Finding work/life balance in a non-stop industry

Geoff Roberts
Geoff Roberts | 4 min. read

Published on March 1, 2010

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you are dedicated to doing your job right. But just as much as doing your job right involves knowing your business and completing necessary tasks efficiently and effectively, it also means taking care of yourself. After all, if you’re worn down and stressed out, chances are your work will ultimately suffer for it, no matter how dedicated you are. So for all of you workaholics out there, yes! Believe it or not, you should consider taking care of yourself and making a concerted effort to find some downtime nothing short of a vital part of doing your job right.

But even if you are convinced that creating a good work/life balance is something you should attain, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s simple to do in this industry. Following are a few tips for finding the time you need.

1. Create a back-up system.
Just because you need a break doesn’t mean that all work-related issues will grind to a halt. In order to make sure everything gets taken care of whether you’re in the office or not, it’s important to have a back-up system in place. Depending upon your situation, a back-up system may consist of extra staff on hand to make sure someone is there to address tenant concerns or property issues 24/7 or just an answering service to ensure that tenants’ calls are answered no matter what time of day they come in.

2. Make sure your back-up system is one you can trust.
Having a back-up system in place is only half the battle. After all, how relaxed and disengaged from work can you really be if you’re constantly worrying that things are falling through the cracks or not being taken care of? Invest the time necessary to make sure your back-up system—whatever form it may take—is fully aware of policies and regulations and knows how to deal with the variety of issues that may arise in your absence. Consider this effort to be an investment not only in your business, but also in yourself.

3. Prioritize.
Know that sooner or later, something will come up while you’re off-duty. And also know that, while it’s obviously important to resolve issues efficiently, there are also some things that can wait for a few hours. For example, if you get a call from a tenant about a dripping faucet on a Sunday afternoon, chances are you can wait until Monday morning to resolve the problem.

4. Create a schedule.
While property management may not be a traditional nine-to-five job, this doesn’t mean you can’t establish a set schedule for yourself. Let tenants and property owners know what days you will be taking off on a weekly basis and whom they should contact in your absence. Also, consider your own vacation time just as much of a priority as you do for the rest of your staff. If your staff has two weeks off a year, so should you.

Doing a good job is important—we all know that. But it’s all too easy for property managers to neglect drawing the line between work and non-work hours. While your property may keep going 24 hours a day every day, it doesn’t mean that you have to.

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Geoff Roberts

Geoff is a marketer, surfer, musician, and writer. He lives in San Diego, CA.

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