Consistent Distractions

We take our job very seriously.  We have invested a lot of time and energy into learning our trade and understanding the business.  Naturally we love the design aspect, shopping, checking out properties, educating about creating a healthier earth and watching  home transform.  And it’s critical we understand the systems to doing things the right way and avoid unnecessary risk.  When it boils down to it, it’s crazy fun.

Life as a real estate investor means we live on the fly, how we spend our days often gets made up as we go.  The best scheduled plans can quickly get detoured when a potential deal needs to be accessed because offers are made quickly.  Part of the excitement of the business is the unpredictability and it can also be a source of frustration.  At times we have found ourselves distracted by the excitement and wasting time on the wrong tasks.

Because of the tendency to chase shiny things, we have begun to emphasize improving our systems to implement tasks and routines with flexibility.  This allows us to keep focused on structure while still allowing for unplanned events.  We time block when to work on marketing, communications, renovation tasks, analyzing deals, education and networking meetings.  We keep each other accountable for sticking to assigned tasks and staying focused.  Our business is more productive because of this method.

Keeping in mind the necessity of avoiding distractions, I stood in our construction zone making a mental note of all of the duties which would need to be worked on over the next few days.  Tile on the kitchen floor to be repaired, trim around the windows, installing appliances, paint etc.  I placed a phone call to the contractor to go over what I was seeing when outside the window I spotted a flash of white.  Grateful to have the major part of my conversation completed, my focus wavered from his words to narrow in on the bright spot across the street.  I darted to the window like a labrador retriever and there it was, a small furry ghost on the tree, the neighborhood albino squirrel.  Okay, so we are not perfect.  We can’t time block everything and may still chase ‘shiny things’ on occasion.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
Not the actual squirrel, you would stop to look too wouldn’t you?

Travel Tuesday: Maggie Island

Once upon a time; five planes, one shuttle and a ferry ride from where I am today, I found myself on a rocky tropical island off the Queensland coast of Australia.  If I were being honest, the mystery of Maggie Island was one of the reasons I chose to attend a semester in Australia as opposed to Europe where I had always planned to go.  I can recall my travel advisor reporting:

maggieisaldnkoala.jpgStudents who go to James Cook University in Townsville have the ability to go an hour inland to the rain forest or an hour out the the Great Barrier Reef.  They also can take a 20 minute ferry ride out to an island to spend the weekend.  Maggie Island was named Magnet Island because it interfered with the compass of the ship when it was discovered.

With the promise of endless natural adventures ahead, I headed for Australia and Maggie Island did not disappoint.  Over half of it’s 20 square miles is reserved as a national park.  I learned to scuba dive in the bays, spent hours hiking the rocky trails and soaking up sun on the beach, rode horse back into the ocean, and spotted koalas in OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe eucalyptus trees.  With so much the island has to offer with natural beauty and abundant wildlife, it is no wonder the 2,100 island’s residents recognized the need to move towards sustainable living.  The island embraced the opportunity to go solar and installed panels on many homes and businesses,  the majority of homes received smart meters to monitor energy usage and the island has cut energy during peak houses down by 16%.

Maggie Island has plenty to offer eco-minded travelers as well.  There is a wide range of Eco Accredited accommodations to stay and even more eco-tourism activities to enjoy.  In order to keep the island healthy, they limit where motorized vehicles can go and provide walking tours of the forts.  Hostels and hotels adhere to recycling and minimize waste.  They work to build environmental awareness and strive to minimize their impact.  There are dozens of ways to appreciate the island and with so much devotion to conserving it, Maggie Island will be able to be appreciated unchanged for a long time.

kayakmaggieisland