CAA Members Learn How to Turn Crazy Busy Into Productivity

On Thursday, May 11 over 100 CAA members gathered at one of Columbus’ newest event spaces, The Grand Event Center at the Grandview Yard for the second General Meeting of the year featuring National Speaker Amy Kosnikowski Dilisio.

CAA Executive Director Laura Swanson welcomed everyone to the meeting and honored the CAA Hall of Fame Members and Past Presidents in attendance.  Swanson turned the podium over to CAA Membership Vice President Steve Papineau who recognized new members attending their first General Meeting.

Nate Fisher, CAA President introduced the audience to the keynote speaker highlighted Kosnikowski Dilisio’s many accomplishments in the multifamily field before turning the meeting over to her for a high energy keynote.

Kosnikowski Dilisio presented an engaging session on how to manage being crazy busy.  She began by surveying the audience asking for a show of hands of those who were “crazy busy.” Nearly every hand in the room was raised in response.

“There are so many things pulling us in a million directions, we’re all crazy busy,” Kosnikowski Dilisio said.  “It’s not going to get any easier, right?  With so many things pulling at us and throwing demands at us, it’s a challenge.  How can you be more productive and less crazy busy?”

She asked everyone to think of the word busy and recall the old sprinklers that circulated around the lawn.  Likening the sprinkler to getting a little bit done over a broad range, versus being really productive.

“What is the lure of our phones?  If it dings you say ‘who is it?’ I have to look,” she said.  “We all need to be able to disconnect. The last time you had a chance to get something done, you might have been lured into that gadget or gizmo instead.”

One piece of advice she asked everyone to consider was, ‘what are you busy about?’ Going on to say, you can be busy constantly, but, ask yourself, ‘what are you achieving?’   The answer lies within each individual person.

“We have this ability to work 24/7 whenever we want, wherever we want, so we do, right?” she continued.  “It’s so tempting to look, and be connected with people, so we do it.  When you say you are so busy does it make you feel more important, or more in demand? Are you over glorifying being busy?”

Another perspective she provided was changing the mentality from wearing it as a badge of honor to being productive and getting work done in a timely manner.  Thus, adding balance to life.

“Being busy is a symptom of a much bigger problem.  It’s actually a lack of attention and a lack of clarity,” Kosnikowski Dilisio said.  “If you had more clarity about what you are doing, what is your intention for the day, what do you need to achieve, what are your priorities?  With that clarity, it will allow you to be more productive.”

She asked everyone to take time to think each day and regain focus.  Take a moment for you and have some quiet time to set you up to be productive.  You have to start by taking back control.

“Take back your time.  Be more selfish with how you spend your time,” she said.  “I like to think of time as water, you can’t really capture it, you can’t grasp it.  Once time is gone, it’s gone.  Maximize every minute.  Make it matter.  Put your dukes up and fight back.  Defend your time to be more productive.”

Following up on this thought she provided the audience examples on how to set boundaries.  She suggested offering an alternative versus saying ‘yes’ to everything.  Offer what you can do that works for you.  Next, she recommended setting and knowing expectations.  If you know what the expectations are you won’t waste your time or anyone else’s by doing something that isn’t necessary.  Clarify, what is needed for you and come to an agreement with everyone you’re working with.  Finally, if everything is a priority, then nothing is.  You want to do everything now and you just can’t.  Make your actions reflect your priorities.

When evaluating your priorities, think about the basics of your position.  We often find ourselves doing another person’s job.  Think about why you were hired.  Use that as a road map to success.  What are your highest value activities?  Make sure what you’re doing matters, it will help you move toward your goals.  Set your goals and ask yourself what you are doing every day to reach those goals.

“We need to look at ourselves individually to manage our success, even when we work as a team,” she said.  “It’s important to realize other team member’s priorities and the team’s priorities to work together.”

She pointed out three questions to ask your teams.  What are the objectives for the next 90 days, what are your plans, priorities and hopes and how do you go about achieving them?  The answers to these questions will help the team achieve clarity and to determine if the priorities will help achieve the goal.

The biggest thing to accomplish is finding the work/life balance.  Take a look at yourself and your team.  When we support each other we can all be productive.  Everyone deserves a break, take the time with your family and get away.  Time away allows you to be more productive when you are at work.

Among the biggest things keeping individuals from being productive she sited; issues not being addressed promptly, no authority to make decisions and better communication.

Allowing employees to do the job you hired them to do and trusting them to do it will go a long way in helping the team produce.  Healthy communication also allows for everyone to know what the task is and how to best execute it.

Kosnikowski Dilisio concluded with a summary of how to focus and prioritize to be more productive and asked everyone to continue to think “what are you busy about?”

Swanson thanked everyone for coming and encouraged attendees to register for the CAA Golf Outing on August 8 at Delaware Golf Club.