In this podcast episode you’ll learn 3 tips to get more done in less time and do it consistently week in, week out.
Specifically, you’ll learn about planning effective weeks and leverage the power of time blocking.
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This transcript was auto-generated. Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors.
Hey, Hey. Welcome back to Bullpen Sessions. My name is Andy Neary and this is episode 245. Today, I am going to be sharing three time management tips to help you create exponential productivity. But before we get there, one, I will make a quick shout out to our sponsor. A complete game consulting. Yes, that is my business. We don’t take any sponsors on.
However, if you are one of my advisors listening in first, thank you. I hope you have subscribe to the podcast, but we’ve got half the year to go. If you know you need to book more appointments with the right prospects and you feel like it’s been a little tougher than it used to be. Those tips, strategies, tactics you’ve been using in the past aren’t working like they used to. Picking up that phone is not as effective. We can help by getting access to the complete game marketing playbook. We will help you build a process to book more appointments and a process to make them clients. So go to the show notes, click the links, schedule a call with somebody on our team, and let’s see if the playbook is a fit for you.
All right, back to today’s episode. Today, I am going to share three time management tips to help you create exponential productivity. This is a topic near and dear to my heart. It is one of the reasons complete game consulting has been able to grow like it has for the last two and a half years. And it’s a struggle that pops up for so many of our insurance advisors we get the opportunity to work with.
When I sit down and I work with our clients and we build, you know, the ideal prospect, we build the marketing strategy and the marketing process. One of the biggest challenges we see is the execution. I get this comment a lot more than I would like to from from the people we get a chance to work with. Andy I now know what to do.
I don’t have the time to do it, so I’m going to say that’s an excuse and I’m going to teach you today how to be more effective with your time. You see, when when we under-deliver our coaching content, the program, the product we have is called the Complete Game marketing Playbook. In it, it has four pillars clarity, content, capture and convert.
Each pillar has three modules from which we coach and teach, So there are 12 total modules in the playbook. However, I think we’re going to be coming out with a magical 13th module, which is time management, because no matter what you learn from us, if you are not effective with your time, what we teach is going to be a waste of your time.
So today I’m going to share three tips that have helped me be hyper productive, and I think they can be very effective for you as well. By the way, they’re very practical. They’re very simple but effective. You see, when it comes to time management, I want you to grade yourself right now on a scale of 1 to 10 zero being one being I’m an absolute horrible at time management ten.
I am a perfectionist. I’ve got everything dialed in, locked in minute to minute. I know exactly what I’m doing now. I don’t think anybody’s a ten. But one thing I’ve been proud of from a time management perspective is I have been an eight or a nine for a few years, and I think it is what has allowed me to get a ton done in a matter of of months that might take other people a year.
In fact, one of our employees who we have brought on as as a sales sales rep for us, said, made the comment the other day in our team meeting and you realize you get more done in a week than some people do in a quarter. And I don’t say that to brag, but I say it because this this is what has allowed us to have a lot of success.
And when I break down what I’m doing and what we’re doing as a company, to be ultra productive, to be very effective with our time, I think what I’m going to teach you today is going to be very useful. Now you’ve got to execute. But I think what what you’re going to hear today, you’re going to say, yeah, I could implement that.
So when it comes to time management, here’s here’s a struggle I see for for most insurance advisors, when you don’t have a plan, a weekly plan, and you’re not managing your time hour by hour or half hour by half hour and you don’t know what to do next, you will always resort back to what’s easiest, which means in our world, shuffling paper following up on client emails.
And at the end of the day, you’re not really being effective with your time. Now, in today’s world of some, you know, working from home, that also might be including, yeah, you probably throw in a little too many loads in the laundry when you should be doing some work. So let’s talk about time management and I will share with you kind of where my time management journey began.
And then I’m going to share the three tips I want to pass on to you that I think have been most effective for me. So in 2014, when Amy and I moved out to Colorado, I really had jumped into the world of personal development all that much by that point. But when I found myself kind of with a clean slate, I was in a market.
Nobody knew me. I was kind of, Hey, I get to build my own game plan from scratch. I knew I needed help, but I also knew I didn’t want to go get it from the industry. I actually wanted to go outside the industry to see what other people were doing and that I was going to bring that training, that strategy back into my insurance business.
And so the first self-development investment I ever made was in Darren Hardy. Darren, if you’re listening in, you are the first mentor I’ve ever had. You have changed my career. I’ve never met you, but thank you for for doing what you do. So I invested in a Darren Hardy program that was called, I believe there was in your living your best year ever, I believe as well.
It’s called Designing your Best Year Ever. And then he had a program called Insane Productivity, and the first course I bought was insane productivity. It was an online course. I think it was about a nine week course. Every week a new new training rolled out, but it was there. I really started learning about the importance of time management.
It was there that I learned about the concept of shelving your priorities where, Hey, if you set a block of time on Thursday for a specific project, the second you put it in your calendar, it’s shelved. It’s like you put it up on the bookshelf. You don’t have to think about it any more until Thursday when that priority arrives.
And so I just started digesting this content and applying it to my own business. And fast forward nine years later, I am a time management junky and I’m still a work in progress. I’m still not where I should be. But man, looking back on, I know where I was to what I’m doing today. It is the number one thing that has helped us stay successful and keep growing here.
I complete game consulting. I can tell you that is our ability to get the amount of stuff done in the amount of time we do with as few people as we do. And so let’s talk about the three tips I want to share with you that have changed my career. Tip number one, planning year weeks. Now, I know that sounds very practical, like no shit, Andy.
I know I should plan my weeks, but are you actually taking the time to do that? I talk about non negotiable a lot. I think one of the non-negotiables in your life in your business has to be planning your week. So the first tip I’m going to give on planning your weeks is you have to block time to planning your weeks.
For me, that is Sunday morning. Sometimes as early as 630 in the morning, I designate an hour every single week, Sunday morning, no matter where we are to planning my weeks non-negotiable. Now I just got done planning the third quarter. So here we are. It’s late July. About a month ago I sat down and I plan not only July, but I had to plan the quarter.
So it’s a constant evolution of planning your weeks, planning your months, planning your quarters. That takes a little more time. But the majority of the time you’re just going to be focused on planning your week. So the first thing you got to do is block time to plan your weeks. It’s got to be on your calendar. Now, when I plan my week, I go through a series of questions.
And if anybody if you’re listening in and you’re like, Hey, where did you get these questions from? These are questions I’ve actually developed myself. But ironically, since I’ve used this journal, if you’re watching the video, you can see it. It’s a clever fox. I should have an affiliate link. I have sold so many of these to clients and peers.
Clever Fox is the daily, weekly, monthly yearly planner. I use it as phenomenal and what I love about it is every week it forces me to ask the following questions. Number one, what were my wins from the previous week? So it forces me to look back and celebrate progress. And I look back and I say, okay, what were the small, small or big wins we had last week?
Celebrate process progress. Then it asks, What are you looking forward to this week? So now we look ahead and go, Cool, what am I excited about this week? Maybe it’s something professional. I’ve got a big meeting up coming up with a prospect or I’m expecting a new client to come on board or personally. Hey, we’re going paddleboarding. I’m going golf with my dad, whatever it is.
What are you looking forward to? And then it has me dive into my priorities. What are my top personal priorities for the week? What are my top professional priorities? And then it forces me to look at those and say, Cool, Of all those tattoos, what are the top three for the week? That if all you got done this week was those three, it would be a successful week.
And then it asks, Cool with your top three priorities. What’s your number one goal? And this is what I love about the planner is if you’re listening in and you are in the insurance industry, you have a large to do list. I get it. But not everything has equal priority. No matter how long your list is, there are things that should be sitting at the top.
But the problem is you’re not focusing on them because they’re not easy yet. They’re going to move the needle the farthest. So my first tip for you is you need to spend time every week before the week starts. By the way, if you’re planning your week on a monday morning, too late. It has got to be before Monday morning.
Sit down, look back, say what were my wins last week? What insights did I gain last week? How can I be better next week? What am I looking forward to next week and then start listing out the to the to do list and then break in that to do list down to what are my top priorities. So I do that every Sunday morning.
So tip number one. Yeah, half the plan you’re week now tip number two that week has to show up on your calendar. So as you start, look at your priorities for the week, both personally and professionally. You have to look at your calendar and say, Are those priorities finding spots on my calendar? One of the things I have been accused of for quite a while is I have been told I have an intimidating calendar and I have it for a reason.
Number one, I don’t want to make it easy for you to schedule your time, your priorities into my calendar. But number two, it looks busy because every priority I have for the week has space on the calendar, so it looks like the calendar is full. It should look full. If you’ve got too much white space on your calendar that tells me you’re not moving enough big rocks.
So when I look at my tattoos, even if it’s something I’ve got to do internally in the office, I will schedule time on the calendar at some point in the week to get that done. That’s where the concept of shelving comes in. When I work with advisors, you’re probably one of them listening in. I know you have more than one role in your company.
You probably have a responsibility, so you probably have a responsibility to manage your current clients. And if you have any ownership or leadership in the company, you probably have some leadership roles within the company. But here’s the thing if you don’t shelve those priorities, you tried to play all three roles all the time and you play none of them well.
You have to shelve those priorities at certain points of the week, so you can only focus on one thing at a time. If you’ve got a big priority this week to prepare for an upcoming finalist meeting. Without putting that time on the calendar, you are going to think about that preparation every minute of the day you’re at the office.
But if you put it on the calendar for Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m., guess what? You don’t have to think about it anymore until Wednesday at 2 p.m.. So the second tip to being highly effective with your time management is to make sure your priorities are actually on the calendar. The good news is if one of your priorities is a big final list meeting, there’s a good chance it’s already on your calendar.
Great. Check the box. But how many of your other priorities, those things you need to do to work on the business actually show up on your calendar. And a little side tip to that. I color code every thing, so every different type of priority that shows up on my calendar has a different color. So when I look at my calendar every week, I know exactly what everything is based on their color, but so a little less white space on your calendar.
Start putting all of your priorities on the calendar. If it is on that to do list, especially on top of that to do list, it better show up on the calendar somewhere. If it doesn’t, you’re probably not going to get it done. Tip number three Plan The night before. I already told you the importance of planning your week and the fact you have to have time on the calendar to plan your week before you wake up on Monday morning.
But even if you’ve got that plan on the calendar the entire week planned out, you still need to take time the night before to look at tomorrow. Never go to bed without planning tomorrow. Things change throughout the week. Priorities change throughout the week. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve looked at my week. It looks perfect and all of a sudden Wednesday night, I’m looking at Thursday.
I’m like, Wait, things got to adjust. A new priority popped up. Somebody postponed, canceled, got a new timeslot to fill that we could use for effectively. This is why planning the night before is so important. And by the way, when you spend time the night before planning, you’ll go to bed and your brain is already going to start working to make tomorrow successful.
But if you wake up in the morning, not sure what your plan is. At the end of the day, you really have no plan at all and your calendar is going to own you. And this is the final piece of the third tip I want to share, which I have leaned into harder now than I ever have before, and that is quit negotiating with your calendar if you take the time to plan your weeks, you make sure all of your priorities show up on your calendar every night before you go to bed.
Monday through Thursday night, you look at tomorrow, you plan out the day to make sure you have it locked in. When you wake up, you only have one job. Follow the plan. Quit negotiating with your calendar. Quit putting a priority there on Sunday and then get to Thursday. Be like, I don’t really want to do that. When people ask us how we get so much done here, I complete game consulting.
I tell them our days are planned from start to finish and I don’t judge or negotiate with the calendar. You just wake up and run the schedule. It actually eliminates a lot of the thinking. It takes away a lot of stress because your calendar is already telling you what you got to do today. Let your calendar be your judge and your jury.
So that’s my advice for you today. I wanted to talk about time management because I see a lot of advisors struggle with it. It’s what’s keeping them from hitting their sales goals. They’re focused on the wrong things and they don’t have a plan and therefore they’re planning the sale. So take these three tips block time every week to plan your week.
Use the questions. I gave you a few minutes back on how to set up the planning for a good week. Number two, make sure all of your priorities are showing up on your calendar at some point in the week. Start with your top three and then number three. Never go to bed without planning the next day. Never go to bed without reviewing the next day and then just wake up and run the plan.
Sound simple. A lot more easy to do. It’s easy to say that execute. But trust me, if you just apply these three things to your weekly time management, you will see your productivity soar. All right. If you have any questions, you know where to reach out. Otherwise, be well and have an amazing weekend.