It doesn’t take much tenure in the property management industry to realize how chaotic and time-intensive things can get. At any given moment, you are being pulled in a dozen different directions and expected to keep multiple balls in the air without allowing a single one to drop.
In order to survive in this field, it is imperative that one develop and maintain stellar time management skills. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and your performance is suffering, here’s how to get things back on track.
Alter your office hours.
We don’t necessarily mean working less. To the contrary, if you modify the hours that you and your team are available to the public, you can accomplish far more in the same amount of time. For instance, let’s say your current office hours are 9am to 5pm. If you change this to 10am to 4pm, you’d give yourself and your team two extra hours each day to work uninterrupted. The working time is the same, it’s just a matter of how that time is spent.
Conduct an analysis.
Keep a diary for a week or two in which you record everything you do throughout the day, and how much time you’re spending on each task. Be disciplined and as detailed as possible. Doing so will shed light on areas of your daily schedule where you may be wasting time, as well as others where you might be able to allocate more attention and more productive.
Prioritize and create a to-do list.
You may think you’ve got it all in your head and can handle things without a physical to-do list, but in reality, you are playing with fire. When you write things down (or notate them electronically), you can prioritize what’s on your schedule. You’ll also be able to stay on track and save time that might otherwise be spent bouncing from task to task or trying to remember what else needs to be done. At the end of the day, anything left on your list can be moved to the next day’s list.
Break bigger goals into smaller milestones.
Working toward a major goal can feel overwhelming. Instead, break these goals into smaller, more achievable milestones that you can spread throughout your schedule. You’ll still accomplish what you ultimately set out to do, but the process will be far easier and much less cumbersome. You’ll also be utilizing your available time in a more productive, effective manner.
Eliminate (or at least minimize) clutter and distractions.
Keeping a clean, clutter-free workspace can make it much easier to concentrate on deep work. Likewise, utilizing tools like property management software can help by transitioning from paper-based to cloud-based. As far as distractions go, set aside time during which you can work uninterrupted. Do not answer emails or take calls during this time. Let your colleagues know when you will be doing deep work and ask them to kindly avoid disturbing you during this window of time. Encourage them to do the same.
Limit and optimize meetings.
If something can be handled with a phone call or email, don’t waste everyone’s time by calling a pointless meeting. For those matters that do require all hands on deck, only invite relevant participants, set a strict time limit and use a detailed agenda. This will allow you to optimize the time spent in the meeting and minimize the time you and your staff will be away from the rest of your work.
In property management, time is a precious commodity. By following some or all of the tips provided above, you can better manage your availability, get your work done more efficiently and maintain a semblance of sanity as your push your business forward.