There’s a frequent feeling among hostel managers that you can never get it all done and there never seems to be enough time to try. While those realities may never change, the stress they cause can certainly be alleviated with some helpful tools. While some owners or managers may be super into tech and the latest gadgets and apps, most of us are just trying to get by the best we can.
I don’t consider myself incredibly tech savvy, but I have my moments. Maybe it was the 4 years living in San Francisco, but I find myself embracing technology more and more to help me achieve my goals. There are a handful of apps I use but they tend to filter into one of three areas:
• Task Management
• Time Management
In this post I will explain these three areas and why apps can be so useful. In the following 3 posts, I will share specific apps that may help you along with screen shots, so stay tuned.
Ever do something for the 17th time and think “How do I not have a robot doing this by now?” Well, as Bob Dylan said, “These times they are a changin”. And these days, they are changing fast. While a full on robot may be out of budget, there are ways now to automate nearly anything you repeatedly do. Digitally, at least. You may need an actual robot to automate cleaning your bathroom.
However, if you find yourself typing out the same information multiple times, paying the same bill regularly, doing the back and forth dance trying to schedule meetings or phone calls, or countless other tasks that have important results but are trivial time wasters then you need to stop what you’re doing and find a way to automate. You’ll thank me later.
This on may seem like a no-brainer to anyone who runs a hostel, but there is a big difference in knowing that you have a lot to manage at once and actually doing it effectively. Bearing in mind that effectively also includes “efficiently and not leading to burnout”. It doesn’t matter if you got 17 things done today if you were glued to a computer every waking hour or had to constantly micromanage and babysit.
Since the reality for many of us is more like get 3 things done with 17 interruptions, we need tools to keep us on track. In my deep scientific understanding, I’d venture to say it’s not actually possible for our brains to keep track of the amount of moving parts we typically have going on these days. Even if you already know about project management software and apps like Trello, there are other apps that can provide great support to keeping on top of it all.
If you tend to be more old school and stick to paper & pencil, you don’t have to give that up or make a huge change. However, why not pair up your current methods with a couple digital tools that will make your life way easier? What do you have to lose?
“Hahaha.” -Every hostel manager, ever.
Yes, managing time on a good day can feel like trying to hold on to fistfuls of sand (other days it’s more like water). Or if you feel like there’s never enough time, it’s more like trying to pull blood from a stone. On the other hand, perhaps you are on of the few people that are already spending every minute productively with time to spare and rejuvenating, positive breaks built in. To that, I say, congrats on being a demi-god!
For the rest of your mere mortals, it’s time to make some changes. The truth is that no matter how opposite it feels, there IS enough time in the day if you manage both your expectations and your time. One of my favorite tips for managing expectations is pretty simple- take your to-do list for the day and cut it in half, and then in half again. There’s your more likely reality, so start prioritizing. But that’s only part of it.
Technology may not be able to help with your expectations of pulling off Super (Wo)man level productivity, but there are countless ways to use it for your time. While project management apps can also be considered time management, I’m more focused on apps that help keep us from spending our time unwisely. In other words, apps that give me the self-control I seem to have thrown out the window when my phone became a mini computer lighting up with more notifications than a Chinese restaurant has menu options.
What To Use
There are literally hundreds of apps for each of these areas but in the following blog posts in this series, I’m going to simply share one of my favorites for each, with some honorable mentions as well.
As always with sharing this type of info, this is very much an overall “do what works best for you” suggestion. If you don’t find these particular apps appealing, consider trying something else that will help give you the same results. The first goal is to understand that you don’t have to do it all, followed by finding the right resource to make that a reality. So stay tuned for the next three posts when I share my favorite tips!
Do you currently use any apps to help manage your hostel and your life? What are some of your favorites and why?
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