RealManage Insight

9 Habits of Extremely Productive Community Association Managers

by Marc Rodriguez, SVP Austin on Jul 21, 2020 8:15:00 AM

It doesn’t matter what part of the country you are in, Community Association Management is a high-stress and fast-paced job. Site visits, Board Meetings, project planning and management, emergency repairs, and homeowner communication are just some of the tasks us managers have to prioritize every day.

With today’s technology all around us, staying on task and avoiding distraction is harder to accomplish than your actual work. This search for a more productive workday has led to a certain misconception about what productivity really is. Being productive is more about checking tasks off of our Action Item List and more about making it a point to do fewer things. Being really productive is all about the “less is more” mentality.  Increase your daily productivity levels by putting these tips into play:

  1. Cut your to-do list in half

    Do you really need those 30 tasks on your to-do list? Take a less-is-more approach to your to-do list by only focusing on accomplishing the things that matter today. Alternatively try to write out your tasks in a more organized way. Start with big projects that require the most energy and attention, then move to slightly less time intensive projects and finally add those little daily to-do's that can often be distracting. It's okay to move around your list as well, do one big, one mid and one small project instead of trying to tackle all of the big stuff first. You can get a few easily made templates for To-Do lists here.
  2. Take more breaks

    Scientific studies have shown time and time again that your brain needs breaks. Whether it's to take a quick walk around the office (or your home these days) or a quick snack, it's important to recharge both your brain and your blood sugar. It may feel like you are wasting time but you're really saving yourself in the long run as burnout continues to be a problem for many workers.
  3. Follow the 80/20 rule

    The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle states that 80% of your results come from only 20% of your efforts. Today you'll hear the 80/20 rule being brought up in marketing efforts and sales conferences because it's been fairly accurate as a way to measure productivity. Try thinking about the things that are the most impactful on your day and focus on those efforts.
  4. Use your morning to focus on yourself

    Start your day out right by ignoring your emails in the morning and getting in a good breakfast, reading the news, meditating, or working out. This will ensure you’ve got the necessary fuel for a long productive day. Not everyone is a morning person and it can be challenging to get up any earlier than absolutely necessary but try going to bed just a few minutes earlier each night and waking up a few minutes before usual and build up to the morning routine you want.
  5. Tackle your challenging tasks before lunch

    Like mentioned above knowing what tasks you have for the day is important, it's also important to know when and how to focus on those tasks to make sure they are completed while you are in the best state of mind. For many people avoiding challenging projects only makes the stress worse as you go through your day. Some people find that by starting with their challenging projects they can manage to complete 90% of the same work just before lunch.
  6. Improve your email etiquette

    Email is a productivity killer and usually a distraction from tasks that actually matter. For example, managers often copy multiple people on emails, but by doing so the email chain of replies begins to clutter their inbox. As a rule, if your email chain goes beyond two replies, it’s time to pick up the phone. If you're interested in some tips and tricks about how to write a professional email, check out our downloadable guide.
    How to Write Professional Emails - Download Now
  7. Create a system

    For those of you who check your emails compulsively, plan a morning, afternoon, and evening time slot to manage your inbox. Otherwise, you’ll get distracted from accomplishing your more important goals throughout the day. It can be helpful to turn off desktop and sound notifications for your inbox as well. It's important to respond to emails in a timely manner but they shouldn't require you to interrupt other tasks.
  8. Stop confusing productivity with laziness

    While no one likes admitting it, laziness is the #1 contributor to lost productivity, and it's not an isolated issue, but rather one that affects most workers at some point in their careers. It can sometimes feel like you aren't getting as much done as you used to or that you just don't have as much energy and passion for your work but you can overcome those lows by ensuring you're taking stock and finding new ways to innovate. 
  9. Stop multitasking

    Actually, we should say stop "trying" to multitask. Various studies on the human brain by both neurologists and psychologists have shown that our brains can literally not multitask at all, what we are actually doing is fragmenting our attention and causing all of the tasks to suffer. Striving to be a good "Task Switcher" is a much better way to go about handling all of the responsibilities you have in a day.  

At the end of the day, as an employee working for a community association, you will definitely face challenges that can derail your productivity. The best thing that you can do is try to follow the above and ensure that the team you have surrounding you is supportive and helpful.

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