If most Female Advisors are like me ( which I believe they are), creating a time-blocked schedule is not always easy. It would be one thing if, as women, we had control over our time, but there is nothing more frustrating than having this beautiful time blocked schedule and then get a call from a sick child, causing your schedule to go to hell. You come in the next day determined to make your schedule work, and something else comes up again, changing the course of your day. If you are a working mom, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
As a coach to female financial advisors, this is a common frustration, but the problem is not the interruptions but the unrealistic notion that a time-blocked schedule will work for you. When I went through training as a financial advisor, I was taught the man’s way of time management, blocking out every hour of every day, I could not get this to work, and it only made me more frustrated. The reality was I would continue to have disruptions to my day as long as I continued to be a Mother (not really an option.) So I had to find another way. Today in my work as an independent coach, I find DAY BLOCKING a fabulous alternative that I recommend to all my clients.
Day blocking gave me the freedom and flexibility I needed while still addressing all the important priorities in my business. If something got left out, I was able to choose what was eliminated from my day. The whole concept behind day blocking is to create a structure with flexibility. In my practice, I encourage my female financial advisor clients to adopt the following day blocking schedule; all of them have found this process SO MUCH more conducive to their other responsibilities in life.
Mondays – A great day to decompress from the weekend and plan and prepare for the week. I was told to do this on Fridays, but I was always so fried it never got done on Friday. When I stopped holding appointments on Monday and gave myself a day to regroup, the rest of my week was so much more productive. On top of that, I didn’t feel so stressed and anxious Sunday night which always seemed to flow over into my family life. Think of Mondays as your administration day, prep-day, planning day. By the time you leave the office on Monday, you are excited about the week ahead and feeling totally prepared for any upcoming appointments.
Tuesday – Wednesday-Thursday: These are great appointment days. Stop trying to accommodate everyone else’s schedule; let them work around your schedule. You are worth it. Be willing to limit the number of appointments you have each day: schedule 3 each day, 9 for the week with at least 50% with new prospective clients. Always give yourself some extra time to return calls from the day and address issues that become urgent.
Fridays – This is a great marketing and follow-up day. This is when you can review your appointments from the week, meet with your assistant or team and summarize the activities and progress from the week. Friday is also a great day for marketing, being creative, and research interesting ideas and articles to send to clients; an easier way to engage a brain a little weary for the wear.
Whether you use day blocking or time blocking, the key is to realize that life happens! As much as we would like to control our day and time, most of us are wives, daughters, and mothers first. A better way to gauge your progress is how well you can bob and weave around life’s events and come right back swinging…
We all have our own little secrets and systems in managing our time – what is yours?