Meetings that go over the scheduled amount of time, family members that get sick and need your full attention, phones that go off all day with texts, Tweets, and news alerts, last-minute projects that are added to your schedule… by the end of the week, sometimes you’ll find that nothing on your original to-do list got checked off. So how can we combat this and get work done? Here are tips and strategies from some of our Equita Member Firms:
Mindy McCubbin, ChFC, Founder and Owner of Truman Wealth Advisors
Time blocking is essential. Using Calendly as a tool to manage prospect and client meetings. Having a “morning ritual” is also important to keep myself energized and on track.
Ellen Osthus Fee, CFP®, Founder of Feathered Paddle Wealth Partners
I’ve worked with a spectacular coach: Kathy Hanson, who has the podcast “In Your Back Pocket,” and she’s been extremely helpful in this one particular area: she has me set a 45–minute timer. So if I feel like I don’t have time for something, she has me set a 45–minute timer to tackle it, to see how far I can get. This especially works for tasks you do not want to do.
Other than that, which is totally credited to her, the only other thing that I’ve learned is that childcare disproportionately impacts moms and is the biggest differentiator in your ability to get started, get work done, and put in the time needed!
Bridget Venus Grimes, CFP®, President and Founder of WealthChoice and Co-Founder of Equita Financial Network
I have been working with a coach this year who specializes in coaching solo/small giant financial planning firms (Limitless Adviser). The first thing we addressed in our coaching was time management. It is critical to a business owner’s ability to be efficient and take control of the business, rather than have the business take control of you. They suggested doing the following:
- Get rid of distractions. Turn off all notifications on your phone/watch.
- Stop checking email throughout the day. Choose times during the day to check email and put an out–of–office on letting folks know when you will be checking and when you will be responding to their messages.
- Allocate specific days of the week for work on the business, client prep, and client meetings. For example, I have client meetings Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday only, and between specific hours. I keep Friday for working on marketing and Monday for working on my business (calls with my assistant, etc.).
- Use a calendar solution for all meetings. I use Calendly, but Acuity is a popular one, too. Sending a client a link to choose a time around a schedule you have created frees up a ton of time. No need to go back and forth with the client on email to find a date that works.
- Create client meeting surges during the year when you see all clients for meetings and when you address the same thing with each client. I now see my clients twice a year. We have a Spring Planning Meeting and a Fall Planning Meeting. These meetings are grouped over a three–month period, which makes it easy for clients to book. This allows me to streamline my meeting prep and not have to reinvent the wheel for each client meeting. This isn’t to say I won’t meet with a client if something comes up, but comprehensive client reviews are kept to these months.
- Block off time for yourself. I have a huge wall calendar and the first thing I did when I purchased it was block off all family time (vacations, kids visiting, etc.). Then, I blocked off holidays, major events, and conferences. I made sure to go to Calendly and block off these times so that no meetings could be booked over them.
- Hire an assistant to delegate tasks to those that do not generate revenue. I have an awesome assistant who handles all paperwork, ongoing client account maintenance, and a number of planning tasks that free me up to work on business development and client work. It has made a tremendous difference to my practice.
Do you have a favorite time management strategy you utilize at your business? Let us know! For more tips on working from home in this COVID-19 era, read our previous blog post, “How Female Financial Advisors And Firm Owners Can Improve Productivity.”