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Time management for financial planners – why helpful tips are not the answer

Is time management ever the real issue?

Time management for financial planners can seem like a big problem.

How often have you felt like you had way too much to do, way too little time to do it, and you’ve stressed out as a result?

If you Google the subject of ‘time management’ you will find a ton of helpful tips, strategies, and ideas.

But if all this information is so helpful then why is time management such an issue for so many people?

Because we treat symptom and not the root cause. This is like taking an antacid; it might provide you some short-term relief but the underlying condition remains.

The fullest schedule I have ever seen

A practice owner I once worked with had got in touch for help with her ‘time management issue’ because she was totally overwhelmed.

As she described her situation to me I remember thinking that she had the fullest schedule I had ever seen!

She had 28 client meetings booked in one week. The next 6 weeks (which was how long she booked ahead) looked very much the same.

The conventional approach to time management is a linear approach to a non-linear problem

It would not have been useful to tackle her ‘time management issue’ directly.

Let me explain…

Time management is about setting priorities, control, better processes, being organised, dealing with e-mail better, etc.

I am certainly not discounting the value of these things but are they what make people successful?

I recently read an article on time management that said, ‘The highest achievers manage their time exceptionally well.’

So, do people such as Warren Buffet, James Dyson, or Arianna Huffington build successful businesses because they are better at time management than most other people?

Or is there another factor involved?

As with all my clients I wanted to understand why what she was doing made sense to her.

What began to emerge in our conversation was the amount of insecure thinking she had around money.

She felt she had to keep bringing in as much money as she could even though she was completely overloaded. She was afraid to change the system, such as doing less work for higher fees, because on one level what she was doing was working for her.

The fork in the time management road

Down one fork is to try and fix what you perceive as the problem by applying time management techniques or external fixes. This the antacid approach.

I spent years going down this road myself and because it did not help that much I thought there must be something fundamentally wrong with me. Until I came across ‘The Three Principles’ understanding.

Down the other fork is a philosophical, yet highly practical understanding of how your mind works.

In a different state of mind the ‘problem’ will look completely different. And in a relaxed state of mind we all have unlimited capacity for new, creative thinking, and to live in rich, satisfying feelings.

The most helpful way to help someone realise this is to be humble, compassionate, and non-judgemental.

This includes the way you speak to yourself. High achievers often have a habit of being highly self-critical but as spiritual teacher Rupert Spira insightfully points out, “To discipline the separate self is to maintain the separate self.”

Clarity of mind completely changes your approach to time management

As soon as my client saw how she was creating her reality she was amazed and thrilled at how quickly she stopped struggling. She intuitively knew what she needed to do. Apart from reducing her schedule and putting up her fees, over the next few months she re-engineered her business in many other beneficial ways too.

She realised that simply re-arranging her schedule was not going to make much difference because that would be dealing with the symptom, not the cause.

How can this help you?

The main point is that the ultimate solution is a better state of mind. By all means use time management tools, but use them from clarity of mind and not because you think they will save you.

You have a built-in intelligence that will guide you through life. The more aligned you are with this intelligence the more you thrive and live in ‘flow’.

P.S. I work with financial professionals to help you maximise your results by having a clear sense or porpose, doing what you love, and eliminating stress. Click here for details of ‘The adviser 1-2-1 transformational coaching programme’

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