One of the most frequently asked questions I get is about how I manage my time due to my three roles as an agency leader, Court of the Table member and a mother. For me, it’s about three time management principles I strictly adhere to. These are
1. Efficiency vs. effectiveness
Efficiency and effectiveness are not the same thing.
Efficiency is the ability to accomplish something with the least amount of wasted time, money and effort for competency in performance.
Effectiveness is the degree to which something is successful in producing a desired result.
For example, when it comes to sales appointments with first-time prospects, some advisors might take the shortest time possible to complete this first appointment.
No doubt, efficiency would be greatly enhanced, as the advisor accomplished the appointment with the least amount of wasted time and effort. However, the effectiveness is likely to be compromised. At the end of the day, this business is all about relationships and emotional connection.
On the flip side, if an advisor is willing to invest time and effort in the first appointment to get to know the prospect well, chances are a strong connection and relationship would be fostered.
Usually, my appointments take two to three hours because I spend time listening proactively to my prospects’ and clients’ stories. You would be amazed how by keeping our mouths shut we gain greater insights, which enable more effective closings.
2. The urgent-important matrix
All of us have 24 hours every day, but how we use the time differs. To take your career to the next level and go from MDRT to Court of the Table to Top of the Table, it’s paramount to understand the urgent-important matrix, which was discussed by author Stephen R. Covey.
Most of us spend our time on activities that are usually neither important nor urgent. It’s human to focus on activities that do not require much thought. For example, if an advisor is spending more than one hour a day on administrative activities, they will not be a productive advisor.
If, however, you delegate administrative work to your personal assistant or even eliminate activities, such as excessive scrolling through social media feeds, you would instantly be able to use your time better. For example, the additional time could be allocated to the important activity of planning and business strategizing.
3. Give priority to your big rocks
Big rocks, which was a concept popularized by Covey, are our nonnegotiable values. For me, my nonnegotiables would be family time with my kids on the weekend, my health and fitness, and community work.
By blocking off your calendar for activities relating to these big rocks, it allows you to be even more productive and at ease with yourself because you are giving them the first priority in your calendar.
I find this quote from author Michael Hyatt to be so true, “What gets scheduled gets done.”
Jaslyn Ng is a five-year MDRT member and a Court of the Table qualifier from Singapore.
For more time management ideas: