Do you ever feel like you are living your life by a checklist? Do you feel like you are constantly running from one activity to the next and that there is so much more to do? How often do you find yourself asking, “When did life become so chaotic?”
We feel that time is the most precious commodity of today. With an increase in industry regulations and administrative requirements, financial professionals are finding that they are spending too much time doing the wrong activities. How wise are your choices on where you expend your time? Are you allowing yourself to be held hostage to the reactive? Below we provide some basic best practice reminders to help increase your return on time.
- Build a team to complement your abilities so that you can focus on what you do best and assign all other responsibilities according to the natural strengths of others.
- Learn how to fully utilize your technology resources to create capacity.
- Do, delegate, delete. For each daily task, consider whether it is something that you actually need to do, something that you should delegate or something that you can delete as it has no bearing on your goals.
- Utilize a priority system so that no task is ever assigned without a deadline attached to it. This helps all associates understand levels of urgency and better balance daily activities.
- Proactively block to create a balanced calendar. It is important to allocate time to all essential business functions such as prospecting, client management, planning, team management, continuing education and so on. Don’t let an area of your business suffer by ignoring it.
- Making a commitment to creating, documenting and utilizing processes so that every repeated activity is executed in the same way every time will substantially impact efficiency.
- Identify time wasters. Conduct a time study on where your time is spent so that you can identify what (and in some cases, who) tends to drain your time. Determine the best course of action to take back control of your time and set parameters and expectations to better manage these situations.
- Consistently execute effective team communication. When communication falters, errors and frustrations increase and a vast amount of time is wasted.
- Maintain an organized client base. Segmenting your clientele based on each relationship’s value to your business helps to create scalability to efficiently drive client deliverables.
- Train your clients. Help them understand what to expect from the practice, when to expect it and the roles of each team member. Set realistic expectations for your team to respond to your clients’ needs.
How each associate chooses to utilize time will dramatically impact your results. Review each of the practices above with your team and gain specific commitments. If you are looking to grow your business, you must make wise decisions every day. There should be no excuses and no procrastination, but rather an ongoing commitment to consistently and proactively manage your time. What is your ROT?
Sarah E. Dale
Krista S. Sheets