Like most people, I have a lot going on. My work life is always busy, and my personal life is just as hectic. I consider myself somewhat of an organized person (I love lists!), but my brain can only process so much and, I’ll admit, stuff slips through the cracks. It’s not always that I’ve forgotten, per se, but I just haven’t made or had the time to complete a task.
Case in point: My dogs need to go to the groomers. It’s been on mind for a couple of weeks now, but I haven’t made the call and set the appointment. Just minutes ago, my phone rang and, you guessed it, it was the groomers. The voice on the other end of the line had perfect timing with her casual, “We haven’t seen Max and Bella in a while.” In just a few minutes, I had the appointment booked. When she asked if I’d like a reminder call the day before the appointment, I enthusiastically said yes even as I wrote it down on my personal calendar. The more reminders, the better … am I right?
There’s no denying we’re living in extraordinary times. “Just keeping busy” has been an often-muttered response to the question, “How are you doing?” But in today’s revved-up, connected world, it seems something demands our attention every second of the day. This makes it easy for things—even something important—to be overlooked.
Many of you (and even your self-storage customers) likely live life in the same hyper-pace that I do. When it seems there’s never enough time in the day to “get it all done,” what steps can we take to turn our sprint into a more of a stroll? Consider the following.
Make lists. C’mon, you knew this was coming. Whether your lists are digital or written with pen and paper, they can keep your tasks organized. It’s easy to forget the dozen or things you need to accomplish via memory. Writing it down not only gives you a visual but helps cement the info in your brain. Also, crossing something off a list is so satisfying. A list can especially be helpful if you’re new to self-storage or there are procedures to follow, such as during a new lease.
Schedule it. I’m sure you’ve heard this one before. Just making a list isn’t a guarantee that things will actually get done. Rather, you need to schedule the time to do it. For example, if you’re looking to conduct more community outreach, you need to plan ahead. Designate a time to make some phone calls, send e-mails or visit local businesses to introduce yourself. If it’s on your schedule, you’re more likely to prioritize it and not procrastinate.
Get help. There may come a time when you simply need another person’s help. Consider ways you can tap into resources in your community. There are always people seeking part-time work.
In addition, tap into technology. Consider a kiosk, call center, management software that can automate tasks, or an access-control app. There are so many great tech tools available today.
Outsourcing is another way to free up some time. You don’t always need to hire an outside company, either. You might have a tenant who’s an accountant, a landscaper or just a handyman. Maybe you have a customer who’s a college student and would be willing to work two-hour shifts here and there.
Be flexible. A self-storage operator’s day is rarely predictable. There could be in an influx of move-ins, a unit door could break, or a storm could blow through and wreak havoc. Sometimes you just have to roll with it. This isn’t an invitation to procrastinate. Rather, be willing to switch gears or re-prioritize—without letting a negative vibe to take hold.
Stop multi-tasking. Yes, has long been a hallmark of a great employee/parent/super human being. In reality, attempting to accomplish several things at once usually translates to a drop in quality and mistakes will be made. You’re also forcing your brain to constantly switch gears. Plus, it’s stressful. You may think you’re accomplishing so many things at once, but what you’re really doing it just working a bit on each, rather than focusing on one task, completing it and moving on.
Learn more. There are a zillion articles, books, blogs and videos on the topic of organization. Schedule (see what I did there?) some time each week to assess where you are—personally and professionally—and where you want to be. Then seek resources that can help you improve.
Finally, give yourself some credit. There are only so many hours in a day, and our bodies and brains can only do so much. The key is to prioritize, get help when you need it and focus on one task at a time.
How do you keep your work life from spinning out of control? Post a comment below or on Self-Storage Talk, the industry’s largest online forum.