taking on too much. I need to figure out number one, what are my real priorities in life? What are my core values in life?” I asked myself, “Who do I want to become in the next year in terms of as a wife, as a mother, individually and my spiritual growth and in my investing and with my investors?”
Who do I want to become if money wasn’t an issue? What tasks do I absolutely have to do at least once a week, but maybe three times a week or every day to grow in those areas that I say are important to me? I quickly created an inventory, “These are the things I’d like to accomplish in the next year.” I started putting them on my calendar to start out with. I said, “I have a chunk of time dedicated to everything important to me that has nothing to do with my job or with my real estate.” Other than let’s say, I’ve got 500 apartment units, I have to be asset managing them. I’d have to look at their financials. I put in the things that are absolutely mandatory to sustain what I had in chunks of time on my calendar for the week.
I fit in time at the gym, time reading my Bible, time with my children at the dinner table and time with my husband talking to him. I started putting those things on my calendar. I realized I have no more time left and not enough time for all the things on my plate. I had to ask myself, what do I have to give? I either give up more time and spend less time on certain things but still some time to grow or I take it off my plate completely. It helped me to reprioritize and redesign my life to say, “These are the things that I have time for without creating stress and without filling every single moment of my calendar from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM.” I wanted to make sure I had some time on my calendar each day for the free things that we sporadically just might want to do.
You have to create some flexibility. Otherwise, you’re just increasing the stress to have to do everything instead of being cool.
You have to have time for fires because every day has its fires and challenges. I used to have these great to-do lists and these great lists of things I wanted to accomplish, but I just each day sat down and said, “These are urgent. I’ve got to do the urgent first. Here’s the important, so I’ve got to do important next.” All the other nice to do, as time permits, that were on my calendar never got done. I was good at the urgent and the important business-wise and family-wise, but all of the other nice things that were great ideas and desires that I had for my life, my family and my job rarely got done consistently. By going through the process of putting everything on my calendar, it’s a real eye-opener to say, “I still have way too much on my plate. I’ve got to start backing off and reprioritizing.”
It helps you when you do that because I’ve done that for a number of people. We went through that exercise, just write everything down, put it on your calendar and then see that it’s unrealistic. It helps you to give you permission to decommit to things. “Not now,” doesn’t mean that you’re never going to do it. It just not now and take it off your plate. It gets you clear on what’s a priority and what is not. It’s important to relieve that stress of not having to feel like you have to do it all when you take that off and take it away.
The other thing that I started realizing is it forced me to say, “How much time do I spend on each of these items, each of these categories that I need to grow in? How much time do I need to spend on it?” Maybe I was telling myself, “I have to work out one hour every single day, five days a week.” If I didn’t do that, I felt guilty because I had the movement off my calendar to put something in its place. I had a saying, “Can I grow in my health by working out three days a week and cooking a healthy meal three days a week?” “Yes, I can grow.”
Instead of seeking perfection and everything like, “I’m going to lose 50 pounds so I must spend one hour a day meal prepping and one hour a day at the gym and one hour a day shopping,” suddenly three hours of my day are overwhelmed because I have this number goal that doesn’t mean anything. I started reframing my thoughts toward, “I need to grow in these areas. I don’t have to reach perfection.” In some areas, I might not reach a particular number goal or number on the scale or whatever. Some people in real estate say, “I want 100 more units this year.” Why? What’s the magic thing about 100? If I’m going to kill myself and work 80 or 90 hours a week to reach 100, but it’s not going to bring substantial joy, why do I have that lofty goal?
If you block chunks of time on your calendar, it helps you to keep moving forward. Click To Tweet I pattern my life that these are the areas that I want to grow, how much time a week do I need to spend to have some substantial growth in that area that I can be happy with and still have a work-life balance with my time? I just chunk times for growth. For example, I might have one hour on my day that says, “I’m going to grow by buying additional assets.” I have one hour a day that I’m looking at deals, but I no longer have the pressure that I have to find this many units. It’s just I need to do something for one hour that I am completely dedicated and focused on. Nothing else I do or think about is happening other than I am taking actions to take off whatever’s on my to-do list or whatever opportunities are there that are going to help me to move forward in finding another deal.
My time blocking is now for growth in an area rather than, “I must call this person today at this time.” This is my hour that I can make networking calls. In that hour, I had to say, “Who in my network do I need to talk to? Who in my network is going to help me move forward or I can help move forward?” That hour is where I will put them that week. If I can’t fit them in that hour that week, then I have to schedule them for another week or another week, or I have to say, “What do I have to give up if I now put them in a spot that I had dedicated to something else?” It makes you strategically think about, “If I put somebody here and this is what I was supposed to do, where else can I do it and what priorities can I drop?” It’s helped me completely to have peace in my scheduling.
You talked about blocking a category for growth. You and I think a lot alike. That’s why I say it’s about thinking and acting more strategically. That’s how we set the right priorities that are going to get us results. That’s how I tell people to time block too. I tell them to block categories. If you’re going to plan your week or you’re going to plan your month, you’re going to plan your categories of work, of play, of those things that you want to accomplish. When you get to that day, you can identify what’s the most strategic thing that I can do now to move that goal forward. I want to point that out for people and I love what you’re saying. I have a whole course on that to teach people how to think that way. It is a different way to think than just scheduling what’s on your to-do list. It gets you not as focused on the to-do because it might end up not being the most productive thing to do or the highest priority.
That’s something that I heard you talk about, thinking strategically about that time. I didn’t always. Sometimes it was like, “I got to do this,” but when you think strategically about what you need to do in that section of time, it allows you to ask the right questions before you even sit down with that session and say, “I have one hour now that I can move forward and grow in this area. What are the things that I have to do? What is the best use of my time for this hour? What use of my time for this hour is going to move the needle the furthest rather than just taking off another thing that I can say that I accomplished?” It just makes you say, “Not only is this time dedicated to this but then at the start of each section of time, sit down and ask yourself, ‘What is the value of my time? What can I do now to move forward for the maximum amount of growth?’ The other little things I have to do, let’s put those things off until the next time that I have dedicated to work on this particular issue.”
We’re in total alignment in that. I’m excited that you shared that here because I say it in a different way. The more times that people can hear that about the way that they’re looking at their time and how they’re sitting down to plan, it is the key. At the end of the day, that’s what enables you to reach those goals. I am a big fan of setting big goals. That’s where we might differ. I believe in set it and forget it. It can’t be this stressful focus, but I believe when we set big goals, it makes us get outside of our regular way of thinking. It might be that you can’t continue doing things the way that you’re doing them now to reach those goals. If you try, then you stress yourself out, then you don’t have that balance and everything. What if you decided to take a look at everything and see, “I can reach that, but I have to do things differently. This is how I would go about doing it.” I believe it just stretches us outside of our comfort zone to think differently. A lot of times to reach big goals, that’s what it takes is to step into the thinking of somebody else or your future self.
In the corporate world, in business management, consulting and project management, I’ve gone through every goal-setting course in the world and walked companies through it. I do understand the power of setting big goals. Where those types of programs stop short is when you’re looking at setting, let’s say the bad goals, big hairy ass goals. You’ve got those goals, but if you have one of those that stretch your time and your resources so much, and then you’ve got one for family, health, business and then for everything else. At some point, you have to realize, if I’m stretching myself so thin by shooting for the moon in every single thing that I have to do, you can’t. In one category, maybe you do great, but in the other, something’s going to give because you only have so much time in a day.
Yes, set big goals and strategically make sure that when you’re working on those goals, you’re putting in maximum effort, strategic effort. You’re maximizing that time, but also be realistic with yourself. Sometimes when we set these big goals, we set a number goal that we think is in alignment with what’s important to us, but if we step back and say, “At what cost?” you have to ask yourself, number one, “How can I do it, but at what cost am I willing to sacrifice other things so that I can utilize all of my brainpower and my time in achieving this goal?” The reality is, I don’t think many of us sit back and say, “Have I counted the cost personally, relationally and with my stress level of pushing so hard at so many different things so that I can feel like I’m accomplishing great things in every area of my life?”
Most of us high achievers would say, “We’re stressed out,” or things personally may not be going well even though your business goals are absolutely on fire. When I say, “To have goals toward growth,” what I’ve said to myself is, “I know I can achieve and I am a high achiever. I know I think strategically and I know how to maximize my time, but I’m still taking on too much.” I’m reevaluating goal setting to say, “Before I set a goal, I have to be able to say, ‘Can I count the cost and what do I have to give up in order to put all my resources to achieving it?’” It allows me to have a little more balance and perspective of, “Is this goal as important to me as I think it is? What am I willing to give up to get it?” If I can’t be a jack of all trades and a master and excel in all of them, how can I have 1 or 2 areas that I’ve said are the most important to me in my life and who I want to become this year, give it all I’ve got but still leave time for growth and all those other areas where I just need some forward movement where I don’t have to be like superwoman at all of them.

TBT 117 | Time Management

Time Management: Set big goals and strategically make sure that when you’re working on those goals, you’re putting in the maximum strategic effort.

In any context, if you’re going to set these big hairy audacious goals across every area of your life, that’s unrealistic and unsustainable. Usually, it’s one area but at what cost? You can dial it down or make sure that you’re making it fit in with the other things that are important to you rather than ending up that you’re having a heart attack because you’re not taking care of yourself. You’re divorced because you didn’t spend time with your family. It sounds to me like that reevaluation, for you and hopefully for those people who are reading because this is a great time to reevaluate your goals and what’s important and why it’s important, is to understand what it is that you want and why you want it into a purposeful, intentional plan.
That’s why my definition for SMART goals is there’s a cost element in there. It’s definitely being specific because we need to know specifically what we want to reach. Measurable but then I have accountable because we need to also make sure like scheduling is accountable for something or ways to make yourself accountable. R is the risk. It’s what’s the cost and evaluating that whole thing. Do you want it? The T is also time-driven. I changed some of those letters. I also added the I at the end, SMARTI. It’s about why is it important to get connected? That’s in alignment with what you’re talking about. Are there any tools that you use specifically that support you in the area of time blocking that people might be able to take advantage of?
I’ve tried to simplify. When we talk about all these different things, I have many apps, technology and tools. For the stuff that I’ve got to look at constantly all day long, Google Calendar is what I use. I’m an Android user. I’m not sure if you can use the same with iPhone or just an iCalendar. I use my Google Calendar. I go in and I color code my time blocking. I know if it’s red, I have to be somewhere. I know if it’s green, my kid has to be somewhere. There’s certain color-coding that helps it jump out at me that even if I’m just looking at a glance, I can say, “I’ve got to be somewhere this afternoon. I better jump off,” or something. I use Excel a lot. I have all of my goals for the year and the things I want to accomplish. When I’m sitting down and looking at my Google Calendar, I’m referencing and opening up my Excel worksheet, which has my whole life on it that says, “These were the goals that I had for myself this week, this month, this quarter and this year to grow in these areas.” It helps me to visualize along with my calendar what I need to be focusing on. Those are my two primary tools that I use every single day all the time.
Everybody knows that you don’t need a lot of tools to manage the things that you’re doing. The main tools, the calendar, email, Excels, they’re all available pretty much on the basic package of your computer so you don’t need to go overboard. I also have lots of different apps, but I only use a couple of them all the time.
I like Evernote or some similar note tool because the other thing that used to frustrate me and take a lot of time is I’d write notes in tons of different notebooks and notepads and then it couldn’t find them. By having everything on your phone in a note, you have a thought that, “I need to do this,” put it on your Evernote or add it to your calendar to pop up and remind you tonight that you’ve got to do this. I used to remember everything. I didn’t write a lot down or I wrote it down and lost it, which created some lost productivity for us because we didn’t show up for an appointment somewhere. Making sure that you write everything down in a place that is going to stare at you every single day will help you to not forget the things that are important.
Ask the right questions even before you sit down for a work session. Click To Tweet With the use of audio where you can hit a button and just say it and it’ll automatically go to your Evernote. If you’ve got Alexa at home, you can do integration by telling Siri or Alexa. No excuses. It’s easy to get it out of your head. Thank you for sharing your experience, knowledge and story. It’s inspiring and also educational for people who are not sure what’s coming next. I believe that this interview and your story will help them.
Thank you so much. It’s my honor and privilege to be able to help other people. Keep doing what you’re doing. I love the productivity hacks because I’ve learned if we don’t do something to take control of our time and our money, our time and our money will take control of us. That’s something that I’ve learned through being an entrepreneur or working in a company. We’ve absolutely got to take back control of the things we can and that’s our time and money.
Thank you all for being here. I’ll see you in the next episode.

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About Anna Kelley

TBT 117 | Time ManagementAnna Kelley is the founding partner of Zenith Capital Group, Apex Multifamily, and ReiMom, LLC. She is a former top ranked Financial Relationship Manager for a Private Bank, and began investing in real estate 20 years ago.
Anna has purchased, renovated, and rented millions of dollars in real estate across numerous asset classes, while working full time and raising 4 active children. She recently retired from her corporate career, after creating financial freedom through rental property investing. She has active ownership in and manages a rental portfolio valued over $60 Million, and has invested in over 2000 doors as a limited partner.
Anna actively seeks out the best multifamily investment opportunities for her partners and investors. She is a sought after speaker, and enjoys helping others to overcome fears, increase knowledge, and minimize risks in real estate. She is also an Amazon #1 Best Selling Author.

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