12 Top Tips to Survive a PM Day

Thursday, December 07, 2023

Staying productive throughout your workday isn’t something that most property managers can do. Some are really good at being busy – but not at being productive.

#1 – Take a lunch break.

Most Property Managers see lunchtime as an interruption to their workflow, so instead of taking their break, they ‘soldier on’ eating at their desks and not allowing their minds and emotions time to recharge. This can turn into unproductive afternoons where you achieve much less. Take a lunch break.

#2 – Get out of the office.

Sometimes you just need to leave and go for a walk or go to the coffee shop and just have a break. You’ll come back recharged and able to give more energy to the tasks ahead.

#3 – Go to the gym.

Property management can be mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting so you need to stay fit. A morning workout will give you more energy throughout the day and keep your head clear and your thinking sharp.

#4 – Eat regularly.

Make sure you have something to eat mid-morning and mid-afternoon. You need fuel for your mind to stay productive. Feed it well and realise that it is a fine-tuned machine that will look after you if you look after it.

#5 – Recognise when you are most productive.

Whether you are a morning person or you come alive after your lunch break, know yourself and create your work schedule to accommodate this. Your most productive time is not the time to be taking calls or sitting in meetings. This is the time to plough through your task list.

#6 – Work early or late, but not both.

Let’s face it, you can put all the interruption stoppers in place during business hours and you’ll still get distracted from your tasks. You always get three times more done per hour outside of hours when the phone isn’t ringing and people are not walking in for a chat. Start an hour early and you’ll slam out a stack before the business goes into work mode, or stay an hour later. It’s up to you but don’t do both!

#7 – Multi-tasking is out –task focus is in.

Who said you should be able to do five things at once? The key is a single focus on one task until it’s 100% completed before moving onto the next. Sure, you might be managing five different issues in the same ten minutes, but only do one task at a time!

#8 – Calendar schedule your tasks.

Experts are saying to schedule your tasks into your calendar, instead of following a to-do list. Maybe this might work for you, but given that property management is 50% predictable and the rest is instantaneous curveballs, some things just don’t go to schedule!

#9 – Measure your time.

Make a timetable on paper and measure your 15-minute time-spaces against what you have done. You might have a ‘C’ for calls/emails, ‘H’ for High Priority tasks, ‘L’ for Low Priority Tasks, ‘T’ for car time, and ‘RA’ for road appointments. In any case, at the end of the week add up all of your 15-minute time spaces and work out how much time has been spent on each task. The measure, identify, and then improve on issues.

#10 – Get support from reception and the boss.

Ask reception and your boss to support your regular time out. Remember that explaining why you need your time out (to get faster task productivity so you can go home on time) will result in better support.

#11 – Turn off your notifications.

Go to your phone and switch off notifications to your apps that like to disrupt you throughout the day like Facebook, Messenger, Gmail and the like. Your phone should never get first priority just because it pings! The same goes for your desktop email inbox and Skype.

#12 – Don’t let yourself get distracted!

Facebook, Messenger, or whatever can be a big distraction. The average user looks at Facebook 14 times a day! You need to keep this under control and don’t let distractions rule your tasks. Perhaps check what you need to check several times a day AFTER a task is complete, but NOT during a task.

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