To be effective in any workplace, you need to prioritize your goals to get the most important things done immediately, but also be able to have sufficient time to accomplish every aspect of your job. Once you get good at identifying where each task belongs on this list, you’ll be effective in prioritizing your work.
This is a given, however emergencies are the things you absolutely are unable to ignore, but often impede on your day-to-day. Whether it’s a plumbing issue in a unit, a tenant lock-out, or criminal activity in the neighborhood, you weren’t planning for it, but now it’s the most important part of the day. When there isn’t an emergency going on, you should be focusing heavily on projects and organizational changes that can reduce the risk of emergencies occurring in the future. If emergencies happen on a continual basis, then they’re getting too much in the way of your day-to-day work.
Procedural tasks are tasks that you do on a schedule. You know ahead of time that they’re coming and they play a central role in the working of your company. Procedural tasks for a property manager include billing, make-readies, minor work orders, and more. These tasks are usually best accomplished first in the day if there aren’t any emergencies. Once accomplished, you now have the rest of the day to work on projects and organizational changes that improve your business.
In general, a project has a deadline. Projects are tasks that can’t be accomplished in one day, but provide great benefit to the company long term. Projects can be for all kinds of things that benefit your procedural tasks or may help to prevent emergencies from happening in the future. Sample projects might be a new marketing campaign, implementing new property management software, refurbishing a property, creating an event for your tenants, or other projects that improve the organization and efficiency of your work.
It’s always good to do a little research on the side whether it is for building your own skills or finding new tools online that will help your business. Whereas implementing property management software can be considered a project, actually discovering and learning about that software requires research. However, research has no guarantee of providing immediate results. For that reason, it’s the lowest priority on this list. You can’t be researching 70% of the time and working for 30%. Your daily dose of research should probably be no more that 1–2% of each day, if not less. You may be at a stage in your work life where you’re working on to many emergencies and procedural tasks to ever have time to do research. In that case, you might consider doing research when you’re outside of work. Habitual research in small doses can provide powerful insight for improving your work in the present as well as develop your career in the future.