10 organization and time management tips for agents
A new thread was posted recently where a young agent is having a serious problem with organization and time management, and is seeking help from the Forum community.
While there are a wealth of great responses at this thread, here are some useful excerpts (in no particular order) supplied among the many posts. If you need help with your organization or time management skills, be sure to read through the thread for much more detail, or contribute your own proven techniques.
1. Touch things only once. Very important concept. Instead of looking at an email or a call-back list multiple times, and putting it off until later, actually DO whatever it is the FIRST time. This eliminates a ton of wasted procrastination.
- More on this tip from another post: This one item will save you more time, help you stay on point and make sure things do not slip through the cracks than anything else you can do. It doesn't matter if you use a digital or a paper process, the biggest time killer is to read a memo, letter, etc. and then out it in a to do box to handle later, even if that handling just means filing it away or throwing it in the trash. Take action while it is in your hand, file it away and move on.
- And another: I also agree with the concept of handling things once… Use a "2 minute" rule. If you can handle it so it's done within 2 minutes, just get it done. If you set up your own daily filing system, you can "mail" it to yourself for future action – just like a OCS card file system.
2. Today I had no meetings for the morning and no real paperwork to worry about. So from 8-9 I was on the phone prospecting. 9-10 calling current clients to set up yearly reviews or just to say hi and check in with them. Doing something makes a lot more money than planning to do something. Morning hours are your prime hours to get stuff done. It is not planning time.
3. I simply use my iPhone. I have all of my emails, my calendar, my reminders, OfficeMobile, and my contacts. There is nothing else you need… I only sell commercial insurance and I put all of my renewal dates in my calendar and I don't even have to remember to follow-up as I have the calendar set to remind me yearly.
4. OneNote and Outlook work very well together... so you might want to experiment with those two tools.
- More on this tip from another post: This guide is great for setting up Outlook for productivity: https://gettingthingsdone.com/store/...&cat=263&page=
5. Someone on this forum once told me if they are eating lunch away from their computer it is almost always with a client/prospect/center of influence/etc. Same thing can be done for breakfast, and it can be cheaper to buy breakfast vs. lunch if you are new and tight on cash.
6. Most small business owners are at work by 7 a.m., 8 at the latest. When you knock on their door or ring their phone at 2 p.m. they have already worked a 7-hour day. If you want to speak to business owners and not worry about gatekeepers try starting your calls at 7 a.m. Do it in your underwear sitting on your couch if you can’t get yourself to work that early.
7. For me, nothing beats pen and paper. Every night before I leave the office (or go to sleep if I am working late), I always write down 5-10 things that I know I MUST get done the next day. I [keep] a nice little notepad handy. Like someone said before me, I "strategically procrastinate" and I don't write the list in any type of sequential order. This helps me keep my eye on the prize and really helps me stay on task.
8. Something else that's in the OCS textbook is that it designates every 3rd Friday of the month for monthly planning: review the past month and the upcoming month. I think this is a good discipline.
9. Try it out....:
1) Before you stop working today, have all of your lists, etc. done.
2) When you get home, iron your clothes and have them ready
3) Wake up tomorrow at 6 and take a shower, eat breakfast and walk your dog and leave IMMEDIATELY! If you allow yourself to start on something at home, you'll be late to work.
4) Get to the office and start prospecting. No servicing work before 11:30. At 11:30, you can do your servicing work for an hour. Eat from 12:30 till 1:20 and get back at it.
10. This is just a form of call CALL RELUCTANCE. To-do lists and calendars should not be done during work hours – the call windows are small as it is; don't make them smaller. When the day starts you have 2 choices:
- get to work making calls, or
- shuffle papers for a few hours until you run out of excuses to NOT make calls.
• For more organization and time management tips – or to add your own, please visit “How Do You Stay Organized?” now.
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