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3 Essential Productivity Tips for Financial Advisors

Boost your productivity with these tips and tools used by top financial advisors and industry consultants

Top financial advisors know that working at their productive best is essential if they are to build and maintain momentum. Here’s some advice from industry consultants and advisors who continue to perform at the top of their game.

1. BOOST YOUR IMPLEMENTATION QUOTIENT

“We live in an unprecedented time as financial advisors and there’s no better opportunity for us than now in such an exciting industry,” said Barron’s top advisor “Hall of Famer” Ron Carson at a recent conference produced by Peak Advisor Alliance, a coaching organization for financial advisors. “What we provide as principled financial planning and investment professionals is needed more than ever before. This means we must all improve our IQ – our Implementation Quotient. That’s one of the best ways to stop suffering and get more of the right things done.”

Carson has used the same productivity management system for over 20 years. “As a business owner, your time can easily be sucked up by the daily minutia, rendering yourself ineffective and incomplete at the end of every day,’ Carson explained. “This tool provides one of the best ways to track and divide your daily activity into four quadrants: Important and Urgent, Important and Not Urgent, Not Important and Not Urgent, and Harmful/Wasteful. Think of it as a scorecard for your productivity,” said Carson, who makes the tool available here (enter the code “productivity”)

2. CLAP ALONG IF YOU FEEL LIKE A ROOM WITHOUT A ROOF

“Since 2000, the science of positive emotions has unequivocally established itself as the most effective tool to improve business results, while also creating an energized positive workplace which enhances all employees life’s on all levels, fostering cooperation and success,” said Tom Werder, president of Pinnacle Partners, an organization that specializes in providing positive emotion based trainings and transformational education. “The new, proven business hypothesis — that happiness might lead to success — is exceptionally radical. It suggests that success flows from positive experiences,” Werder explained.

“So much of what makes a good leader and a successful advisor is dedicating time to improving yourself in order to better serve the needs of your team, your family, and yourself,” echoed Carson in a separate conversation. “As I like to say, the happier you are, the more effective you’ll be to everyone.”

Carson uses TrackYourHappiness.org to track his activity throughout the day and measure the things he most enjoys. ”This tool is great for two reasons: one, it forces you to be cognizant of your actions throughout the day, and two, it allows you to see what factors are associated with greater happiness. Once you understand what makes you happy, you can shift your time to focus more on the things you like to do,” Carson said.

Werder’s firm offers a free Happiness at Work Assessment for companies that want a snap shot of how their organization is doing, Pinnacle Partners’ Happiness Works Calculator gives companies a quick estimate of how much a happier workforce could be worth to them.

Need an instant energy boost? Put this on in the background while you walk on the treadmill or eat your lunch: www.24HoursOfHappy.com

3. STRENGTHEN AND PROTECT YOUR HEALTH

As the old saying goes, if we don’t have our health we don’t have much else. For top financial advisors health and mental ability are an important factor in their success.

“If your mother was like my mother, she probably told you to eat your vegetables, drink plenty of water and get enough sleep,” said John Lindsey, a top advisor with Securities America, Inc. and founder of Lindsey and Lindsey Wealth Management,. “This advice, along with a little fresh air and a healthy dose of physical exercise, should be a part of your daily drill.”

Lindsey knows a thing or two about getting through stressful periods having endured a painful transition when he left a leadership position at Edward Jones to form his own wealth management firm in 2012

“Things might not have turned out so well for me had I not had the strong support of my wife and family, some good advice from my friends and business partners at Cooper McManus, and a healthy constitution,” Lindsey said.

Now that he is happily independent and productively building his own firm with daughter Christina Lindsey Orta, he makes sure to keep a good balance in his life.

“Stress is a killer. So do all you can to eliminate the negative people from your life. Learn to say no to things that are not important to you. Consult with your spouse or a trusted business colleague before you overcommit or make any sudden moves,” cautions Lindsey.

A key piece of advice from Lindsey: get extra sleep when undergoing stressful times. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people experiencing sleep insufficiency are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, plus cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life.

Nathaniel Watson, president of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, says people are getting less sleep in part because of their increasing reliance on technology. So turn off your electronics 30-40 minutes before you need to go to sleep.

And don’t forget to laugh a little every day! Laughter triggers healthy physical changes in the body. It can boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Laughing with others is more powerful than laughing alone, say the experts, so creating opportunities to laugh with people we enjoy just makes sense.

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