Summer is here and that means the peak season for property managers. It is also peak season for vacations, kids’ camps, and summer activities with family and friends.  How can we juggle it all without getting overwhelmed and burned out?

  1. Keep it Simple

Just because it is Summer doesn’t mean that you have to take a full week vacation. Keep things simple and stick to a routine especially if kids are home. We juggle enough at the office don’t add to the stress of juggling a gazillion activities. Try a staycation which just means you stay home and play tourist. Here are some ideas for short bits of fun.

  • Explore where you live.
  • Visit a museum, park, beach, or tourist destination.
  • Challenge the kiddos to find FREE or low-cost things to do.
  • Play games together.
  1. Plan for Summer

Summer comes around every year so it should be no surprise that things get busy. Plan for the busy times.  Meaning, don’t roll out new services in the summer or update your Property Management Agreement or migrate to a new property management software program.  Plan for staff and yourself to be away from the office. Transition to a summer work routine such as shorter public office hours, turn on auto responders for email/voicemail and time block tasks will allow work to get done without the added stress of constant emails and phone calls.

For years I kept sacrificing my time off to accommodate staff requests.  Finally, I wised up and decided if my husband, who was a fireman, had to select his vacation time a year in advance I could do the same.  This was a “why didn’t I think of this before” moment. I asked staff to bring calendars and share their vacation days at our first office meeting of the new year. It was amazing.  Staff negotiated for their time off and were willing to cover for each other. My maintenance team had coverage in place for their absence and took more 3-day weekends instead of an entire week off.  It worked and I didn’t have to give away my time.

In property management we often react to what is coming at us, but I encourage you to PLAN your busy seasons and time off. Staff should know who to reach out to in an emergency versus calling you each time they are stuck.  Have a written plan for staff to follow and put someone in charge.

  1. The 15-Minute Vacation

The reality of property management and owning a business can put strain and stress on everyone.  By the time Summer comes around and ends we are running on fumes.  How can we truly show up for family and friends and enjoy our time together when we are so distracted and drained? The answer is to take timeouts and do whatever makes you feel happy. Here are some ideas to get you going.

  • Intentionally look for things that make you smile.
  • Breath…
  • Listen to music, sing, dance.
  • Find videos on YouTube.
  • Make it easy and fun. Pickleball anyone?
  • Bring your pet to work.
  • Have lunch with coworkers.
  • Connect with friends whether over phone, coffee, lunch or to share a walk.
  • Look for opportunities to have fun.
  • Disconnect from cellphone and other electronic devices.

My team and I did all of the above. Everyone will have their own way of taking a timeout. There is no right or wrong way to fill your tank. It only matters that you do it. Some people need quiet reflection or music to calm the nerves and others need high energy activity. Whatever works for you is all that matters. As children we played and as adults we work.  Try being a kid again for 15 minutes a day.

Little moments can have a huge impact on our mood and energy. Whatever, that looks like for you it is important to take care of yourself.  Property management is a career that takes, takes, takes, so you must be intentional about how to fill up the tank and don’t let yourself get to empty. Keep a routine, keep things simple and plan for time off. In between find moments or mini vacations to keep your tank full and topped off. Reimagine what your vacation looks like and what you want to get from it. Focus on the result whether it is relaxation, high-energy escapades, or family time around the fire pit; be present, fully present. You might be surprised how 15 minutes can rejuvenate you. So, Give Me a Break – you deserve it.