Six productivity hacks for busy people – By Kate McCallum
If you ask most people how they’re going, what’s the answer? Nine times out of ten, it’s “busy”.
I don’t know about you, but as an adviser, business owner, writer, wife, mother, friend, my life is consumed with a toppling calendar, a seemingly growing to-do list and headspace spinning with issues and opportunities.
To say sane, I’ve become focused on hacks and habits for productivity and time management. And it seems I’m not alone. When I reached out to our Inspire community to uncover their very best tips, they offered some beauties.
Here are the top six productivity tips that we came up with:
- Turn off notifications / platforms that you don’t need
“Basically single-tasking”, says Rebecca Pritchard, Financial Coach, Wealth Enhancers.
That tiny little bing is a major productivity killer because it interrupts you. How often are you working away with focused attention, and ‘bing’ a new email has arrived – or someone has liked your Instagram post.
The very technology that should make our lives easier can get in our way. And yet, you can control your technology.
So, turn off all distractions: Shut down your phone – and importantly put it out of sight. Silence your email alerts. Disconnect social media. And enjoy the luxury of focused attention.
- Keep a tidy environment
“A tidy space makes for a tidy mind” says Cassandra Hall, Head of Operations for the Hopkins Group. “The cleanliness of my home, my desk and my computer desktop all play roles in how clear my head is and how organised and productive I feel.”
Cass suggests checking out Tidying Up with Marie Kondo if you want to deep dive into decluttering your life.
Cara Graham, Director, TWD Advisers recommends systematising to provide a seamless experience for clients and enhance productivity. “To ensure our advisers are consistent in their approach, we use scripts or speaking guides for all key meetings.”
In addition, particularly to help meet disclosure requirements, Cara notes that TWD is increasingly using document templates.
Another favourite is to create email templates for your most common emails so that you don’t have to re-write the same thing multiple times and you save time.
- Go paperless
How many advisers talk about going paperless with client information and correspondence but don’t ever seem to find time to implement a paperless system?
Robyn Faber, former adviser and risk specialist says the concept is so simple – we just need to commit to putting it into practice. “I used to have little piles of paperwork everywhere and kept meaning to sort a system out for it. Instead I would spend ages looking for the one piece of paper I need.”
A simple first step? Ditch your paper-based to-do list. Capture all your tasks online in your CRM system, Outlook Tasks or one of the many to-do list apps now available.
- Say “no”
This is really is one of the easiest productivity hacks around.
This is about taking control of your calendar and your commitments. How often do you agreed to something – a meeting, a phone call, a speaking engagement – that is not moving you closer to your goals?
Is your calendar cluttered with hour-long meetings that you don’t really need to attend? Or perhaps could be replaced by an efficient 15-minute phone call?
So, the next time someone asks for your precious time, stop and consider whether it fits into your own priorities.
If the answer is no, then say “no”. You can try something like this: “Thank you for inviting me. It is very kind of you to think of me. Unfortunately, I already have a number of priorities that week which mean that I need to say no.”
- Ask for help
This article is a classic example. I wanted to share something that I felt would add value for you – and to do that most efficiently, I reached out to our Inspire community and asked for help.
By Kate McCallum
AFA Inspire National Chair
Email Kate: email@example.com