Utilizing your calendar may seem simple and obvious, but often we are not maximizing this most basic tool at our disposal, or we need to develop a habit around using it. Community management is a constant juggling act managing the big picture needs of the community and large projects with the individual needs of residents. In our busy and fast paced world, it is important to be able to handle all these tasks with accuracy and efficiency. Often, we are looking for ways to save time or perform at a higher level, and this article will attempt to provide some helpful tips regarding the use of your calendar.
A favorite calendar that tends to be very popular, is Google Calendar. You can share it among all the people in your organization or with clients and residents, set up reminders for upcoming events and tasks, and invite people to specific meetings and events. You can set up different calendars for different purposes and share them all or have one main master calendar with the various kinds of events, meetings, and appointments in different colors to designate their purpose. Some examples would be having separate calendars for meetings/trainings, maintenance, contract deadlines, long term projects, community events, and work schedules.
Remember that having a calendar is only half the battle…using it is the other! Make sure that you block off even just 5 minutes every day to look at the calendar and make sure you are aware of what is coming up for the week ahead. At the bare minimum, pick one day each week to review the calendar for the week ahead and one month out.
As soon as a contract or lease is signed, make sure to put all applicable dates in the calendar (no matter how far out) with reminders of these dates 30 and 60 days before. Another option is to pick one day out of each month to review all the contracts that will be up for that month. For example, using the first of the month or making the expiration date of a contract fall on the 30th of the month is helpful so at the end or beginning of the month, you are reminded to check.
Another tool I recommend is a program called Calendly. You can set appointment times in your schedule that people can sign up to meet with you using this program. Then when someone would like to meet with you, you can just send them the link to schedule or have the link posted on the community website. It saves you the back and forth of setting appointments and protects your time while also letting people feel like they have choices as to when to meet with you. You could also use something like this to automate maintenance or other requests from residents.
Deadlines are another important tool you can implement into your calendar, especially for big or long-term projects. Deadlines motivate people to take action, track progress, and provide accountability. If you are tackling a large project, divide it into chunks with separate deadlines and make sure to put all those deadlines on the calendar. Then, schedule all appropriate meetings around those deadlines.
Lastly, and one of the most challenging ways to use your calendar is to time block. Time blocking is being purposeful and intentional about your time by designating certain hours of the day to work on a specific objective and blocking them out in your calendar. This can be further clarified by designating a different color for each objective. For example, from 10 – 11 a.m. each day you will work on client maintenance requests and from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. you will dedicate your time to long term projects. Another way is from 9 – 10 a.m. on the first day of each month, you will plan to review contracts that will expire for that month. You put it in the calendar with reminders and invite all other parties that are involved if that makes sense for the task at hand.
In the words of Jim Rohn, “You run the day, or the day runs you.” Don’t be a victim to your day, and instead use your calendar to control and protect your time so that you can meet deadlines and tackle projects for your community with ease!
By Nicole DeMiglio
Nicole DeMiglio is the owner of DeMiglio Coaching and Consulting for small businesses and she has a career in real estate on a team serving DC, MD, and VA. DeMiglio means “the best” in italian, and Nicole wants to provide people with the best tools and resources to help them crush their business goals!