We asked forty-five facility managers and property managers how they organize their workdays, and got a ton of different methods.
There were some common themes among many respondents, and we’ve put those towards the top, with the rest below them.
If you need a boost in your own time management and organization, maybe you can work some of these ideas into your own routine!
Plan tomorrow, today
Plan the next workday before you leave the office. That’s what many managers told us was their best tip, simply planning what they had to do tomorrow before they left the office, creating to do lists and setting goals.
One nice bonus of this day organization technique is that it can (hopefully) put your mind at ease and let you relax a little while you’re not at work.
Planning your day on a calendar helps, especially if it’s a system like Google Calendar in which it’s so easy to set reminders to start a task at a certain time, or remind you to go to a meeting.
Communication first thing
Many FMs said they find it best to start their day with a morning meeting, and make sure all their staff have clear and precise instructions on what needs to be done.
Besides a meeting to spread this information of what will be done today, some managers like to post work orders as they come in on a central bulletin board, then keep up with tasks via a chat app, or simply emailing out the information to everyone who needs to see it.
Posting a schedule for the day helps keep everyone on task and sets goals for your staff, and also makes it hard for them to claim that they didn’t know they needed to do a certain task, because it’s up on the schedule, clear as day!
Jobs to be done
Similar to calendars, several managers said they use a day planner, and one even said that it is his “gospel.” Highly structuring your day can keep it very efficient, even if at times it feels almost robotic to have it so structured, on an hour by hour basis.
Besides the structured day, assessing all your incoming tasks and work orders, either based off tenants requests or emails in your inbox, and triaging them is a common approach. Every day is different anyway, because every day brings a fresh set of problems and issues to resolve, so it makes sense to arrive early, make some coffee, and start prioritizing and delegating tasks for the day.
AM important / PM unexpected
Depending on when you start your day, splitting it in half may work well for you, and that’s how at least two facility managers told us they do it.
If you spend your morning hours taking care of the most important tasks to get done, it guarantees at least some of them get taken care of, and it leave your afternoons open for new emergencies and all the surprise tasks that pop up.
Make a list
Rolling to do lists work for any job, and they certainly work for property managers and facility managers, whether it’s a file on your computer or a legal pad that gives you the pleasure of physically scratching something out once you’ve taken care of it.
Be seen then disappear
The advice we got from managers here was basically “close the door.”
Two people said that they like to check on jobs and make sure the employees see them or do a quick walk through to check the building, then they close their office door and focus. Another said once a week he has his office door closed all day to try to focus on managerial tasks and planning.
You can also close your door in a more figurative sense, by creating a threshold that makes it hard to actually get to you. Delegate tasks to others who are empowered to handle them. You don’t have to put out every single fire yourself.
Two managers we talked with said that they focused on tenants first during the day, and making them happy, and then after those issues were resolved, they moved on to either making sure staff was happy, or building owners and other important people were happy.
- Give autonomy to your workers so that they can resolve tasks on their own without your guidance. This will free up your day immensely.
- Start early before the chaos hits. If you manage an office building, get in before the workers.
- Coffee first. Many managers mentioned needing coffee to be able to start their day, so make sure to have a pot on!
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