Planners seeking better time-management

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The FPA’s Inaugural Professionals Congress can be used as an indicator of where planners are seeking a little extra help with their business.

Registrations closed last Friday with more than 1000 delegates set to attend the event. Sessions cover technical, best practice, personal development and leadership. However, a sold-out time-management session shows that planners still have trouble juggling their day-to-day tasks effectively, and are seeking more guidance in this particular area.

Mark Rantall, CEO of the FPA said, “The past year has been a turbulent one for the profession – from the implementation of FoFA, the Tax Agent Services Act and the change of government. Next week’s Congress is an opportunity to bring the focus back to our community of financial planners and aligned professionals, marking our collective achievements and preparing for the challenges that lay ahead”.

“We’ve tailored the Workshop streams to meet what planners everywhere say are their most pressing practical needs. There is the deep educational focus that one would expect from such an event, but the sessions also deliver a focus on personal and business developments skills – framed against delivering a valuable service proposition to the client”.

If you’re struggling to manage your time, Kameleons Developing Leaders founder and principal Michael Peiniger has five tips to help:

  1. Prioritise your day into urgent versus important tasks

Peiniger says, “It is staggering how much time is wasted in a day by a lack of prioritising tasks. Focus on the important tasks first and give them the time that is needed.”

  1. Use the people in your firm more collaboratively

Repeatedly, people at the same level of a business have to write similar reports, work in the same spaces and are managed by the same individuals, yet will work individually to get tasks done.

  1. Develop and follow meeting protocols for all internal meetings

Peiniger suggests the following 6 protocols for meeting effectiveness:

  • Clearly identify and state the objective of the meeting
  • Only invite those people that can help in achieving the objective – observers and ‘for information’ attendees waste time
  • Set a realistic time for the meeting and stick to it
  • Start and end the meeting on time – don’t wait for stragglers and don’t repeat what has been covered
  • Control discussion so that it doesn’t deviate from the objective, and
  • Assign tasks to specific individuals with realistic timeframes – you don’t have to wait until the next meeting to follow up and complete things.
  1. Develop and follow email protocols for all internal email communication

Peiniger says, “Email is often used poorly in businesses but by teaching people to only send clear emails to those that need it can unclog inboxes quite quickly”.

  1. Use your day-to-day programs more effectively

Most advisers are not using the Microsoft Office suite of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Mail, to their potential. Because of the pace of work, people haven’t taken the time to work out many of the short cuts that save time within these programs. Peiniger suggests a tool like KeyRocket to help, which once installed will passively instruct users on more efficient ways of using day-to-day programs, which in turn saves hours per week.