What to do when your to-do list hits crisis mode

Property Management

What to do when your to-do list hits crisis mode

“Okay, I’m completely on top of everything on my list. My clients are happy, my dashboard is clear, compliance and auditing are up to date, my newsletter is ready to go, and I’ve already got the next month of social media posts scheduled!” 

… said no Property Manager ever!

All jokes aside, as a Property Manager, you know just how much time and energy goes into staying organised. Sometimes, though, it seems that no matter what you do, everything still piles on at the worst possible time.

If that sounds like you, don’t worry. 

We’ve all been there, and we all know that dreaded feeling. That’s why we’ve put together this useful article with 10 Property Manager saving tips to help keep you focused and organised when things start to go a bit pear-shaped.

Let’s jump straight in.

1. Communicate effectively with your team

When you’ve got a lot on your plate, the simple act of letting your team know that you’re on a mission and you don’t want to be distracted can help you to stay focused while you’re chipping away at your tasks.

Of course, if you’ve got the support staff available, you can always ask them to assist with your tasks as well (more on that in a minute).

2. Prioritise your to-do list

Whether you use Trello, a whiteboard, or good old-fashioned pen and paper, you need to write down every task you have outstanding right now. From the largest tasks through to the quick 30-second emails, get them all out of your head and onto the page or screen in front of you.

Now, do a quick scan for anything that must be completed in the next hour and make that the priority. After that, identify the easy wins — those small tasks that will only take five or ten minutes — and batch them into one section that you can spend the next hour completing.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll feel like you’re gaining some real momentum and you can start to prioritise your larger tasks. Break them down and set some realistic goals around what you can achieve in a day, then make it happen.

3. Embrace delegation

As we said earlier, if you’ve got support staff available, don’t be afraid to ask them to help you with your list. Because in the end, you all win.

Delegate the tasks that you know they can handle, then set check-in times with them for any questions they may have. That way, they’re not knocking on your door every few minutes and distracting you from staying focused on your own tasks.

4. Group similar tasks and utilise time blocking

Batching similar tasks together to complete at once can help you to find a better rhythm as you move through your to-do list.

You can also use time-blocking techniques, such as Pomodoro or Monk Mode, to help you work more efficiently. Simply schedule a time block and add it to your calendar, along with a scheduled break, then stick to that time block like your life depends on it.

You can even schedule a catch-up time where you can take care of any messages or urgent tasks that may have popped up while you were focused during your time block.

5. Avoid multitasking

We repeat: avoid multitasking!

When you switch from task to task, you’re never truly focused. It may feel like you’re being more productive, but the reality is that you’re probably not getting as much done as you think you are.

Try to stay completely focused on just one task at all times.

6. Control your devices

Our phones, smart watches, laptops and other devices are all designed to make our lives easier. When you’re trying to focus, however, they can be quite a distraction.

It’s always a good idea to turn off the notifications on your devices when you’re looking to stay focused on your to-do list.

Of course, you can still schedule a time to check your messages or emails at regular intervals throughout the day so that you don’t miss anything important — just make sure you’re not interrupting your focus to do so.

7. Schedule regular breaks

You’re not a machine. None of us are. You need a break from time to time to recharge your batteries and ensure you’ve got the energy to stay focused for the rest of the day.

Schedule regular food, water, movement, and even breathing breaks.

Did you know that just 90 seconds of meditated breathing can be enough to help get you out of the cycle of automatic negative responses and form a more positive mindset to help with the task at hand? Try it for yourself.

8. Don’t let one task ruin your flow

If you find yourself stuck on a particular task, do what you can, then leave yourself notes and move on to the next task. Don’t put off all your other tasks for a job you just can’t seem to finish right now.

Sometimes, when you come back to a task after taking a break from it, you’re able to approach it from a different angle and end up completing it quite easily.

9. Find a stopgap to use between work and home

Before you switch off for the day, make sure you do something for yourself first to help you slow down and reset.

Talk a short walk outside, listen to your favourite song, or just have a chat with a friend. You’ll be surprised how much this will help.

10. Prepare for the next hustle

Once you’ve finally got through the tasks and return calls, spend a moment to celebrate! 

Then, when you’re ready, take some time to review your systems and resources to make sure you are putting them to work as much as possible. 

For instance:

  • Is it an overwhelming number of phone calls keeping you busy? Try switching on or re-encouraging the use of Client Access and mobile apps.
  • Is chasing arrears keeping you chained to the desk for too long in the morning? Switch on Automation Studio for arrears to send exactly what you want, when you want — without you needing to lift a finger.
  • Do you find yourself spending hours trying to organise, file and access rental documents? Use Document Management functionality to make paperwork simple. 

Get back more time in your day by ensuring your everday tools work harder for you.