7 Surprisingly Simple Ways To Double Your Productivity This Week
What changes would you make if you had to double your productivity today? Matthew Jarvis, CFP®, shares seven surprisingly simple ways you could do just that.
5 min read
What if you woke up tomorrow morning with twice as many clients as you currently have, and if you couldn’t deliver massive value to every single one, you’d lose them all?
How would you change your practice to win this do-or-die double-your-productivity challenge?
After coaching hundreds, if not thousands, of advisors, I’ve learned much about what works in practice and what doesn’t. Most importantly, I’ve seen that time is our ultimate currency.
Doubling your productivity is within your control, and here are [number] hacks you can use to increase efficiency:
1. Turn off all notifications
Have you ever noticed how many notifications come across your devices daily?
Every time your device dings with a new alert, you lose focus and waste time. Does this sound familiar:
You get an alert that piques your curiosity, so you stop what you’re doing to check it out. You’ll notice it’s an email from someone with a “quick question” (but no questions are ever quick).
You open the email, skim it, think about how to answer the question, maybe Google a fact, reread the email, and hit “reply.” After carefully drafting your response, you send off your answer.
Once you hit the “send” button, you must get your brain back in gear. You’ll spend several more minutes remembering where your focused train of thought left the station and chasing it down.
You’ll get back into your groove only to receive another notification. And another. And another.
Before you know it, you’ve wasted an hour of what should have been productive, deep-focused work.
Receiving notifications is a fantastic way to squander your time. Do yourself a favor and turn them off.
2. Block time-sucking websites
You may be thinking that you don’t spend a lot of time on websites like The Wall Street Journal, ESPN, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. But if you’re like any other average advisor, I will bet that you do. (If you don’t believe me, it’s time to put some tracking software on your computer, my friend, so that we can see where your time is really going.)
I know I’m guilty of wasting time on websites that aren’t productive—it’s definitely a vice, and I’ve had to bring in some extreme accountability because this is an area where willpower isn’t enough.
If you know that certain websites are a time-suck in your office, you need to go to your MSP or your tech company and block those websites like Netflix, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and any other website you find yourself going to again and again.
3. Create a perfect workweek
Creating a perfect work week for yourself and your team can go a long way in boosting your productivity. Doing so will give your entire office time slots where projects can be worked on without interruption.
We already do this for quarterly billing, and the office is shut down; all client calls are tabled, the door is shut, and the building better be on fire if you want to interrupt the team.
In my practice, I’m curious how much more could be done if we treated all tasks with this same seriousness.
4. Book out-of-the-office internet-free time
At least once a year, you must unplug completely and be unreachable. Doing so does a few different things for yourself and your team.
First, your team will learn to be more independent as they are forced to handle things without you.
Second, you need that time to unwind without being able to fret about work. Scheduling a vacation to unplug provides a hard deadline. You’ll have to finish your work before you leave because you won’t have enough service to work on projects during your trip.
5. Stick with a task
You’re robbing yourself of valuable time whenever you pick up a task and set it down again. Recently, I went through our 1099 letters with a new team member to help with quality control. We blocked out time and went through 93 of 100 letters in a single sitting.
The remaining seven letters needed extra attention, so we set them aside to work on after we completed the rest. Setting aside the problemed letters until the rest were finished let us quickly move through the project.
Had we interrupted our flow to address the seven problemed letters as we found them, the entire project would have stagnated.
6. Make a creative space
If you need to create a lot of content for your business, do it in a creative space, and work on it until it’s done—not until you feel like checking in on Facebook.
When I have creative work to do, I want to get those creative juices flowing, and I can’t do that if I can get sucked into the internet.
Sometimes I have a brain block and cannot solve the problem before me. Instead of turning to the internet, I open a book and read until I feel ready to move forward. There’s almost something poetic about reading during these moments.
I’ve also found that enjoying art or listening to music can help flex those cognitive muscles.
However you set up your creative space, ensure you know your vices, and have a hack on hand to work around those.
7. Have someone in your world looking out for your productivity
You need someone in your corner who understands the importance of your time and who you have the professional respect to listen to.
Recently, we hired a new Integrator/CEO for The Perfect RIA named Melissa, and she’s phenomenal. Recently in a meeting, I mentioned doing a specific task, and Melissa replied, “I’m going to stop you right there, and I will take care of that task. That’s not a task for you.”
For her to stop me and say, “this task is not for you,” was huge. She recognized that I needed to be doing what I was best at; everything else only served as a distraction.
If you are routinely providing clients with value adds in a consistent, efficient, and deliverable
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