March 14, 2012
Get More Done: Time Management Tips for Property Managers
Every day, we have a mere 24 hours in which to rise and shine, get our work done, have a bite to eat, squeeze in a little family time and, hopefully if all goes well, get seven to eight hours of sleep. Or at least, that’s the premise.
But don’t be fooled by the 60-minutes-in-an-hour, 24-hours-in-a-day logic of it all. It’s not uncommon for property managers, whose to-do lists are the stuff of legend, to look up at the clock at 5:00 p.m. and think, “Where did the day go?”
To help take back your day, Property Vista has put together some quick tips for the time-pressed property manager.
Plan Your Day: While it sounds glaringly obvious, it’s so easy to go with the flow, or in many cases, the squeakiest wheel. Take a few minutes at the beginning of each day to make a prioritized list. Plot out what needs to be done, starting with the most important things first. As the day progresses, keep on top of how you are faring. Lastly, be sure to review your list at the end of each day. Time management expert, Peter Bregman, outlines an 18-minute plan for managing your day here.
Eat the Frog: Mark Twain said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” You know that unpleasant task you’ve been putting off? Do it.
Tame Your Inbox: We’ve been trained to have a Pavlovian answer response to the “ping” of the inbox. Merlinn Mann, the author of “Inbox Zero”, a book on how to reclaim your email, your attention, and your life, recommends filtering out the noise– Facebook friend requests, newsletters, forum threads, etc.- as well as scheduling “email dashes”. For the whole series about Inbox Zero, check out Mann’s 43 Folders blog.
Ubiquitous Capture: Use an old-school notebook and pen or a hipster PDA to capture inspiration, ideas, names and those ‘don’t forget to X” thoughts. Then when you are back in the office, transfer them immediately to your to-do list or your computer. Zen Habits has some excellent guidelines for ubiquitous capture.
Mind the Gap: “Gap time” is the time we spend waiting for the subway, in line at the bank, or before a meeting begins. Much can be gained by exploiting those “in-between” moments effectively. Have a list of small 2-5 minute tasks that you can do during this time.
Stop Multitasking: That’s right. Stop. Now. According to researchers, multitasking can reduce productivity by approximately 40 percent. It’s better to focus on doing one thing really well, rather than juggling five things.
Say No: Property managers are “can do” people. It’s natural to say, “Sure, I can do that!” We are not suggesting that you ever reduce customer service or stop helping people out, but rather be mindful when you say “yes” to something you are saying “no” to something else. Do you have problems saying “no”? You’re not alone. Most of us do. Experts suggest using the positive sandwich approach to saying no. Need some more help? Here are 10 tips in the gentle art of saying no.
Learn the Tricks: Talk to people who have more experience than you. What tricks can they share? How do they manage their time? What processes and habits have they developed to save time and energy?
Get Plenty of Sleep: When times get tough, sleep is often the first thing we sacrifice. We work overtime, stay up late or get up earlier to finish off that all-important job. From time to time, it’s inevitable. But study after study shows that up to around 40 hours a week, we’re all pretty productive but, after that, we become less able to deliver reliable, cost-effective work.
Need another reason to get some solid sleep? Studies show that lack of sleep contributes to health problems, as well as reduced quality of life and productivity. So, if you want to focus and work more efficiently, get some sleep! The Mayo Clinic recommends slicking to a sleep schedule, limiting caffeine before bedtime and creating a ritual. Read all the tips for a better sleep here.
Do you have some time management tips to share? Be sure to leave a comment.