EPMEPM: Productivity

Increase Your Productivity with a Single Focus: Penelope Valentine

Multitasking and following never-ending to-do lists might pose the biggest obstacles to being productive and achieving your goals.

Property management is complex in that there are so many moving parts. You may always start the day with the best intentions to get so much done, but at the end you check your to-do list and it’s hardly shrunk. In fact, I hazard a guess that it has miraculously got longer. If this is you then you should probably read on.

Trying to do everything all at once doesn’t always bring success. It may actually take longer to complete than doing one thing at a time. Gary Kelly, co-founder of Keller Williams and bestselling author, writes in his latest book The ONE Thing that multitasking isn’t fruitful. Success requires long periods of concentration, not scattered swats. If you find the ONE thing, Keller says, everything else will fall into place.

So, as property managers, how do we stem the constant flow of tasks, phone calls and emergencies that all vie for our precious time and mess with our perfectly prioritised to-do list? The truth is we can’t – but we can control how we respond.

1. Identify your ONE missioncritical task for the day. Do first the thing that will make the rest of your day easier. If you don’t do this one thing it will snowball and throw the rest of your day out.

2. Own your time – don’t constantly answer emails and take calls. Make sure you give yourself space to complete tasks and remove the distractions. Absolutely, get back to everyone but on your time. Blocking out 30 minutes to return calls by COB is a much better use of your time than constantly answering them throughout the day. Ask your receptionist to enquire what the issue is and for the person to put it in writing, if that is appropriate. It always surprises me how many emergencies become low-grade issues once they have to be put in writing.

3. Create great habits – apparently, it takes 66 days to create a habit, so for two months practise some disciplines that make you more productive and happier. It might be getting up 15 minutes early each day and exercising, not drinking alcohol (nah…just kidding!), blocking out specific time each day to catch up, or just ensuring you take a break each day and recharge to focus on an important task.

In researching for this blog I found a multitude of articles that back up this claim. The American Psychological Association stated that forcing our brains to switch gears and focus on different tasks means we lose around 40 per cent productivity each day. That is almost half your day gone

In 2017 take stock of what you want to achieve, outline your goals, your focus and your work-life balance. Imagine how great it would be to gain another 40 per cent of time in the day just by thinking differently about how you operate.

As businesses go into the second half of the financial year and the focus is on hitting targets, good principals will be looking to their team to work smarter, not harder, to maintain profit margins. Equally important is the work-life balance you achieve in the workplace.

Property managers who have joined Rent360, an online marketplace for property management, choose the number of properties they manage and the hours that suit them. However, as small independents they must work smart. By gaining greater productivity from changing your behaviour and focusing on each task based on a priority, you may just squeeze more work in a day and not even feel it. How great would that be?

There is growing pressure on property managers to take on more properties, in addition to an ever-increasing workload thanks to things such as continual legislative changes and updates. To ensure that as property managers we are happy, productive and fulfilled with the work we do, it’s imperative to embrace a positive change in thinking and behaviour.

Everyone can become complacent in the way they operate and just come to work to simply clock on the hours. If you are unhappy and stressed at work this will be felt not just by your colleagues but by your owners and tenants as well. It has a negative knock-on effect that resonates with everyone you come into contact with.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.  And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”  Steve Jobs

By simply making a few changes to the way you operate you have the power to change your life for the better. Life is what you make of it, so choose to use your time wisely, focus on one task at a time through to completion, manage your energy and celebrate your successes, no matter how small.

So bring on 2017 and make it the start of your best self ever, at work and in life. Love what you do and it’s never work.

Photo via Visualhunt.com

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Penelope Valentine

Penelope Valentine is co-founder of Sydney-based property management agency Property Alchemy. For more information visit propertyalchemy.com.au