Your Journey to Productivity

by Susan E. Weston, CAM, CAPS, NAAEI Senior Faculty, Alpha-Barnes Real Estate

Being productive is an important trait as a leader.

There ARE best ways to make the most out of your day – whether you are a regional supervisor, a property manager, a maintenance technician, a maid or a leasing consultant. Here are two tips in three areas you can use now.

“You can’t let the urgent overcome the important.” Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles

The Secrets of Punctuality

They’re Meticulous Calendar Keepers – Never rely on your memory! Use whatever calendaring app you wish, but make sure you record all meetings, appointments or calls, so you get the pop-up! When a professional says they forgot about a meeting, we all know that what they mean is: “it wasn’t important enough for me to ensure I didn’t miss it.” And if it’s a meeting with a resident or a team member—even worse!

They Expect Delays – Apartment association meeting? A run to the corporate office? I’m a firm believer that being on time makes you unprepared. If you are driving or commuting, double the amount of time Google or Waze says it will take to get somewhere. If you arrive right at the time for your event or meeting, you have no time to physically or emotionally be ready.

“I have to force myself to take breaks,” Belinda Johnson, legal officer at AirBNB.

The Secrets of Master Delegators

They are Very Clear with Instructions – ever had to go back time and time again to a supervisor who tasked you with something, but did not clearly explain how, why, contributing factors, impacts, etc.? Not fun! Don’t be that guy/gal! Explain, ask them to ask questions, ask to repeat back to ensure clarity. Consider a spreadsheet with columns titled: Task, What When, Why, With, To Whom, etc. You get the picture.

They’re the Right Kind of Supportive – Yes, there is the wrong kind of supportive! Think micro-management, accusatory, focused on mistakes. Making errors and slip-ups are part of the learning curve. If you’re delegating – ask what your coworker was thinking. It helps you understand what you might have missed in your instructions.

“Time to think is the scariest resource,” Lorraine Twohill, SVP Marketing, Google

The Secrets of Expert Time Savers

They Combine Similar Actions – Jumping between activities that require different mindsets will slow you down. Like trying to check shop inventory and speak with a technician about a resident service issue at the same time – you’ll likely do neither very well. Bundle like-minded tasks. Don’t interrupt your budget variance reporting by trying to plan a resident event.

They Break Up Big Projects – Three small tasks are easier to take on than one huge one. This is extremely important if you are a supervisor of staff facing some huge project – occupancy, retained residents, make-ready efficiency, work order completion, take over inspections. How do you meet a 5% decrease in operating expense? One half of a percent at a time! Carve up the task into 30-45 minute steps or break the big number into intermediate targets so staff members can enjoy a sense of ongoing completion. Bite-sized steps ensure progress.

These three areas can make a difference for you in your daily duties. Whether it’s being on time and prepared, delegating effectively or completing your tasks more efficiently – the bottom line is your productivity will increase. When you are more productive, you have more time to think creatively – a better way to connect with your residents? A way to get more staff involved in preventive maintenance? A better process to manage social media outlets? Or just a way to ensure weekly staff meetings actually happen and add value to the team’s work experience!