THE DAILY JUG­GLE

BEY­ONCE, OPRAH and Bran­son all have the same 24 hours in a day that you do, but as a prop­erty man­ager what has changed in re­cent times are the ex­pec­ta­tions of what you are able to get done in a day. Heidi Walkin­shaw re­veals how to re­think the con­stant mul

Elite Property Manager - - Contents - Heidi Walkin­shaw

As a con­sul­tant, the num­ber one com­plaint from prop­erty man­agers, and even my col­leagues, is that there are never enough hours in the day. I hear the word ‘busy’ so much that it al­most seems to be a state of mind.

I am al­ways curious about new tech­nol­ogy that is out there to as­sist in re­duc­ing stress and in some cases to im­prove ser­vice lev­els to the cus­tomer; how­ever, be­fore we con­sider that we need to look at some ini­tial hur­dles.

We of­ten find that, when it comes to new tech­nol­ogy, there is a hes­i­ta­tion to im­ple­ment some­thing new as ‘there isn’t the time’. How­ever, the medium- to long-term ben­e­fits of im­ple­ment­ing new ef­fi­cien­cies can as­sist in in­creas­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity lev­els. The de­mands of the con­sumer are con­stantly in­creas­ing, and by ig­nor­ing the in­evitable you risk be­ing left be­hind the rest of the pack.

When we talk about time man­age­ment we of­ten mean the tips and tricks to as­sist in in­creas­ing how much we can fit into a day. How­ever, as I’m cur­rently study­ing for a psy­chol­ogy de­gree, I like to look at it a lit­tle dif­fer­ently th­ese days.

Some­thing that of­ten gets over­looked when we are talk­ing about why we get stuck in this time rut is the brain. We of­ten for­get about it be­cause we switch over to au­topi­lot. We for­get that we need to be the pilot, oth­er­wise we will crash.

This got me think­ing about how the brain fac­tors into how well we man­age our time.

Did you know that most peo­ple have an av­er­age of around 60,000 thoughts per day? Many of th­ese are au­to­matic processes that we aren’t even aware of, and then on top of that is in­tent thought. Com­bin­ing the au­to­matic thought with the in­tent thought at over 40 thoughts a minute, it’s no won­der we for­get things and feel stressed. Our brains are on in­for­ma­tion over­load! And with the age of tech­nol­ogy, we are al­ways switched on.

‘MULTI-TASK­ING’ IS A MIS­NOMER

While we are try­ing to get so much done, we of­ten switch to multi-task­ing, hop­ing that will help to solve our prob­lems faster. Sta­tis­ti­cally speak­ing, only two per cent of the pop­u­la­tion can multi-task

ef­fec­tively. The brain doesn’t ac­tu­ally han­dle si­mul­ta­ne­ous tasks well and neu­ro­sci­en­tists have found that it should be re­ferred to as ‘switch man­age­ment’.

Ev­ery time we switch be­tween tasks, the brain goes through a stop/start process. Rather than sav­ing time, it ac­tu­ally costs time, is less ef­fi­cient and we make more mis­takes. It can also sap our en­ergy. When it comes to multi-task­ing, it has been found to lower pro­duc­tiv­ity by 40 per cent while also low­er­ing IQ by 10 points.

I chal­lenge you to elim­i­nate multi-task­ing and in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity in your day. Give it a try; you might be surprised!

‘YOU’ MAN­AGE­MENT

When we talk about manag­ing your time, what we re­ally should be call­ing it is ‘You’ man­age­ment. Given that we all have the same num­ber of hours, it comes back to how well you man­age your tasks, your sched­ule and the time that you have on this earth.

So given that this is all about you, it is im­por­tant to un­der­stand where you spend your time and what is sap­ping your pre­cious hours. We of­ten sug­gest us­ing a time log to track your weekly move­ments. You can try the old-school ap­proach – we have a great lit­tle tool for that – but there is also an app to an­a­lyse your time processes. Res­cue­time can as­sist in track­ing your move­ments on your elec­tronic de­vices and re­port­ing back where you have been caught up in processes.

When you are un­der­tak­ing a task like a per­sonal time log, the only per­son that you need to be an­swer­able to is you. If you want to get se­ri­ous about find­ing more time, you need to be bru­tally hon­est about where you are spend­ing your hours.

Should you choose to go through this process, sit down with a friend or men­tor – some­one who can hold you ac­count­able – and ask your­self: are th­ese tasks help­ing me get to where I want to be, or is there any­thing that I need to change?

Once you have iden­ti­fied where your hours are be­ing spent, it’s time to start plan­ning your day. Work out the po­ten­tial to ad­just your cur­rent sched­ule or im­ple­ment a new one, and ar­eas where ef­fi­cien­cies can be im­proved.

If you feel that you don’t have time and are feel­ing stressed, then some­thing has to change. Try­ing to cope can be­come a jug­gling act and we need to train our brains in manag­ing our­selves. Once we have done that, we can be­gin to look at where we can be­come more ef­fi­cient and max­imise what pre­cious hours we have.

EV­ERY TIME WE SWITCH BE­TWEEN TASKS, THE BRAIN GOES THROUGH A STOP/START PROCESS. RATHER THAN SAV­ING TIME, IT AC­TU­ALLY COSTS TIME, IS LESS EF­FI­CIENT AND WE MAKE MORE MIS­TAKES.

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