As a national life insurance broker I have been to a lot of training seminars and webinars over my 20 years . One of the most popular subjects seems to be time management. No matter how many I see, one I always learn something new and two I have yet to master my time. You look at Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, one would have to think they have very busy schedules and according to their success, they seem to get a lot of things accomplished. The truth is Gates and Buffet has the same 24 hours in a day that we all do. The normal excuse to not accomplishing tasks is “I don’t have time” when actually you just don’t master time. Let’s explore one theory.
In an educational moment in my weekly networking group I learned something new this week. We seem to accomplish things that we enjoy or inspire us. We don’t get as many things done that we don’t enjoy or inspire us, fairly simple so far. As an exercise, draw a “T” on a piece of paper. Some salespeople and insurance agents know this as the “Benjamin Franklin Close”. On the left side of the paper label as “Tasks I Enjoy” and on the right side “Tasks I Don’t Enjoy”. Now when you write out your daily to do list, put it in one of the two columns instead of just one long to do list for the workday. Every task in your “Tasks I Enjoy” column you start working on enthusiastically. For the list on the “Tasks I Don’t Enjoy” try to delegate as many of those tasks as possible. If you are by yourself or an independent insurance agent and you can’t delegate these tasks, at least mix some of those tasks in with the tasks you do enjoy to keep up your energy level. You will find if you are able to keep your energy level up, you will accomplish more tasks and have less of the proverbial excuse of “I don’t have time”. This will help you master your time versus time mastering you.
Another great trick I learned is to start each day 30 minutes early. I use this time to complete a project or blog or training piece that I never seem to have the time for. When I say start 30 minutes early, I come in and work on that project only. No text messages, emails or voicemails are checked. Come in and work straight on the project and nothing else for those 30 minutes. Don’t you dare peek at your email. That is where the distractions begin. If you read one and respond to one, the next thing you know your 30 minutes is gone. If you start this practice daily at the end of the week you will have dedicated two and half hours weekly to things you always thought you couldn’t get accomplished. Where would your business be in a year from now with an extra 120 hours dedicated to the things you knew you should be doing but never had the time? That’s right 30 minutes a day is 10 hours per month or 120 hours per year. That is three full work weeks for most folks. Do what your competition is only dreaming they could do and laugh all the way to the bank.
“He who every morning plans the transactions of that day and follows that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.” ― Victor Hugo
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Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger and team leader with over 25 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.