Being a member of your HOA’s board can be a rewarding task, but it can also be a strain on your schedule. How improve your time management between work, personal and board requirements? Before we get started, check out our recent post about Productivity Apps for your HOA Board. These can be a great building block for managing your time. Let’s get started!
- Record – This tip may seem similar to those of you who have tried changing the way you eat in order to lose weight. Just as many diets recommend that you record what you eat during the week, we’re going to suggest that within your day planner you keep track of what you’ve done during a day. Do this before you change anything. Record time spent completing tasks for work, how much time you’ve spent on social media, how much time you spend with your family, and everything else you do during the day. Don’t worry, we don’t recommend doing this for longer than a week. This will help you see where your high time expenditures are, where you’re spending too much time and where you need to spend more time. If you’re honest with what you record, you may be surprised at the results at the end of the week. This is a great way to address issues within your schedule and think about ways to improve.
- Schedule the Big Things – In every part of your life it’s important to schedule the important tasks that take up your time. Whether it’s tasks at work, spending time with your kids or writing up notes from the last board meeting, make sure that you have designated time throughout the day that’s set aside. Block out time for high-priority tasks and don’t let the little, unnecessary tasks get in the way of getting things done.
- Do Not Distract – Once you’ve kept an accurate record of how you’ve spent your time during the week, you’ll probably notice a few large chunks of time that go missing due to the interference of social media or conversations with coworker. While it’s important (and fun) to stay in contact with your coworkers in the office and your family and friends on social media, it’s also important to spend time on tasks that need to be completed. Trust us, it’s ok to put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door and politely turn down anyone who doesn’t have a serious/urgent need to speak with you. If you’re in a bullpen, or open office space, invest in noise-cancelling headphones and hang a sign on the back of your chair. The same goes for your home life. If you need to get some work done for the HOA board after dinner, give your kids a hug and tell them that you need some quiet time to do work. We’d highly recommend matching homework time with your HOA board work time. Answer emails while the kids do their math homework. If you’re the cause of your distraction, whether it’s through social media or simply searching the internet, use a web app like Stay Focused to block certain sites for certain amounts of time. Eliminate any way to distract yourself and you’ll be better at getting tasks completed.
- Prioritize – When you get home from work and you know that you have a board meeting, work group, or other board-related activity, make sure that it gets done as soon as possible. Sit down and have dinner with your family, then get right on track. The sooner you complete your work, the sooner you’ll have time to spend time on fun things like TV, relaxing, or whatever you choose. These are the same recommendations that you probably use with your children, only now it’s time to walk the walk as you talk the talk.
We hope that these tips will help you manage your time and help you find more time to do the things you love. Best of luck and thank you for your service on your HOA’s board.