The Client-centred Blog

Better time management for financial advisers and planners

Who is in control – you or your device?

As a financial planner are you as productive as you would like to be?

Would you like to get more done, in less time, and with none of the stress?

In this article I am going to explore the hidden factor that leads to genuinely better time management for financial advisers and planners.

What is it that stops people being as productive as they would like to be?

You would imagine that in this wonderful age of information, gadgetry, and technology we would all be exceptionally productive and just as importantly, happy and satisfied with our lives.

Yet how true is this?

Think of how people use technology as an example. Instead of a tool we consciously use to make our lives better we can easily end up becoming slaves to our gadgets.

A survey (by Android app, Locket) revealed that the average user checks their phone 110 times per day and 25% of users actively use their handsets between 3am and 5am each day!

Do you experience continuous partial attention?

Consultant Linda Stone coined the term, ‘Continuous partial attention’. She noticed that many people have developed a habit of continuously dividing their attention amongst multiple things.

This is not ‘multi-tasking’ in a positive way but rather a fear driven state of not wanting to miss out on anything.

This state stifles reflection, contemplation, decision making, productivity, and affects relationships. And aren’t these all key factors in both how wisely you use your time and your quality of life?

Where does better time management really come from?

Whilst the business world abounds with lots of tools, tips, and ideas on productivity, these mostly tell you what to do or how to think.

If you are in a clear state of mind this kind of advice can, at times, be helpful.

Yet I have found most productivity challenges, including my own, were not solved in this way because at the root of the problem is an over-burdened state of mind.  

Author Timothy Gallwey (in the ‘The Inner game of work’) shared a formula in relation to realising your full potential, which is as follows:

Performance = Potential – Interference

This points out that your performance and, therefore, your results will always be defined by your pure potential, minus interference.

Interference is always coming from your thought in the moment rather than from your external circumstances. So, includes over-thinking, frustration, worry, tension, and impatience.

A game-changing approach to better time management

Can you imagine how useful it would be to significantly reduce interference and operate from a state of complete presence with what you are doing?

When your mind is clear better time management comes naturally to you. You are more responsive, resourceful, intelligent, can see the bigger picture, solve problems quicker and easier, and feel good too.

I realise a question you might now be asking is, “Ok, so how do I get rid of interference?”

The conventional approach, just as with better time management, prescribes that you manage your mind and offers a plethora of techniques.

Yet managing the mind in this way is not a realistic proposition. You have about as much chance of managing your thoughts as you do of controlling the weather. If it really were possible to manage your mind using a technique, then nobody would suffer ever again. And we know this is not true.

What holds infinite potential is realising the nature of the mind. Simply put:

1. Your mind only works one way – from inside to out

2. Your mind has an in-built design for success

The more you realise these two facts the more clarity, productivity, and less stress you will experience.

Better time management for financial advisers and planners

I will finish with a paragraph from Michael Neill’s book, ‘The inside-out revolution’:

When we take the pressure off ourselves to produce results at any cost, and instead rest in our innate well-being, enjoying our life, following our wisdom, and looking within for a deeper understanding of how it all works, things often seem to unfold more beautifully than we could ever have imagined. We start to notice all sorts of synchronicities and serendipities, and outcomes that may have eluded us for years begin to happen seemingly ‘all by themselves’.

P.S. Do you want more help? You can read my blog post, ‘Can coaching for financial planners really help your career?’ by clicking here. Contact me at john@clientcentredadvisers.com if you would like to speak.

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