Jumping into the middle of a project and then figuring out how to get through it seems to be a symptom of human nature. For some reason we don’t want to stop to read the instructions before starting a project. We ignore notifications and emails and manuals in favor of wading into the murk and hoping for the best. This is true of residents who neglect to read the email informing them that garbage day has been changed one week because of a holiday. It’s also true of any of us who have tried to put together a piece of furniture without reading the instructions, or any of us who’ve had problems with our computer software and the last place we look for answers is the accompanying manuals or training guides.
There are good reasons for this behavior. For one thing, we are busy people. It usually seems so much easier and faster to simply send the email to junk mail, put the shelf together ourselves (because really how complicated could it be), or try to figure out the software as we go. It takes extra time to read through all of the notices and instructions, and it’s hard to feel motivated to do so when you are worrying about the day to day tasks that pile up. Processing leases, showing units, answering phones, and so many other things have a greater sense of urgency than wading through instructional materials.
The problem that we don’t always foresee with this approach is that sometimes we actually take up more time and energy trying to do it ourselves instead of taking a few minutes to read through things beforehand. That shelf that looks so simple to put together from the pictures on the box, ends up throwing us for a loop when we put a piece in the wrong place and have to take everything apart and start over again. Our residents take out their garbage on the regular day despite the holiday notice and their trash ends up strewn all across the property from wind or animals getting into it. The new software doesn’t work the same way as the last software we used and we keep running into problems trying to figure out how to do our every day tasks.
The good news is that in our digital world it is actually easier to get access to help and support than ever before. We can send residents emails, text messages, or send out fliers in the mail. We can do a simple internet search to get help with most software problems, and suddenly guides, frequently asked questions, forums, and so on are all available with the click of a few buttons. Visual learners have access to videos that can take them through whole workflows step-by-step. If we don’t find the answers we need through these channels, we also have the option to call or chat online with support technicians who are more than happy to answer our questions.
With all of the available help at our fingertips we don’t ever have to be lost in the murk again. Whether we take the time to read the instructions beforehand or reach out for help in the midst of things, we have a lot of options to save time and feel confident about how to complete the tasks we need to perform every day.