The Positive Side of Being Overwhelmed

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

I am very fortunate to be working with a senior advisor who is readily giving me some of his clients. We have segmented the group and I am working with those who have a next generation component – children and grandchildren with whom we want to extend our relationship.

The problem is that I still support this senior advisor in scheduling his own meetings, gathering portfolio information and the like when he meets. I no longer attend most of the meetings but I am the go-to for getting it all organized.

As a result, I’m no longer organized in what I do. There are things coming at me from all corners – my own clients, his needs and other projects he wants me to be involved with in our firm – and he is asking me to obtain a certification, which I haven’t even been able to investigate yet. On one side, I am excited about new opportunities but on the other I am daunted by what I need to do and having no time to do it all.

It sounds insane, but the days when I have the most to do I am the least productive because I can’t accurately focus my attention. I don’t know if I should push back, do less for my clients or generally get better organized around time management. Is my situation unique or I am just in over my head?


Dear L.S.,

First – take a couple of deep breaths! You are doing just fine. It’s a compliment to your skills that you are getting directly engaged with many of his clients, and that he still continues to lean on you for his own client work. This is a positive statement about the contribution you are making and your future career path at this advisory firm.