How to Manage the Real Estate of Your Mind

Business.com / Business Solutions / Last Modified: November 29, 2017
Photo credit: Cienpies Design/Shutterstock

Your brain is an island of precious real estate, and there is only so much of it for lease. Be aware of the amount of time you spend thinking about a topic.

Today, while passing through the office, I watched three of my employees discuss and work through a problem.

For 30 minutes they debated a situation that, if they were able to resolve, would save a net profit of $10,000 to the company. While I wasn't directly engaged in the conversation, I was aware that it was happening and took a (mental log) of the time and importance of the subject at hand.

In this case, it was three brains using an average of 30 minutes to secure $10K in revenue. The variables were easy to measure and correlate: time spent to profit earned. But what about when you spend time on something that the success cannot be easily measured? When the variables are not clearly defined, like the time spent on a single thought?

As a serial entrepreneur who currently manages three businesses and three new startups, it is important for me to calculate the amount of time I spend working on each project. I have always been conscious of using my time thinking about things that will add value. Lately, I've stepped up my game entirely and moved to a new level of awareness. I am starting to not only monitor the time I spend working on things but also the time I spend thinking about things.

Your brain is an island of precious real estate, and there is only so much of it for lease. Try to be aware of the amount of time you waste thinking about irrelevant things. You don't have to be working on a project in order to think about it and add value. When you are just walking down the street to get a sandwich, try not to let your mind wander on thoughts that are not worth your time. Time is valuable. Stay focused and allocate that time to unlocking new ideas that can benefit a business. You may have noticed that some of the most successful entrepreneurs already think this way.

For example, Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg famously wears the same solid gray T-shirts to most public events because, as he told Business Insider in 2014, he didn't want to waste time making decisions that weren't about how he could best serve his community. This same theory applies when it comes to managing your thoughts.

Reserve that prized real estate in your brain for ideas that benefit your business or best serve the community. I firmly believe that in the future, at the end of every day, our brains will be able to give us a report of the percentage of time we spent thinking about each subject. For now, we have to manage that time card ourselves.

One crucial tip to stay focused on productivity is to manage distractions, such as text messages. When you see your phone light up indicating that you received a message, it distracts your brain from doing its job. If I stopped to answer every text message I got while writing this article, you wouldn't be reading it right now.

Last, try to create space in between your thoughts to help you clearly define the amount of time you spend on each one. This is a good way to be aware of when your mind wanders to irrelevant topics and how to get back on track. Your mind is a gift. Don't let your most valuable real estate be leased for cheap. Make each thought count. 

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