Take a look at the average day for an advisor. It’s jam-packed with a litany of tasks, including servicing client accounts, attending sales meetings, watching/tracking the stock market and calling on sales leads. While financial advisors are often well compensated, the long hours and workload are reasons why the burnout rate in the financial industry is so high.
How are you carving out your day? A report by Cerulli showed that advisors spend an average of 13 percent of their time on business development or new client acquisition, which is far too little if you’re looking to grow your business.
“The more contact you have with clients, the better you are at solving their financial problems. If they think of you first when it comes to finances, they will refer you to others and your business will grow,” says time management consultant John Anderson.
To be efficient means you have to be a good manager of your own time. In this field, time management skills aren’t a luxury – they’re a necessity in order to increase efficiency and to ultimately succeed.
Feeling like there are not enough hours in the day? Understanding or developing your time management skills, and knowing how to maximize the time you have available to work both in and on your business will help you succeed. Start with these tips from advisors who have mastered time management:
Create schedules that work for you. XY Planning Network co-founder Alan Moore stresses the importance of putting not just professional appointments and reminders on your calendar, but scheduling events and activities for your personal life, too. “This should include working out, time with kids, family dinners, date night, a day off, etc. This will force you to get everything done since you will have fun activities already scheduled.”
Prioritize your time and tasks. Kate Holmes of Belmore Financial, Las Vegas, says that a critical step in better time management is prioritizing your work and the hours you have available. “Prioritize the income-generating activities,” she says.
“There are endless things we all could be doing, some of which are more fun or interesting than what we should be doing (business-wise), but keep your focus on the things that are designed to generate or diversify your income streams.”
Your time is your most valuable resource, and financial advisors need to guard theirs carefully. “Take as few meetings as possible. Build your online presence, blog, create videos, talk with the media and engage with social media instead,” says Holmes.
And if it takes a while to get the hang of figuring out your priority list, that’s fine. It takes experience and experimenting to realize what’s truly important to you and your practice.
“Don’t beat yourself up,” she advises. “Sometimes you just won’t be feeling it, and that’s OK. Step away from the computer and go for a walk. Refocus. If you only got one thing done, celebrate that one thing.”
Remember to work for yourself, too. Sophia Bera of Gen Y Planning, Minneapolis, believes in the importance of guarding your time and working on your business. “Don’t spend time meeting with people you don’t want to. Your time is yours, so it’s time to stop feeling like you ‘should’ meet with that estate attorney, or you ‘should’ go to that networking event,” she explains. “You decide how you use your time; it is sacred, so guard it.”
Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group, RCS Capital Corporation’s (NYSE: RCAP) retail investment advice platform.
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