Time Management for Financial Advisors - Bill Good Marketing

Time Management for Financial Advisors

Effective time management is one of the most important skills a financial advisor can have.  Why?  I think Benjamin Franklin said it best:  

 “Remember that time is money.”


Every day, thousands of advisors go into their office, close the door, and look at their massive “to-do” list. And every day, thousands of advisors make the same mistake. To explain what that mistake is, picture this scenario:

It’s time to mow the lawn, so you get out your mower and start woTime managementrking on your front yard. On the way, you notice there are a lot of weeds in the garden. So you start pulling weeks. Once you have a pile, you head to the back to throw them into the garbage can. That’s when you notice how long the grass in your back yard is. So you fetch your lawn mower and start on the back yard. After doing this for a few minutes, you remember that you never finished the front yard. So again you go to the front to mow a few strips until –

Seems nuts, doesn’t it? No one mows their lawn this way. 

But this is exactly how thousands of advisors spend each day. I’ll give you an example:

James Q. Sellers, financial advisor, goes into his office and looks at his massive “to-do” list. He picks up the phone to call a prospect, then notices he’s received several emails. So he responds to a couple of those first until his assistant pops in with some papers to sign. Then he remembers he has a meeting to prep for. He starts doing that when his phone rings. It’s a client with a question. After chatting with the client for 30 minutes, he decides to check on the markets. That reminds him of some investment research he has to do. Then a few emails come in, and he decides to respond to them before they really pile up. Before he knows it, four hours have gone by, and the meeting he was supposed to prep for starts in 20 minutes and he never was able to call that prospect. 

Over my thirty years in the industry, I’ve seen more advisors work this way than not. It’s an enormous mismanagement of time. Thankfully, the solution is simple. You just have to follow my:


The Model Day Principle works like this:

1.    Always group similar actions and activities into their own time block. This is called a “mini-day.” 

For example, you could have a mini-day for “Planning.” Another for “Calling.” A third for “Meetings.” A fourth for “Research.” A fifth for “Administrative Tasks” (like answering emails.) You get the idea.  The key here is that during each mini-day, you focus solely on the activities related to that mini-day.  In other words, no answering emails when you’re supposed to be on the phone.  And when one mini-day ends, it ends.  Don’t allow mini-days to bleed into each other.  If there are activities from one mini-day you haven’t finished, simply make them your highest priority during the same mini-day tomorrow.  

2.    Always position each time block at the time of day when you are statistically most likely to be successful. (For example, make all of your sales calls in the morning, usually between 8:00-10:00am.)

That’s it. By following this one simple trick, you can develop a momentum and focus that you will not enjoy if your day has no structure – or even the wrong structure.

That’s a big deal, because according to numerous industry studies, the number one thing most advisors wish they have more of (besides assets, of course) is TIME. Our own studies here at Bill Good Marketing show that you are worth at least $1,000/hour in gross revenue when meeting with and talking to clients and prospects. 

But how often do you spend meeting and talking with clients and prospects? Probably not nearly as much as you would like.

Fortunately, I’ve developed lots of simple ways to get more out of the time you already have. The Model Day Principle described above is one of the best, as it solves the problem of being pulled in dozens of different directions at once. But there are numerous other strategies that can help you create more time to prospect, meet with clients, or do whatever else you want to do! Just visit my page on time management.

It’s chock-full of information on time-management best practices. And while you’re there, you can download the following goodies:

Time Management for Financial Advisors – This explains the basics on how advisors can get more out of their day. 

The Model Day: Key to Better Time Management – This is the holy grail. I was perhaps the first to recommend that advisors structure their day in a particular way, and since then, I’ve helped thousands of FAs do just that. This document will show you how to repeat their success. 

The Model Day Workbook – This is an Excel workbook that will help you design your own Model Week. Among other things, it will help you put the Model Day Principle into practice. 

So what are you waiting for? As Benjamin Franklin said, “Time is money.” So don’t waste any more time. Go to my time management page to start getting more out of your day!  

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