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Short on time? Try these productivity tips

Posted by Kaye Stenner on 29/4/18

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It’s no secret that the life of a property manager is not an easy one. But also no secret is the effect that stress, overworking and burnout, can have on your health. We’ve pulled together some of the most popular and successful productivity tips that have been proven to help people work smarter, not harder.

The power of a break

Find yourself switching between tasks? Re-reading old emails? Not able to focus? You need a break.

A break might seem like the least productive piece of advice, but the power of a simple break is widely documented and proven to boost productivity.

When we’re incredibly busy we think continuing to work and not stopping until we finish is the only way to get things done, but this way of working could be doing more harm than good. No break, more often than not, results in a reduction in performance. Meaning that in the long run, you’ll get less done despite working more.

In practice: Take small, regular breaks at work (walk around, get some fresh air, avoid endless scrolling through social media pages) and see if you notice a change in your focus.

Revamp the to-do list

Do you use a to-do list? If so, does it give you clear guidance on what you need to do that day? Or does it look more like a never-ending list? If it’s the latter, then a few simple changes could give you the direction you need to keep on track of your property management priorities.

We all have the same amount of time in our day, so deciding how you should spend it and what you should spend it on is key to successful prioritisation. If you want some advice on this then check out these two words of advice from Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.

In practice: Break your list down into ‘Must do’ and ‘To-do’. Your ‘Must do’ list, is everything you absolutely must do that day. It should be the really important and time sensitive stuff. The to-do list is your list of everything, but what’s left on here will be the stuff that isn’t time sensitive so mark next to it ‘don’t do’ (unless you find yourself getting through your must do list). And don’t forget to tick off as you go to give yourself a boost.

Focus

Are you the company plate spinner? Otherwise known as the ‘wonderful do-er of all things and helper to all people’? If so, then you might be interested to know that it probably isn’t making you more productivity, in fact, it’s been proven to reduce your quality of work. It’s time to try something new, and learn to focus.

This one is easier said than done, especially for a property manager, but if you can plan time in properly and give yourself the focus you need, you might find yourself producing a better quality of work, a lot quicker.

In practice: Reduce the risk of distractions and focus on one important task at a time – get a change of scenery, book out a meeting room, click exit on your emails or temporarily turn off on your phone if you need to, but make a commitment to focus.

Estimate the time

With no strict deadlines in place, we can all be our own worst nightmare and keep dragging out tasks for longer than needed.

Writing a report? Putting together a proposal? Or re-writing the email you’ve been putting off sending? Break each one down into a chunk of time, and estimate the amount of time it will take you to get it done.

In practice: Write out what you need to get done that day and estimate the time it will take to do each task. If you discover that you’ve been significantly underestimating how long your tasks take, don’t worry, you now have a better understanding of what you can actually get done, and much better more achievable ‘must do list’.

Review your day

This one is a quick win and it can be incredibly effective. Enabling you to learn from any mishaps and providing you with the opportunity to fully switch off.

In practice: Find 1 or 2 minutes at the end of your working day to review it. What worked, what you accomplished, what took longer than expected and why. The results – you’ll start to see the areas that caused distractions or the bad habits which are getting in the way. Work in a busy team? Test out doing it together.

Don’t be afraid to say no

This is easier said than done but the importance of this comes down to the 80-20 rule.

In simple terms, this means 20% of your input is responsible for 80% of your outcomes. Focus on the 20% of tasks that really make a difference, they might be the biggest but they will also be the ones that make the most difference.

In practice: Start asking yourself… do you really need to be in that meeting? Do you have to involved in that project? Can somebody else help?  Picture the outcome and whether it’s really going to make a difference.

Take advantage of tech

Property management tasks can be notoriously complex and time-consuming but there are many different types of tech out there that are designed to solve your biggest challenges. From apps to drones, there’s a whole host of new tech on the market, but if you want to start with the basics, make sure you have the right property management software in place.

In practice: Review your processes and the current way of working. What’s causing you headaches? Where are you losing time? Where does your resource go? Do your research, see what other tools people are using and don’t be afraid to ask for a demo.

We hope you have enjoyed our blog on productivity tips in the workplace. You can catch up on some of our other blogs here

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