Advisor looks at calendar on computer screen

Time Management Tips for Financial Advisors

Every financial advisor knows our time is precious. But so often, we feel like we’ve barely made a dent in our unending to-do list of client services, portfolio management and office administration.

Work smarter, not harder (you’re already doing that!), with these best practices for advisor time management.

1. Identify Your Time-Wasters

Kickstart your productivity with an informal time assessment. Use a software tool or an old-fashioned notebook to track what you’re doing (think in categories like email, client meetings, marketing, etc.) and when. Do this for a few days to account for any anomalies. If you’re honest about your tracking, what you discover may surprise you.

2. Establish a Routine

Small habits can become a regular routine. You do this with exercise, meditation and sleep to keep your body and brain healthy. Why not try it out at work? Maybe you dedicate Tuesdays and Thursdays to client meetings, and tackle CRM updates Friday morning. Your routine can be daily, weekly or both — the goal here is to streamline your workdays so you spend less time deciding what to do when. 

3. Plan Your Week in Advance

Ready to get that routine going? Start by outlining your goals, priorities and to-do list early. Maybe that’s Friday, or maybe it’s Monday morning. Do what works best for you.

4. Assign Blocks of Time to Certain Tasks

It seems natural to answer emails the minute they arrive, but how many times a day are you navigating away from your current task to your inbox? Try scheduling two blocks of time in your day for email — or any other distracting, recurring task — to keep it in check.

5. Prioritize What’s Most Important Today and Tomorrow

Sometimes we need an easy task to spur our productivity. But to be truly strategic, you need to prioritize everything on your plate. One option: the Eisenhower matrix. The grid breaks tasks down into four quadrants by importance and urgency: do first, schedule, delegate and don’t do.

6. Trust Your Team — Delegate

Time to hand over the reins for assignments that aren’t critical, timely or what you truly love to do. If updating your website and scheduling client meetings isn’t the best use of your time, offload that to your support staff (or consider adding an employee).

7. Know When You’re Most Productive

Upping your time management game means being honest with yourself. Maybe you’ve tried being a 6 a.m. worker in the past, and it just isn’t for you. That’s OK — just stop putting unrealistic expectations on yourself. Identify the blocks of time you work best, and schedule your most important tasks then. If you know you lag starting at 3 p.m., that’s not an ideal time to schedule critical new client meetings.

8. Schedule Breaks — Big and Small

Don’t be a productivity hero. Your body needs breaks, and they can have big psychological benefits. Consider using a tool like a pomodoro timer, which includes focused work for 25 minutes, then a 5-minute break. After four “pomodoros,” you take an extended break. Away from your computer is best: take a walk, chat with coworkers, etc. And don’t forget about the importance of those big breaks we call vacation — they’re critical for employee wellness.

Fostering Work-Life Balance

At Farm Bureau, we know happy and healthy Wealth Management Advisors are successful. We’re here to support you so you can focus on the important things — both at the office and at home. Schedule a meeting today to discuss your future at Farm Bureau.