For most business people, as quickly as each new calendar year kicks into full steam so too does the annual ‘busy’ mindset. Email responses take four times longer (or not at all), calls aren’t returned, meetings are moved continually, strategic planning is put to the back burner and most meetings start with a standard sigh followed by thinking ‘I’m just so busy’.

However, it’s rare that ‘busy’ translates to profitable or productive. It’s just a mindset.

There are so many downsides of coming across as ‘just too busy’ including:

  1. Peers or prospective clients perceiving you’re at capacity and hesitating to refer or engage you
  2. Focusing on the urgent and unimportant issues 95% of the time and missing strategic opportunities means taking your business in the wrong direction or having ‘ground hog years’
  3. Neglecting the bigger picture, focusing on activities that aren’t important to the achievement of your life and business goals
  4. Self-sabotaging behaviour where you delay chasing prospective clients, sending out your contact program or replying promptly to key clients

If you genuinely are busy, ask yourself whether you are focusing on activities that make a real difference and are not simply placating the ‘squeaky wheel’?  Instead, what can you do to turn a ‘busy’ mindset into a ‘productive’ one? Here are two ideas and areas of capability to build:

Prioritise tasks rapidly and effectively

A clear vision for success is the key to rapid prioritisation, we’ve found that successful advisors are the ones who know where they are going and avoid or delegate tasks that do not contribute to the achievement of their goals. Whilst it’s difficult to resist the urge to deal immediately with the troublesome client, the benefits of effective time management translate to increased capacity and reduced stress.

Delegation to an ‘A’ team

Successful delegation is only possible with a great team around you, and this includes not only staff but also suppliers. Surrounding yourself with quality team members and suppliers will enable you to achieve your goals and control your stress levels. The key to success is an engaged employee enthusiastic about their work, taking positive action to further your organisation’s reputation and interests. Quality clients and suppliers who fit your model and core values will also be vital assets, avoiding distractions of poor quality support or the frustration of unreasonable clients.

6 strategies working for leading advisors

Further to the above strategies we’ve gathered some productivity-improving tips which are working for Mindshop advisors around the world:

  1. When reading emails either ‘do or delegate’, don’t sit on them to come back to later
  2. Initiate a 10-minute meeting at ten o’clock every day, an ‘ask and tell’ session that ensures anything that’s blocking progress is removed
  3. Implement technology time savers such as workflow, job management and email-to-action integration to be more effective with your time management
  4. Define clear roles and expectations for both your employees and suppliers
  5. At the end of the day, think about what you could have delegated to others and do so the next day
  6. Compartmentalise your day and concentrate on achieving just three things without the distraction of multi-tasking

When you move out of a ‘busy’ mindset and into a ‘productive’ one you will be surprised how much more of the important things you can achieve.