EPMEPM: Productivity

Don’t Stress!

The pressures of being a property manager can take a heavy toll on your efficiency and your health. Marianne Hynes takes a look at some of the things you can do to lower your stress levels and get more productive.

I’m sure it’s fair to say that being a property manager can be pretty stressful. You are constantly juggling multiple tasks, including managing your owner’s expectations while providing a duty of care to your tenants, being a key liaison, managing staff and more. And just to add a bit more complexity to your role, there are always safety concerns both in and out of the office. I’m exhausted just thinking about it! So how do you manage on-the-job stress?

Firstly, It is Not All Bad
Stress. We are all way too familiar with it. Approximately 75 per cent of adults experience moderate to high levels of stress, and although it can have negative connotations not all stress is bad. It is actually a natural physical and mental response designed to help us cope effectively with emergencies. Among other things, stress makes our bodies produce chemicals that raise our heart rate and blood pressure and increase mental focus. This helps us perform better in challenging situations — but only over short periods of time.

Which One are You?
While stress is a normal part of life, everybody handles it differently. I am sure we all know someone who doesn’t handle stress so well – think ‘crazed bunny’! Then there are the ‘cool cats’ that handle it better –appearing cool, calm and collected, or the duck, gliding effortlessly on the surface but under the water paddling like mad. Despite the different ways we show stress it is something we all have to live with to varying degrees. The problems arise when stress is regular and doesn’t let up.The chemicals released into the body build up and cause changes that damage our physical and mental health. Stress left uncontrolled can wreak havoc on our wellbeing, and can have a negative impact on our performance.

The Negatives of Unmanaged Stress
Highly stressed people are at greater risk of a multitude of health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, hormone imbalances, cancer, diabetes, depression and anxiety, fatigue, obesity, and musculoskeletal pain. It has also been linked to increased risk of accidents. Similarly, stress also has a negative relationship with our satisfaction with work. Highly stressed employees incur productivity losses more than those with normal levels of stress. It can also mean a high turnover of staff, which is not good news if you are the owner of an Agency. All these factors have direct and indirect costs that can ultimately reduce overall effectiveness and productivity for businesses.

Symptoms to Watch Out for

  • Problems with concentration
  • Moodiness
  • Easily frustrated
  • Feeling angry or irritable
  • Anxious
  • Frequently feeling tearful
  • Low self esteem or lack of confidence.

Managing Stress
The good news is that stress is very manageable. ‘Knowledge is power’, and the more you understand about stress and its effects on your body, the better equipped you will be to manage it. Like you, I too have experienced some extreme periods of stress, and while a full-bodied Shiraz has provided me with some initial relief, it is unfortunately not a long-term solution, so exercise and a healthy diet are now also part of my life (and the wine too, of course). Here are some tips:

  • First and foremost try and identify the source of your stress. Is it something you can change?
  • Look after yourself by caring for your health and wellbeing. No surprises here – a healthy diet and exercise plan will do wonders for your stress levels and sense of self-esteem.
  • Most of us love a drink, but drink alcohol moderately – no need to say more on this point.
  • Get right by writing – there is a belief (which I share) that buried emotions can sometimes be so strong that if they are not given an outlet the mind expresses them through the body in the form of aches, pains and illness. So give your stress a healthy outlet and get writing, and it is less likely to be expressed in the body. Keep a journal or write a letter that may never get sent.
  • Embrace your “inner zen” – meditation, yoga and walking are all fantastic ways to calm the mind and the body.
  • Talk to someone – as the expression goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. Studies have shown that people with supportive social relationships are better able deal with stress than those with no one to share with.
  • Give someone an outlet – if someone close to you is having a stressful time and you want to know how to support them, sometimes just listening and allowing them to talk will be enough.

The Price you Pay
Directly and indirectly, stress costs individuals and businesses from both a human and a financial perspective. It is well worth your while, therefore, to take preventive measures to protect your health and wellbeing from the potential harm of unhealthy stress levels. If you are a business owner, ensuring you provide a healthy workplace for yourself and your employees will reap rewards in the long run. Successful businesses are likely to be those that are successful in maintaining and retaining a workforce characterised by good physical, psychological, and mental health.

Remember, you only have one life so be pro-active in taking care of your mind and body. I think the Dalai Lama summed it up perfectly when he answered a question on what surprised him most
about humanity:

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die and then dies having never really lived.”

Marianne Hynes is an experienced Sales Coach who has successfully coached multi million dollar pursuit for various Fortune 500 companies across most industries. She is currently studying Psychology and has recently completed a report on the impact of sleep on high performing people.

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