That’s a great idea…but I don’t have time. Someday I’ll have time. Have you caught yourself saying either of these things? If so, make sure to tune in to this episode, as Matthew and Micah dive into the issue of time and what it means to take intentional control of the time you have. You’ll learn key tips that will allow you to make the best use of your working hours without getting overwhelmed.
Listen in to hear the issues that come out of poorly managed time and why we need to stay away from the ever-moving target situations. The guys also cover the concept of “finding time” vs. “making time” (and share examples of how it makes a difference when you differentiate between the two), how to employ Parkinson’s Law, and tools to ensure that you have time for what’s most important.
Are you really as busy as you think you are—or are you only playing office?
You may think you can’t find the time to implement a surge schedule, focus on your marketing calendar, and all the other important things leaders need to do to keep their businesses growing—but you’re wrong. In this article, you’ll discover why you may not really be as strapped for time as you think you are, and you’ll learn how to make the time to finally grow your business.
When you’re a busy advisor, it can feel like you’re constantly at maximum capacity. How can you possibly carve out time for anything other than your clients’ immediate needs? You’re running a practice; it’s not like there’s downtime. And when you do manage to finish something ahead of schedule, there’s always another email to answer, phone to pick up, or newsletter to compose. What if there were a better way?
Matthew Jarvis and Micah Shilanski of The Perfect RIA podcast have helped countless advisors grow their businesses in significant ways. Over the years, they’ve learned that when an advisor claims to be “too busy,” they often mean they’re keeping themselves busy. If you find yourself in the office just as much as your team—and you’re responsible for tasks they can complete on their own—you owe it to yourself and your business to make better use of your time.
Be honest about how you’re really filling your days. You’ve likely made yourself responsible for tasks that don’t befit a leader, and all that clutter is getting in the way of your ability to focus on what your business really needs.
If time is slipping through your fingers and you’re barely keeping up, this could be a sign that you need to be more effective with your time. Here are Matthew and Micah’s power tips for redirecting the flow in your favor and regaining control of your days.
We all know the pain of procrastination, but Micah Shilanski agrees that avoiding it is no simple matter. “If you give yourself plenty of time, you’re going to slack off. You’re going to postpone. You’re going to do other things, and you’re not going to be productive.”
That’s where Parkinson’s law comes in: any task will expand or contract to fill the time you’ve given it. Harness this essential principle by blocking off time in your calendar for everything you want to accomplish, and don’t spend a second longer on any individual task than what you’ve allowed. When you cut out all the time you might have used to procrastinate—in other words, to keep yourself busy—you’re left with a tight, lean schedule with no time wasted on things that don’t move you toward your goals.
The secret: give yourself just enough time for each task where you have to push yourself to get things done. As Jarvis warns, “If you give yourself too much time, it’ll blow up in your face.” By focusing all of your efforts during these dedicated times, you will maximize your productivity and become more efficient than you ever thought possible.
It’s easy to block off a couple of hours each week to market your business, but it can be much harder to avoid the tsunami of unscheduled interruptions that always seems to descend during those exact two hours of dedicated time.
To stick to his limits when he’s tested, Micah recommends embracing all the limitations of being on a flight. “When you get on an airplane, your office can’t really call you,” he points out. He himself makes frequent scheduled flights to and from Alaska; the time is blocked off in his calendar in advance, his clients are always taken care of, and the world continues to turn.
Whatever you’re serious about making time for, whether it’s podcasting, reaching out to centers of influence, or planning your marketing strategy for the year, put your phone on airplane mode for the duration of your scheduled time. If any issues arise in the meantime, you can deal with them when you reconnect.
If you’re asking your team to sacrifice access to you that they’ve relied on until now, it isn’t enough to just tell them your plan. Ask them what they need to feel the most supported and empowered, then help make it happen.
For example, your team may be concerned that a client will call and ask to schedule a client meeting with you. How can they confirm your availability when you’re not available to confirm it with them? Empower your people by setting up a calendar, and accept the responsibility of keeping it up to date so you’ll never inadvertently throw your team under the bus. When you don’t need to be consulted directly for basic decisions, your rockstar team has the ability to make clients happy without you.
The fact is, taking time for yourself to better focus on your business growth isn’t a selfish act. It’s a way to be a strong leader and bring stability to your business, and that will benefit every last member of your rockstar team.
This is why we do surge during tax time—it’s great to give clients a ‘why’ to come in for their meetings. - Micah Shilanski Click To Tweet
The key is to be intentional with your time and use the timeless tool of time-blocking. - Matthew Jarvis Click To Tweet
You will never find time—you will only make time. - Dan Sullivan Click To Tweet
This is The Perfect RIA, in case you didn’t know. Bringing you all the strategies to help your business grow. Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Are you hanging on the edge of your seat? Sit back and listen in while you feel the beat. Another myth bites the dust…
Micah Shilanski: Welcome back to The Perfect RIA podcast. I’m your cohost, Micah Shilanski. And with me, as usual, Matthew Jarvis. How’s it going, Jarvis?
Matthew Jarvis: Micah, doing good. You know, we’re coming up into surge meetings. Of course, when this podcast airs in March, it will be in the middle of surge. And Micah, what’s really been fun is, of course, it’s been surge—March has been a surge time for you and I for years—more years than I want to admit. But now we’re talking to advisors all around the country, all around the world who are also saying, ‘Hey, you know, I can’t do this or that during surge or during March, because that’s my surge time. So it’s really fun seeing like the entire industry, at least a segment of the industry shifting to surge.
Micah Shilanski: Jarvis, you’re 100% correct, right? The beauty of this, not only for advisor’s lifestyle, but for the client’s benefit. And again, for those few of you who may be listening that aren’t doing surge. The reason we want to focus this around March is tax time. Right? It’s great to give a client a why to come in for their meetings.
Why is it important to come in, in, you know, March? Great. I want to review your tax return before it’s filed, or if you don’t wanna do that. Great. I want to review your tax. After it’s filed, it’s the same compelling reason of why clients need to come in. So that gives them a reason, a date we anchor around to come in, that they allow to meet with you so you can add massive value to them.
So that’s the whole methodology behind or thought process they should say behind why we do surge meetings in March. And again, seeing the spread like wildfire through the industry is amazing. And I am so excited about so many lives that this is positively affecting.
Matthew Jarvis: It really is. Now if your surge isn’t in March, in fact, Micah, for a while, I ran my surges in.
May it’s the time of the year is not the critical factor. Now, March is a great time and you just articulated several reasons why the key here is being intentional with your time using this timeless tool of time blocking and Micah, that’s what we want to dive into a little bit deeper today is this idea of, Hey, I don’t have time or, the, I think the more dangerous one.
, someday I’ll have time. Right? I don’t have time for that now, but someday I’ll have time for it.
Micah Shilanski: Yes, yes. And the way we could phrase that is not someday I’ll it’s oh, once I do X, then I’ll do it. Once I get to this production level than other. And once I bring on a hundred million in assets, once I bring on 500 million assets, once I have 200 clients, right.
Whatever that, . Number is you’re throwing out there. Then I have time is a someday I’ll, that’s what you’re saying, because really what we see in reality. I mean, that’s a great theory, but in reality, what we see is where you’re sitting now, unless you’re going to do something different, that is a moving needle.
So if you say great, once I bring on a hundred households, once I bring on 200 households, once I hit 200 million in AUM, then I’ll do something different. The problem is when you get to 180 million in AUM, you then make that number 250. Right then 500 and it’s a moving target. And you’re going to say no, no, no.
That’s not the case. Well, that is the case in reality, with 99% of people. So Jarvis, if, if that’s the issue, what’s the solution to get around that.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Yeah, it is. And Micah, I’m actually going to pick apart your example here, just a tiny bit, which is there’s, it is a moving target. What also tends to happen is you’ll never actually get to that target and Micah, you and I were talking to a great young adviser recently.
And he needed to block out time to record videos for part of his marketing strategy. And he says, Jarvis, I just, I can’t find any time, which is of course, Dan Sullivan’s quote, you will never find time. You can only make time. And then like, we walked him through our kind of, , I want to, I don’t call it famous, but our tried and true method of where is your time going currently?
And we’ve talked about this a lot on the podcast, right? Let’s just map out just for your work day. Where is your time going, unless you have, I’m trying to think of the number let’s you have six or seven, a hundred clients, almost everyone has a thousand or more unaccounted hours in their work year.
Micah Shilanski: Jarvis, I would say even with six or 700 clients, because you’re not seeing all those clients all the time, right? When we meet with advisors that have 600 clients, you have 100 to 200 that you’re going to meet with and all the rest are ad hoc as needed when they’re calling in. So I have never come across an advisor where we could not fit.
Thousand hours. That’s half the year, right? A thousand hours of unaccounted time. Now you’re going to say, well, I am busy all the time and I’m working. And I get up in the morning and I’m working until six o’clock at night, and I’m not disputing that you probably absolutely are. But the vast majority of that time is playing off of.
Right. And then when we have to look at ourselves and really say, well, I’m just slacking off and doing busy work, I’m petting my spreadsheets and I’m adjusting my numbers. Right. Which totally guilty of right over here. , you know, I will live in Excel for a long period of time because I get a lot of satisfaction on it, but it doesn’t move the needle with anything that’s just avoidance behavior or playing off.
Matthew Jarvis: I know that there are some listeners who are saying, but Matt, but Micah and my situation is different, right? And for those people go back through, we’ve done podcast episodes on finding out where your time has gone, fill that exercise out and then reach out to us. And we can talk about it. If by chance you have this different scenario, odds are 99% of our listeners.
99% of the industry of the entire world has this enormous amount of time. And by the way, Micah, we were just now talking about your time in the office, a good friend of mine, a mentor for many years ago, he would ask me, he says, Jarvis, what do you do with your third, eight hours of the day? I said, what you mean?
My third, eight hours? He said, let’s assume that you sleep for eight hours, that you work for eight hours. , what happens to the other eight hours? Oh, shoot. What does happen to that other eight hours? So this is an enormous amount of time. And of course, Micah, is we always like to say everyone has the same amount of time, right?
Elon Musk is putting rockets on Mars in the same amount of time that you are you and I are running relatively small practices by his scheme. So the time of.
Micah Shilanski: You know, Jeremy is one of the things that I love about. And actually my daughter asked me about this the other night. , one of the things that I love to say is we all have the same amount of time.
Now. That’s not a life expectancy thing. Right? Who knows on that one, but every single one of us has 24 hours in a day. No more, no less. Elon Musk, bill gates warrants. Matthew Jarvis, right. All have the same 24 hours in the day. And so I look at this and it’s a very empowering thing for me, because I can say great.
If Iwan mosque is working rocket ships to Mars with his 24 hours, what can I do with mine? It’s not like he has 26, 27, 28 hours in the day. And he magically has this time portal in order to make more time. Right. He’s being highly effective with the time that he has the same 24 hours that I have today.
One of the things that you really have to ask yourselves is playing office. What is it costing you? Right. Not just on the office standpoint, but Jarvis, maybe I can bring up the family standpoint. What does it cost you with your family time? That’s there because if I looked at the average advisor average successful advisor, right, I’m going to discount half the industry.
That’s not productive. Right. I’m only gonna take the top 50% of advisors that are out there. You were in your office five hours a day, more than you need to be on average. Jarvis’s, that’s pretty aggressive. What do you think that’s, you know, pushed back on me on that?
Matthew Jarvis: No, I don’t think it’s aggressive at all.
I think it would, again, when we do this time exercise, right? Number of clients, times the number of hours each client takes you through the year. And then again, we come up with this thousand of unaccounted. , it’s, it’s very true. And I think what I want to dive into is trying to try and get our minds around hap about half of my day or five of my eight hours a day are just wasted away.
That’s that’s a hard one to get our minds around, even though it’s true. Um, let’s, let’s pivot just a little bit. Let’s say that we just want to create two more hours a week, two more hours a week. This is getting an exercise we did with an advisor the other day. For him, we painted through it, like you said, how much does that time worth?
So for him, we said, great. If you do this exercise two hours a week, every week for the next couple of years, how much revenue can that generate? And we had factored it out. In his case, it was going to be $250,000 of net revenue. So it was a great each one of these two hour blocks has got to be worth $2,500 to now I’m buzzing through the math Micah, but we’ve got to, to your point say, all right, I need to block out X time.
What does that time really worth? Or alternatively, what does it cost to me by not blocking off?
Micah Shilanski: You know, and this is one of those things, too, that sometimes it comes up in, in my own world. Right. Jarvis, I won’t speak for you, but for me, I get a lot of stuff on my plate. And just because we’re running multiple companies, right?
And so now we’re running multiple companies and I can easily play the card. Oh my gosh, I’m running all these multiple companies as doing this whole, all this other stuff, you know, clearly I don’t have enough time to do things. Whoa. I gotta hit the pause button. That’s head trash. I have to get all my stuff done in the morning.
This is self-imposed. , I get all my stuff done in the morning outside of surge. So I can go spend time with my family because there’s a. And this is also super empowering because we’re employing Parkinson’s law beings take as long as we allow them to take. So back to this recording example that you gave this other advisor, right?
He had to make time in his calendar to go and do that. Then it was the aspect of saying, okay, great. This is the only time in which you can do recordings. You have to limit that time in that activity. Why? Because it’ll take as much time as you have a lot of is how long that activity is going to take.
So Jarvis, in that example, if you had told that advisor go and say, Hey, Eight hours to go to recordings. Guess how long recordings would have done eight hours? Yeah. Or, or
Matthew Jarvis: it would have been doing a big crowd was going to say, he’d spend eight hours and not get anything. That’s not specific to him. He’s probably listening to all of us.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah, so you gotta be hyper-focused with that, right? You have to give yourself just enough time where you have to push yourself to get things done. If you give plenty of time, you’re going to slack off. You’re going to postpone. You’re going to do other things and you’re not going to be productive.
So that’s a hack and time-blocking is you give yourself just enough time where it’s possible to get done, but stressful to get done. If you give yourself too much time, it’ll blow up in your.
Matthew Jarvis: So Micah, let’s say that we’ve, we’ve agreed to this two hour block each week. Now that two hour block, it may be to record podcast.
It might be to call centers of influence. It might be to call prospects. They might’ve been made to study for your CFP exam. Whatever that two hour block is for the universe, whatever higher power you ascribed to it is going to test your conviction on that two hour block. And they’re going to test it in the form of Micah.
Tell me if I’m off here, they’re going to test it in the form of your top client. Your office calling your spouse, calling your kids, calling you, coming down sick, and probably like something in the emergency broadcast network is going to come out all during that two hour block.
Micah Shilanski: That is correct. There’s a tsunami, a tornado, and a lightning storm directly above your house at the same time.
Right? That’s what’s taking place here. , so one of the things with that, and I like to say in terms you’re 100% correct. This happens. So let’s step back and do something we can all relate to in airplane ride. When you get on an airplane. Right. Your office really can’t call you. Yeah. Right now you could be on in-flight and they could text you.
Sure. There’s something like that. Let’s go with that one. Right. But let’s say you weren’t on Gogo. The plane didn’t have it. And like the 0.1 I just got off of didn’t have internet on that flight service. Perfect. Well then guess what? Nobody could communicate me with that three hours. It took me to get back to Alaska and everything was fine. Right? So if I can fly somewhere for three hours, that’s a scheduled event on my calendar and the world continues to go and I didn’t lose any clients, and if somebody called the messages took place and I had my communication plan—then what’s the difference in that and you blocking out two hours to go to podcasts center of influence these other things, putting your phone on airplane mode, not even DND, putting it on airplane mode, just like it was if you were flying.
And now all of a sudden you magically have this time. And when that time. Perfect. You take just like you land it. You take your phone off airplane mode and you deal with the issues that.
Matthew Jarvis: I love it. I was, as you were giving that example, I was thinking I’ve never had a client or a, my team called me in the middle of the night.
I think maybe once in my career. So eight hours goes by—maybe seven—where nobody talks to me. Right. So it’s totally possible. So let’s, you’re blocking out those two hours. Let’s say it’s on a Friday to 10 to noon just for conversation’s sake. Sure. You want to gather all these forces that could interrupt you.
Well-meaning forces. We want to gather them in your favor. Right? So you’re going to go to your team and say, Hey, I heard this crazy idea for Matt and Micah. It’s probably a bad plan, but for the next couple of weeks, I’m going to try, blocking out 10 to noon each day so that I can get a couple of projects taken care of.
But I want to know, and you want to empower them, right? Cause they’ve just sacrificed two hours of access to, Hey, I want to make sure that the day before or that morning we have a quick check-in so that you’ve got everything you need that way you feel at peace that I’m, I’ve got this focus time, right?
So we’re, we’re going to them saying, how do I empower you? How do I make this a benefit to you?
Micah Shilanski: You know, in, in another way to phrase this Jarvis, if I may, this is going from a very selfish act. I’m going to take two hours away to go do my, now you could say, this is marketing helps the firm, blah, blah, blah.
All right, whatever. Throw that away. This is two hours just for you. And you’ve gone back to say, how do I help you become better at your job? So I’m not hindering you, right? This comes to a selfless act. Being able to help these other people, your other team members. Now this could be family, right? This could be spousal time that you got to help out a little bit more around the house.
You got to Juggalos a calendar order to make sure something gets done. This could be the RMS. This could be. This could be a client meetings, right? All of these other things. Great. How are you proactive in those events to help these people in your life to make it so you guys can also,
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Now this advisor that we were talking to has got some unique family, so he says, I don’t know if 10 to noon would work because of this unique family situation.
Perfect. How about five to 7:00 AM? How about 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM? It does not have to be 10 to noon. I just threw out that time, but we need to look and say, when am I most reliable for honoring this committed. Of blocking this time out. There’s countless stories in the world of people who wrote books and they would get up every morning at 4:00 AM and they would write from 4:00 AM to 6:00 AM before they went and worked their 12 hour shift.
This can be done. We’ve got to just set ourselves up for success. If you know that you’re totally unreliable and your brain doesn’t work from three to 5:00 PM in the afternoon, don’t schedule.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah, I don’t do my recordings that late. Right. It’s just not productive for me, but Jarvis, this is a really important thing.
I want to pull out that you just sent. So Lockton, when we go through this with exercise, we lead with the no, right? Because the other people can see the answer is so clear, but our own pain is the only reality we have. , and it’s so painful between 10 and noon won’t work. We just threw across it. There’s 22 other hours in the day, right.
That it could work. We just picked a two hour segment. So when you’re working through this and you come up with extra say, great, pretend this time works. What if it could? And if reality comes at 10 to noon, doesn’t work. Perfect. Move that to our slot. Don’t get hung up and saying it has to be this particular time.
The goal is to make that time happen. But again, you have to empower your team. You have to empower your family to make sure you have that time. So you’ve got to pivot it to the am, to the PM. It doesn’t matter. You know, the essence is the same. You have to block out that time and be able to get it done.
Matthew Jarvis: Michael, it’d be great to give us some specific examples. And I know that when you’re outside of surge, you’ve got some really specific scheduling, a couple of examples, this podcast, right? You and I meet every Monday morning at 8:00 AM. Pacific 7:00 AM. Alaska. And that’s when we get together and do our brainstorming for TPR.
And then we recorded this podcast. Why what’s the time that we’re most reliable for it works. It’s I don’t wanna speak for you, Micah. For me, I haven’t gotten my brain going on. Anything else? So I can wake up in the morning as I’m brushing my teeth. I’m thinking about the TBR podcast. We do the podcast that’s done, and then I can pivot to the next thing, , where other tasks I used to volunteer at my kid’s school all the time.
And I realized I don’t like volunteering on Monday because I kind of felt this lack of success. Like I haven’t gotten anything done. Same reason I don’t work. That’s one of the reasons I don’t work out in the morning, I need to get straight to accomplishment. These other things don’t feel to me in my mind, in my head trash.
Micah Shilanski: It does. I feel like there’s so much on my plate. I feel like I’m overworked, I’m overwhelmed and I haven’t done anything. , so really productive. Now, one of the things for me going into Monday mornings is I have to make sure all my other stuff for the other companies that we run is off the plate. Right?
If I come into this podcast and I’m thinking about one of the other companies thinking about Shelanski stuff, thinking about a client stuff, I am not really giving this my full attention. So that means. Thursday and Friday, I got to be proactive in making sure I’m getting everything on my list done. So I go into the weekend with a clear conscious, and I go into Monday morning with nothing looming over my head.
This was that same thing, being proactive with my team to make sure we’re all in a really good place. , another example that I like to use is we homeschool our kids as most of our audience knows. So that means around now might want to change the schedule a little bit, but somewhere between 10 and 11 every morning, they’re done with the homeschooling.
Perfect. Now I want to be there with my. Okay. Great. So my time was always 10:00 AM by 10:00 AM. I wanted to be done. Really what the goal is not 10:00 AM. It’s once the kids are done with school, I want to be with the family for the rest of the day. So what time is that? And then I work all my stuff on around that amazingly.
Right. I can get a lot of things done in two to three hours, every single day of highly focused, highly productive time, because I have that hard stop. I want to spend time with my. I love that
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Matthew Jarvis: So Micah have some advisers are really cute into that, right? When they’re most effective, we have advisor friends that don’t go to the office on 10 till 10 o’clock because they want to drop their kids off and go work out before they go to the office.
Other advisor friends only work late at night, right? So there’s some things that were really reliable for figuring out. What about if you do this time blocking and you’ve tried a bunch of different times and you’re just still not reliable. You’re still getting interrupted. You’re still at the end of the plane office during this time that was dedicated to do something.
Micah Shilanski: Well, this is where extreme accountability comes in. Right? Extreme accountability is the tool we pull off the shelf. When we need a little bit of help doing things we should be doing. For example, I don’t need extreme accountability with putting pants on every single day. I’m generally pretty good about not leaving the house naked, right?
At least for decades. I’ve been good with that. So with that in mind, you don’t need it for everything, but the things that says, you know, I’m just going to slip. I don’t have enough dedication. I don’t have enough focus. I’m going to create excuses. And by the way, we all have these areas in our lives.
Perfect. This is when we bring in our extreme accountability partner and we come up, they come up, I should say, with what your extreme accountable. Yeah. So example of this is a great, you need to spend X amount of time working out. You need to spend this much time on personal development. You need to spend this much time in marketing and cos every single week.
, and so it was great. This is the time that you have to spend, you always put a little buffer in there. So normally what we’re going to say with that, if there’s four weeks in a month, you say you got to do it for three of those weeks because life does happen. And we want this built on success. Okay. For three weeks.
This is you have to spend at least two hours doing COI calls, , per week. , you have to do two hours of podcasts, two hours of content recording, two hours of article writing, whatever that is. You have to spend that two hours. Great news. If you don’t, you just got to send a check for an exterior least favorite charity with a love letter that says you love the wonderful work that they do.
This is the first of many contributions, and please send a giant sign to put into your art. And here’s a list of all your friends that completely disagree their position, but they’d love to hear from you, right? You start putting accountability in like that. All of a sudden this becomes a little bit more compelling.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. And for, for all of our listeners that have gone through extreme accountability with us at this point, it’s got to be hundreds. They’re all nodding. They’re saying, oh yeah, that’s the truth. And for those of you that haven’t done it. You’re probably thinking what, what in the heck is this? But I got to tell you every time we’ve done it, including earlier this week, it has been a life-changing for advisors know like a couple of other things.
I want to point out as you’re getting this two hours. No, what your distractions are, know what your distractions are. This came up from yesterday. I was flying back from Los Angeles, with my brother, Steven from retirement tax services, and he looks over and he sees me scrolling through the wall street journal headlines as long time listeners know I’m a compulsive wall street journal reader.
And so I had years ago canceled my subscription so that I can only spend as much time as it takes me to read the headlines. I can’t get to the articles. Right. But for you, it might be. Playing around on your computer. If that’s the case, let’s say you’re doing centers of influence calls, Micah, and we know a lot of advisors are guilty of this, and you find yourself spending 30 minutes in the CRM for each one of these, because you’ve got to research whatever you said to them seven years ago.
So instead the day before I would print physically print the list of cos I need to call with their telephone number so that when it comes time to call, I’ve got my phone and I’ve got my list. And that’s it. Cause I know that the internet or the computer will detect.
Micah Shilanski: You know, and one of the things you could do turn your computer off, and it’s gonna sound crazy, not on sleep, turn it on during these calls because what’s coming in your computer, that you’re going to, your they’re going to play and get distracted in your email.
You’re going to be looking at am and you can say, oh, I have to schedule something. You shouldn’t be doing scheduling anyways. Right? So there should be systems in place. When you make a phone call, you should not need your computer for these COI calls. It should. I love that idea. I’ll put it on paper in front of you.
Go through the list, have that egg timer running so you can say, great. This is my two hours. All of these calls done.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. It’s really critical. And it’s easy to get caught, especially around time management, similar with working out or diet and exercise, all these things. It’s easy to get caught in the shirts.
Hey, I should be able to focus. I should be able to make that time. I should get these prospecting calls up, but as we always say, Micah, if willpower were enough, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. And that’s where we back out to great. Should decide. Maybe I should, maybe not. Here’s what I’m going to do to set myself up for six.
Micah Shilanski: And that’s really the key thing, right? Is, is not about beating yourself up because you should be able to do something it’s about great. How, what are the rules of the game and how do I gear this game to it’s my advantage, right? If I relied the whole thing on what I should be doing, I wouldn’t nearly have as much successes I’ve had.
It’s been a lot around extreme accountability. Hard-pressed forcing mechanisms so we can argue, it says, you know what? I shouldn’t have had to do that to me. Okay fair. But it worked. And so do what works. That’s another huge tenant of the perfect RA is do what works. So one of these things is you got to set these rules up, you got to play the game where you have the biggest advantage to win.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. On that note of do what works. In general, but specifically during this time, block time really loved the idea of having a vision board or success board. But to remind yourself, why am I doing this? Why am I doing it? Because let’s use podcasts as an example, those of us to do any kind of creative process writing podcast videos, we’ve all had the experience on a regular basis where it’s time to hit record.
And we can’t think of a darn thing to say, not a single thing to say, right? And, and it’s gotta be hard and it’s gotta be frustrating. And Steven Pressfield’s book, the war of art is a great reference guide. But have visualization. What is this ultimately going to be? Yes. This two hour session itself probably means nothing, but they build on each other.
And this is what we’re talking about. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue. We’re talking about quality relationship with your family. We’re talking about your physical health. Yes. You could skip that one session and on its own, it doesn’t mean much, but it.
Micah Shilanski: Once you do it once you break it once it’s.
So, and this is the reason extreme accountability is so extreme because it was just a hundred dollars. I said, oh, it wasn’t that bad. Now you’re used to breaking that system. If your extreme accountability is, you know, if your income’s around a hundred grand, if all of a sudden we say your extreme accountability is $8,000.
Every time you bring. Whew. That’s a big check right now. All of a sudden it’s so much more compelling of saying, Nope, I really have to get this done because my buddy over here has a check written out to this charity for $8,000 and he will mail it if I don’t produce this. Right. , I mean that all of a sudden is that, is that compelling reason.
I have to get these things. Michael,
Matthew Jarvis: what do you think are our symptoms or cues if you will, of the plane office, right? Cause it’s comes into, I know that there’s advisors listening. I know this. Sometimes I listened to these things and I say, I’ve got time management down. Don’t you know, I’ve been on the Kitces podcast twice.
Don’t, you know, I’m running three different companies. Don’t you know that I take six months off. I have time management dialed in. But then Michael, you and I were meeting with a coach last week, a gentlemen, Aaron Walker. And he bloodied our noses said, yeah, you guys think you’ve got it figured out, but you’re not even scratching the surface of what’s.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You got us lazy and selfish. So it was great weekend was really impactful, really impactful to, to spend time with him. So this is one of those now I’m having flashbacks to the weekend. I’m not even thinking about your question. Sorry about that. Let me side track. These are really important things about when we’re playing office to notice them.
So for me, if I’m in Excel, cause I I’m, I’m a bit of a geek, right? I love, I love technology. I love those other things. I have to give them a space to live in. But if all of a sudden I’m playing around in a spreadsheet for any more than to look up one number, that’s it. And to move on, I’m playing office, right?
If I’m researching something, I am playing office. Now we could say, well, I have to research this for a tax client or this complicated thing. Okay, great. That it goes into your prep time. You’re planning. With an egg timer that’s when you get this done. Right. So if all of a sudden I start scrolling through emails.
So anytime I’m scrolling, that is a dead giveaway that I am totally playing office because I’m just going through something. Right. So almost what that boils down to is anytime you’re on the computer, not directly looking something up, you were playing office.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Yeah. You didn’t have your checking email and those things just all need a place to live.
It’s not to say these aren’t critical tasks, right? This is not to say that learning isn’t critical that research that I don’t put an email on the list, but all these things are crucial. They just have to have a place to live. Now, this has been known anecdotally forever, right? , Dale Carnegie talked about it a hundred years ago, but it was documented again recently in the books, deep work and other similar things saying there’s a lot of science behind this, the real difference between top producers.
Or highly productive people and the rest of the people would like it to your point is now that they have more time, it’s just that they’re pushing they’re compartmentalizing during this block of time, I will do X and anything else we’ll have to wait until the next block
Micah Shilanski: of time. You do. The other thing that comes to mind a little bit Jarvis and playing office is we have a tendency to think something.
Perfect. Right. I got to write the perfect email. I have to write the perfect answer. I have to have the perfect letter and we spend so much time on this perfection. Right. I won’t start marketing until it’s perfect. I won’t send this article out until it’s perfect. And I won’t release this video until it’s perfect.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never done anything perfectly. So with that in mind, if I had that attitude, I never would have. Anything going forward. It has to be more than acceptable. It has to deliver massive value. So yes, it has to meet those requirements, but that’s a far cry from perfection and say, great, does this accomplish the goal in which is attended to awesome.
Send it out and move on. So don’t strive for perfection strive for massive value, delivering it to clients. And those are two different.
Matthew Jarvis: Boy Micah so many, so many a roots come off of this one is I’ve been doing, I know you have as well been doing one-on-one calls with our Invictus members. And as we’re talking about content creation, this is a, this is kind of a tired cliche, but the idea of writing for the garbage can right record that podcast.
Even if you’re going to believe it, re write that article, even if you’re going to hit record that video, even if you’re going to lead it, just even go in. When I was recording the audio book for the audio, from my audio. I just agree. I’m going to assume that each session’s going to be garbage and they’re just going to leave it, but I’m still gonna use it as strictly as practice.
And there was only one session that they went back and cut things back up from now, with that said, you are not a reliable judge, Micah, to your point about perfection. If it’s good, you need to have somebody else that can go back and say, actually, you know what? That was really great. Yes. It’s not perfect yet.
It’s not going to make it on HBO tonight. However, it’s great. It’s better than two-thirds of advisors. Let’s get this content out.
Micah Shilanski: So you need someone, who’s going to be honest with you, right? And you need someone that understands where you’re going. That’s not a spouse that doesn’t help in that relationship.
Right? So this is definitely a team member. That’s definitely a colleague, you know, maybe another advisor that you can help out with this, but I think that’s great in terms of one of the other things that you said about recording the audio book that I love about writing for the trash. All of a sudden takes the pressure off.
It does, right. Instead of saying, oh my gosh, I have to get everything quite perfect. And right. And I’m focused and all of a sudden substance, yeah, I’m going to come in here, I’m going to read this. I’m going to have some fun. I’m going to learn a little bit and it’s a total practice session. So it doesn’t matter.
Now, the trap people will get into is we’ll think it’s a practice session so they won’t show up. They won’t do everything they need to do. No, no, no. This is a dress rehearsal. Right. So you’re still showing up and putting energy into it. There’s just no audience that’s there.
So you’re still putting the same commitment into it. You just don’t have that audience pressure. That’s going to be there. And it’s amazing. Once that goes away, how much a wonderful things we can create and do I
Matthew Jarvis: love it? I’m like, I love it. Yeah, this is, , it, it seems time management always seems like this.
Just throw away cliche thing, but it really. All of the difference in your practice at the end of the day, this is really what separates the top advisors from everyone else. Now, this podcast is a course about taking action, right? It’s all about the things that you implement. In fact, I actually might have now I’ve, I’ve become so attuned to things, having action steps that when I get to the end of a podcast or a webinar or someone’s presentation, and there’s not action items, I really feel robbed.
I think, wait a second. Did you, did you forget this last part? Like gee whiz doesn’t help. So action items. I’m going to add this one to the list of. If you’re doing any kind of content creation, Micah, to your point, you need to have a sound in Virginia to have a group to which they can review that and give you constructive feedback, not your spouse, not your office manager for our backstage pass and Invictus members post it to the forum.
Right? The forum is a great brilliance to say, Hey, would you mind taking a listen to this podcast? Would you mind taking a glance of this now, please do not post a four hour video and expect that we’re all going to go through and watch it. This is where small snippets, but go to the forum post. Hey, here’s a newsletter I’m working on.
I love constructive.
Micah Shilanski: That’s perfect. Put it in the forum. Put the snippets there, which are highlights are absolutely. I would love it. I want to say the second action on forest Jarvis is to go through the timeline calendar exercise, right? Where you can actually go through like Jarvis.
And I say, you know, most advisors, every advisor we’ve ever met has at least a thousand hours of unaccounted time. And you probably in your mind somewhere saying that’s a bunch of BS, go through the exercise, right. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a time-blocking series go through that. Your size and really find out how much time you actually have
Matthew Jarvis: yet.
And by the way, if you go through that exercise or you’re doing it mentally, and you say, well, it’s not, it’s not a thousand. Great, cut it in half. Cut it, cut it in a 10th. Let’s say it’s just a hundred, a hundred hours. That’s two hours a week. So even if you say, oh, no, not a thousand, I’m way more productive than what Matt and Micah and think.
Cool. Let’s say it’s one 10, that’s still a hundred hours a year that you can’t account for. That could be converted into production.
Micah Shilanski: Or family time, whatever version of production you want. I love it.
Matthew Jarvis: Now, I would say another action item. Micah, as you mentioned, email lifestyle, the perfect RA we have available for an entire nation, a series of time blocking videos that Michael you and I recorded a little while ago.
Very great information on surge meetings, on how we run our search calendars on how to get your time more productive. And, and that’s how we get to this, this incredible amounts of time off that we’ve talked about on a regular basis on the show.
Micah Shilanski: And then the, the last action item that I would say, well, actually, two more.
What are the last action items that I would say is book on your calendar, a forcing mechanism, right. Again, what we’re talking about is compressing that time. So it’s just enough where it’s a little bit of stressful, but you have time to get things done and then create an event, a third party event that you’re accountable to going out to dinner with friends, going and picking your kids up, taking your spouse out on a date, right?
Some hard forcing mechanisms that you have to leave that activity for, but you have to get it done before you leave. And you’re going to find out it’s amazing. The things that you can. And of course our last action item. I don’t always say this for the last week to just start the podcast with us. Five stars on iTunes will be absolutely phenomenal because, you know, if you made it this far, you just love this podcast.
Send it out to your friends. We’re growing with some ambitious growth goals of spreading the, the, the surge meetings. The time-blocking all of these essence of the perfect RA. We really want to spread across the nation because we’re seeing the impactful difference that it makes an advisor lives and in client lives.
Matthew Jarvis: I love it, Micah. Well, until next time, happy planning.
Micah Shilanski: Happy planning.
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