Time Management Diseases and Cures in Property Management (Part 1)


An article by Bob Walters


Time Management Disease Number 1: Personal Disorganisation


  • A messy desk
  • Yesterday’s coffee cup
  • Notes written on scraps of paper
  • Message slips everywhere
  • Is this YOU??

This disease infects 50% of Aussie Property Managers

Excuses not for not clearing your desk

“…but, I know where everything is”

“…but, I do my job well”

“…but, it’s a sign of my personality”

“…but, it’s there to remind me”

“…but, a cluttered desk is a sign of a busy mind”

“…but, I’m a creative person”

“…but, it’s just the way I am”

Perception is everything, what does your workspace say about you?

Personal Disorganisation “Cures”

  • Keep your desk clear of paper
  • Categorise your paperwork
  • Place in labelled folders in a toaster rack, for ease of location when required
  • Designate a place for all pending work
  • Keep your important tools within reach
  • Remove all possible distractions
  • No ‘Post it” type notes are to be stuck onto desks, walls or computers
  • Clear under desk I filing cabinets
  • Throw things away
  • Keep you car clean and free of rubbish
  • Present yourself in a business like manner (dress and behaviour)

Time Management Disease Number 2: Poor Planning

  • If you do not plan your day, other people will plan it for you
  • Their actions will determine your priorities
  • Get your helmet on, because you will never be out of fire fighting mode

Poor Planning “Cures”

  • Plan each and every day
  • Before COB review the day’s activities
  • Arrange tomorrows work in order of priority
  • “Block out” time for key activities
  • Recognise that some of your time will be spent on activities outside your control;

That’s Property Management!

Time Management Disease Number 3: Lack of Self Discipline

The biggest problem property management professional’s face isn’t time management it is…SELF MANAGEMENT

Are you making your own choices OR

Are you allowing circumstances make them for you?

We lose control by allowing small “emergencies” of the moment dictate our behaviour; Instead of following our plans, designed to meet specific requirements of our role....

  • Deadlines
  • Previous commitments
  • Appointments

Lack of Self Discipline “Cures”

  • Prioritise your work
  • Minimise your outside distractions
  • Arrange your daily activities at times that incur minimal distractions
  • Do the toughest tasks when your energy level is high
  • Do one thing at a time
  • Stay focused on the task at hand

Time Management Disease Number 4: Procrastination


  • Uncertain of your skills                                      
  • Fear of failure
  • Lazy or uninterested
  • Often late for meetings
  • Poorly prepared
  • Put off answering and returning calls
  • Prone to mistakes / complaints

Procrastination “Cures”

  • Do it NOW! Don’t procrastinate
  • Do the hardest things first
  • Don’t be scared of mistakes
  • Use your initiative
  • Provide solutions, not problems (even when asking for advice from colleagues) 


Time Management Disease Number 5: Being a Slow Starter


  • One of the last into the office
  • Many phone messages already
  • People waiting in reception
  • Can’t start without a coffee
  • Computer needs to boot up
  • If you don’t hit the ground running it will take you until lunchtime to start productive work

Slow Starter “Cures”

  • Don’t carry over difficult tasks from the previous day
  • Arrive before the floodgates open
  • Having had a good night’s sleep
  • Allow time to prepare for the day ahead
  • Make sure your journey is pleasurable
  • Avoid traffic, or learn to deal with it
  • Don’t be rushing, and don’t be late
  • Visualise the perfect day


Time Management Disease Number 6: Ineffective use of the Telephone

It’s not the interruption of the call; it’s the time it takes you to refocus on what you were doing before the phone rang….


  • Presume the call is more important
  • Fear of offending caller
  • Desire to not be left out
  • Procrastination or avoidance when tackling a difficult task
  • Ego
  • Socialising

Ineffective use of the Telephone “Cures”

  • Clients will not have an issue with leaving you a message
  • You must return the call prior to the nominated time
  • It is when calls are not returned when promised, that problems may occur
  • Use a headset, it will allow you to multitask

Advise the caller:

  • Your whereabouts
  • When you will be back
  • When they should expect a return call
  • Offer choices: voicemail, email, message, mobile....

Train your front line staff:

  • What to say
  • How to resolve simple issues
  • Remember they may have multiple calls at times
  • Control the telephone
  • Specific times to return messages
  • “Block out” time

Avoid “telephone tag” by effectively using:

  • “Smart” phone messages
  • Email / SMS
  • Voicemail

Time Management Disease Number 7: Failure to Delegate


  • Ego  
  • Anxiety about mistakes
  • Comfort level
  • Fear of losing control
  • Desire for perfection
  • Lack of confidence in others
  • False sense of efficiency

Failure to Delegate “Cures”

Delegation offers:

  • Empowerment
  • Team building
  • Increase staff morale
  • Development of new skills
  • Provide on going support, guidance and training

Delegation is NOT:

  • A way to avoid “dog work”
  • Don’t take other people’s monkeys on your back


Next month I will provide the remaining 6 time management diseases and their cures. 



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