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There’s no better time than now to get a grip on your productivity. No seriously, January is National Organizing and Productivity Month. Literally there’s no better time than now. At my firm, Productivity Uncorked, we help advisors all day long to improve their productivity.
Here are four things you can stop doing to make a significant difference in your daily productivity.
Don’t try to be someone you’re not
Everyone loves to hear about “best practices” and find out what those other advisors are doing that’s making them so successful. I believe in that too, but there’s a caveat that impacts your productivity. Just because someone else is doing something doesn’t mean you should or could do it as well. There may be obstacles that make it feel like you’re pursuing an unworkable solution.
For example, I was speaking with a client recently about where and how he could go about meeting new people to add to his network. Most of the other advisors in his firm accomplish this by golfing or hosting large events. Golfing is not an option for him due to an injury and he was stymied as to what else he could do. I asked two questions: What does he enjoy doing where he could invite others? And what environment gives him the most comfort?
Be authentic to who you are and position yourself for greater success. If you’re comfortable and authentic, you will more likely participate in the activity more often, increasing your productivity.
Don’t let someone else fully control your time
Some of you have others who schedule things on your calendar. However, in many cases, you have more control over your calendar and time than you imagine.
Many of my clients learn how to manage their most productive time of the day by blocking it out in advance and communicating to others that nothing gets scheduled during that time. This gives them allocated time for their most important tasks. Some clients block out time when they are working out of the office to meet with COIs and prospects, and to network. They know that if time wasn’t set aside in advance, those things would never happen.
Pre-planning your time guards against the time thieves in your life and helps to ensure that what needs to get done has time set aside to get it done. This improves your productivity measurably.
Don’t be surprised by interruptions
Speaking of time thieves, let’s talk about interruptions. You know who and what they are, so no need to be surprised by them any longer. Instead, let’s prepare for them in advance and work to minimize your interruptions as much as possible or manage them better when they occur.
Some of my clients are coached on how to remain accessible while closing their doors to enable them to focus on certain tasks. Others are coached on how to set productive boundaries with staff and clients alike without feeling like they’re providing less than stellar service and support.
No matter what you do to avoid interruptions, some will still occur and require your attention. The key words are “require your attention.” If someone else can handle it, let them. Once the interruption has passed, use your plan for the day to help you return to a productive mindset.
Don’t continue doing things that aren’t working
This sounds simple, doesn’t it? If it’s not working, stop it. I can’t tell you how often I uncover things that advisors are doing that aren’t working, yet they’ve continued doing them for years. Why? Typically, they don’t know what else to do instead.
For example, some have been asking for referrals for years at the end of review meetings and it just doesn’t work for them. But they don’t know what else to do so they keep doing it. Others have complained about COIs who never refer back, yet they still engage that relationship as if by magic the reciprocity will kick in. If you’ve done the work to improve that relationship and still nothing happens, maybe it’s time to part ways.
Evaluate what you’re doing in every aspect of your practice (and life), and if something is not working, find a way to fix it or stop it all together. Your productivity will improve the minute you make those tough decisions and start focusing more on the things that are working.
You have control and influence over your productivity. Since January is the perfect month to bring it all into focus, I’m hopeful that you’ll implement one or more of these “don’ts” into your life and start the year off with a powerful productivity boost. If you need more on this topic, listen to my firm’s productivity coach, Patty Kreamer, as she speaks on a podcast with Michael Kitces called Maximizing Your Productivity By Leveraging Your Time Not Your Technology.
Michelle R. Donovan owns Productivity Uncorked LLC where Michelle (Referral Coach) and Patty Kreamer (Productivity Coach) offer a one-two punch to help financial advisors get more done in their day and more be more profitable. Michelle’s books have become Wall Street Journal best-sellers, Amazon best-sellers and published in seven languages. If you want to enhance your productivity, set a time to chat with Michelle, email her at [email protected] or connect with her on LinkedIn.
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