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What’s your biggest time-management challenge in the workplace? If it’s phone calls, emails, and/or texts, you’re not alone. A Hartford Funds poll found that 50% of financial advisors list these, as well as procrastination, as their workplace time challenges.

All our devices—the smartphones, laptops, tablets—are promoted as tools that can keep us connected. But if we’re not careful, they can do just the opposite by distracting us, from both our personal and business lives.

 

What’s the Cost of an Empty Inbox?

On average, it takes 25 minutes to refocus after a distraction such as answering a text or phone call.1 And how many of them do you receive throughout each day? All told, it’s estimated that workers spend approximately three hours each day managing their emails alone.* Addressing these tasks tends to be so distracting because we view them as urgent. When we see new messages, we feel obligated to address them immediately. In fact, the term “telepressure” was coined to describe this inescapable call of constant pings and dings in our lives.

This fixation on responding immediately actually causes additional stress in our lives since we must juggle it with our existing tasks and priorities. But in reality, these tasks are insignificant in comparison to the activities that move the needle, and detracting from time you should be spending on tasks that can improve your business.

 

Separate $10/hr Work From $10,000/hr Work

As financial advisors, even though you feel like you need to attend to each of these minor distractions throughout the day, they don't contribute to the health and growth of your business. These tasks, such as email, phone calls, texting, etc., are your $10 an hour work. Addressing them during market hours or during the prime time you could be meeting with clients, your $10,000 an hour work, means you’re leaving opportunities on the table.

Instead, try time blocking. Set aside specific times during the day that you’ll use to knock out these tasks. For example, you could devote 30 minutes in the morning to focus exclusively on answering emails. Also, consider applying the OHIO method—“only handle it once”—by either doing it, delegating it, or deleting it. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish in such a short time.

To identify your time-management challenges and maximize your strengths, download our worksheet. You can also reach out to your Hartford Funds advisor consultant to make the most of your valuable time by building a time-management strategy designed uniquely for you.

 

Next Steps

1 Get the advisor worksheet
2 Within one week, identify your pillars
3 Contact your Hartford Funds to develop a Custom Accountability Program (CAP)


More on Time Management for Financial Professionals >

 

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1 12 Common Workplace Distractions and How You Can Stay Focused Anyway, entrepreneur.com, 3/22/19

* How to Spend Way Less Time on Email Every Day, hbr.org, 1/22/19

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