Pro Tips

Tackling the Top 4 Time Management Traps for Financial Advisors

by Tiffany Markarian

As the head of your business, there are things you do and know that no one else does. It’s what makes you a valuable resource and an exceptional financial advisor. As your practice grows; however, the challenge becomes time management. The goal is to keep your practice running efficiently so you stay client focused. The more you try to control everything in your business, you lose the ability to scale your business. It puts your entire client experience at risk.

The following are the top 4 time management culprits that can prevent financial advisors from running an efficient practice. There are many time management issues to consider beyond these 4, and you can visit our “TIME-WASTERS CHECKLIST” to identify the biggest obstacles in your specific practice. If you have fallen prey to these traps, keep reading!

1. Doing Too Many Things Yourself, Not Delegating

If you suspect delegation is a problem, write down the things that only you should be doing. Everything else takes up valuable time and should be delegated. Keep a separate list of the unproductive tasks that are crushing your schedule. This list of culprits can be the start of a job description to hire an assistant or help you better delegate to your existing team.

Start by choosing the top priorities on your delegation list and train your team on how you want these tasks done. This will create more capacity and opportunities for you to spend time with clients.

2. Procrastination, Indecision, Self-Indulgence

Fear is often the root cause of procrastination. It could be the fear that your task or project will take too much time to complete or that you are not ready to be tied up for that long. It may be the fear of getting out of your comfort zone; that you need to learn new skills or do things differently to grow.

The problem with procrastination is you may miss a window of opportunity to improve or scale your business. Waiting too long may make things even more difficult to get started when you are ready – further exacerbating the problem.

Perhaps your goal is to develop a new niche market, but you let procrastination get the best of you. Perhaps you know a toxic employee is causing disruption to your team, but you don’t want to deal with the headache. The end result is the rest of your team may lose faith in your leadership ability which ultimately brings down everyone’s productivity. You could lose your best employees or team members as a result.

If the fear of getting started is holding you back, now may be the time to hire a business development or marketing consultant to help you progress forward. The right consultant will give you the appropriate steps in the most efficient manner, help you avoid costly mistakes, and keep you accountable to the things you want done.

3. Telephone / Email Interruptions

We’ve all been there. Your cell phone is staring at you, pinging you with every new text, email, or social media notification. We get anxious if we don’t check our phone every 10 minutes; heaven forbid if someone emails or texts us. Perhaps you are sitting at your desk and your landline is taunting you with a flashing voicemail notification. It’s a time management nightmare.

First, turn off your notifications. Alternatively, consider turning your phone upside down and only checking it every 45 minutes to an hour. Do this a couple of times a day. You will still be able to respond to your “A” clients in lightning fashion without sacrificing service.

If you were in a client meeting for an hour, you would not be checking your messages anyway. Everything will be okay. Give yourself these blocks of uninterrupted time. It will allow you to accomplish tasks uninterrupted without the anxiety. Let these time blocks be scheduled meetings for yourself.

4. Meetings / Video Conferences

Do I dare even approach this one? Unnecessary meetings are the kryptonite in everyone’s schedule, but they are important. The key is to have a defined agenda. If you or your team have a 90-Day Plan with a punch list of items due, and persons responsible for each task, your meetings become driven by the 90-Day Plan. You can also consider implementing team management software to help your team plan, communicate and collaborate more effectively – reducing unnecessary meetings.

Meetings are a necessary evil to foster interpersonal communication within your team, but there should be a person in charge of each meeting. That person should be the task master and reign things in when conversations go off track. There should be an agenda that is communicated in advance. When the conversation veers off topic, your task master can say, “This is definitely an important topic and something we can address later. Let’s stay focused on today’s agenda so we get things accomplished. I will add this topic to next week’s agenda.” That way you stay on track and get things done.

This will not just help you with time management, but everyone on your team as well. You will look like a hero!

Tackling Time Management Issues, One Bite at a Time

The best way to make progress with time management is to choose one culprit and focus on it over the next month. Focus on alleviating that one issue in the most efficient way possible.

Yes, there are many time-wasting obstacles that get in the way of productivity. The challenge is when they all start affecting you at once, leaving you overwhelmed. Take the time to tackle the biggest offenses, one at a time, so you systemize a solution and gain capacity to fix the next obstacles on your list.

Visit our “TIME-WASTERS CHECKLIST” to identify the biggest time management traps in your specific practice.

Tiffany MarkarianTackling the Top 4 Time Management Traps for Financial Advisors

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