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My Workweek Transformation: The Impact of the Model Week Approach

Yeah, it might sound crazy, but using the model week method let me cut down my work hours from 80 to just 25 a week, and my sales didn’t take a hit either.

Imagine if you could double your income, cut your work hours in half, and have more time for your family and personal life. Sounds really good, right? With a model week, these benefits are possible.

I used to believe the key to success was working longer and harder. It worked for a while, but when I started a family, something had to change. That’s when I discovered the power of a model week, which transformed my practice and my life. I was able to dramatically shorten my work week from 80 hours to 25 hours while still achieving much more.

And you can do the same.


First, What's a Model Week

A model week involves creating a weekly schedule in which you dedicate specific time blocks for different activities in your practice.

Creating a model week was initially stressful for me, but I approached it more as a puzzle that I could figure out. You might feel some stress as you begin creating your model week, too.

I realized that I was running my practice with no structure. I worked when I felt like it, met clients whenever they were available, and squeezed all the tasks inside my practice into random pockets of time. By building out my model week with a lot more structure, I was able to give myself much more freedom because I had a structure in place.

My model week maximized my productivity and energy levels and improved my work-life balance.

If I could teach financial professionals only one idea to implement in their practice, it would hands-down be a model week.


Second, Design Your Model Week

  1. Track Your Time

    Start by recording how you spend your time for two weeks. See what’s taking up your time, where you’re spending it, and what tasks you’re working on. This will reveal areas for improvement and inform your ideal model week.

    Also determine when you have the most energy. Do you do better with deep work in the morning or the evening? Do you feel more creative at the beginning of the week? Do you feel as though you’ve run out of gas by the end of the week?

    Evaluate when you do your best work.

  2. Identify Priorities

    Review your activities in step 1. Make a list of your top priorities, such as client meetings, prospecting, planning, and learning.

    Evaluate which tasks really need to be done, what can be consolidated, and what can be time blocked. Where are you wasting time? Often, financial professionals say to me, “Meeting notes take me way too long. I can’t believe I spent as much time on meeting notes as I did in client meetings this week.”

  3. Block Your Time

    Allocate dedicated time blocks for each priority in your weekly schedule.

    As you do this, look for time wasters. Can you batch similar tasks to avoid context switching? For example, I used to waste time with 30-minute buffer periods between client meetings. And instead of doing something productive with that time (e.g., meeting follow-up), I’d jump on Instagram or another time waster and not do anything productive.

    Instead, I scheduled client meetings back-to-back and dedicated a separate block for follow-up. This saved hours of time and reduced distractions.

  4. Maximize Productivity

    Match your tasks to your energy levels. Tackle demanding tasks when you’re most focused and leave less demanding ones for lulls. I do my creative work early in the week and save administrative tasks for when my creative energy is low.

  5. Implement the “Rapid-Fire Power Hour”

    Instead of tackling small tasks throughout the week, collect them in a “Rapid-Fire Power Hour” folder. Then, at a designated time when your deep work energy is low, dedicate an hour to knocking out all those accumulated tasks. It’s a terrific way to feel productive even when you feel mentally spent.

  6. Buffer Time

    Build in flexibility to handle unexpected issues or last-minute tasks. In my model week, I have buffer slots on Tuesdays and Thursdays for follow-up and calls. Knowing I have dedicated time for these scenarios reduces feelings of being overwhelmed and gives me peace of mind.

  7. Create and Maintain Boundaries

    Set clear boundaries between work and personal life, especially if you work remotely. Define when work starts and ends to prevent burnout. My team understood and supported my model week because they understood it allowed us to achieve everything without feeling overwhelmed. They helped me stay on track by reminding me of my commitments during my dedicated time blocks.


My Workweek Transformation: The Impact of the Model Week Approach

Yeah, it might sound crazy, but using the model week method let me cut down my work hours from 80 to just 25 a week, and my sales didn’t take a hit either.

Libby’s Model Week

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:30   Coaching   Educational Time  
9:00 Folder Review
& Agendas
9:30 Coaching   Appointment  
10:30 Planning Time Coaching   Appointment  
11:30 Appointment   Appointment  
12:30 Lunch Email   Lunch Email  
1:00 Lunch Email Appointment   Team Meeting  
1:30 Appointment    
2:00 Appointment   Planning Time  
2:30 Appointment    
3:00 Appointment    
3:30 Appointment    
4:00 Follow Up/Wrap
Up/Call Back
  Follow Up/Wrap
Up/Call Back
4:30 Break/Email    
5:00 Appointment        
6:00 Appointment        


Third, Implement Your Model Week

Pick a start date when you’re going to give the model week a full trial run.

Usually, this should be a month or two in advance because many financial professionals already have appointments scheduled, or you’ve already got things on the books; this can make implementing a model week challenging in the beginning. Begin by picking a start date when you can say, “This is how we’re going to run the next three weeks, and we’re going to try our hardest to stick to this model week and see how it works.” After you pick a start date, communicate to your team or anyone that you work with regularly what you’re doing; why you’re doing it; how you’re going to do it; how it’ll impact them; and how it’ll positively impact the practice. This is a key step because you’ll need buy-in from the people who will potentially interact with you, and your calendar affects your team.

For example, if your team is used to coming into your office at any time to ask questions, and instead you’re moving to a designated time for team questions, it’s going to be an adjustment for them. You may even encounter some resistance in the beginning until they fully understand the “why” behind making that switch to a model week.


Don’t Expect It to Immediately Work Perfectly

The great part about a model week is that when you find one that works for you, it can be highly effective. But it typically takes several attempts to get it right.

After your initial implementation, ask yourself: Did I stick to it? For which tasks did I not allot enough time? For which tasks did I allot too much time? And then it’s just a matter of tinkering and continuing to move things around while being aware that you’re spending time on things that you should be delegating, automating, or eliminating. Then you can adjust your model week accordingly. If you start delegating, automating, or eliminating a considerable number of tasks, you’re going to have some extra time in your schedule that you can rearrange and give to other things that really do move the needle for your practice.


Next Steps

  1. Start by recording how you spend your time for two weeks
  2. List your top priorities
  3. Create your model week schedule

About The Author
Julie L. Genjac

Do you ever wish you knew a financial professional who built a 7-figure practice—while only working 3 days a week—that was willing to share her systems, processes, and business hacks with you? Meet the Efficient Advisor Podcast host Libby Greiwe. Her specialty? Breaking down the functions of a financial planning practice into actionable step-by-step processes designed to get you results and get you out of overwhelm. She ran her own planning business for 16 years culminating in a sale & retirement in 2019. Now, she’s simply just obsessed with helping other amazing financial professionals do the same thing.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author, who is not affiliated with Hartford Funds. 3434844

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