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The Practice Checkup


A Time Management System is an offensive and defensive mechanism to ensure that the Advisor maximizes his or her business time.  It allows the Advisor to focus on the four areas of “genius,” which are to:

  1. Develop and maintain relationships, both personal and professional.
  2. Interpret information on behalf of the client. Use due diligence to research and choose the right product or service from many available in the marketplace.
  3. Provide creative solutions to client problems and situations.
  4. Spur a prospect into action. Implement the plan “get the check."

There are three elements of a Time Management System:

  • Calendar
  • Time-Wasters
  • Use of Time


The Calendar is one part of a Time Management System used to organize the day, week, month, and year. Some people use one master tool, for example a Franklin-Covey or Day-Timer. Others use multiple, overlaying tools such as a PDA that synchs to Outlook and communicates with an assistant’s calendar.

Often, there are superimposed calendars such as a Firm marketing calendar, compliance calendar, year-end business calendar, contest and incentive calendar, school calendar, or community calendar. 

How the Advisor and team deal with all of these various calendars is important to an effective, overall Time Management system.

A good Time Management System allows the Advisor to coordinate short, medium, and long-range planning.  An Advisor’s time management tools should integrate with the Client Acquisition and Client Management process.


A second part of a Time Management system involves elimination and delegation of time-wasting activities for the Advisor.   An assistant is a critical partner to handle service calls, administrative work, and answer phone.  Distracting people and working conditions are also time-wasters.

Use of Time

A third part of the Time Management System is about using time wisely that is freed up through implementation of the 8 Business Systems. 

The concept of a “Model Day” or “Model Week” can help structure the practice.  Issues of personal (family) time vs. work time must be addressed. For example:

  • How do others critical to the Advisor’s practice prioritize their time?
  • How do others critical to the Advisor’s personal life prioritize their time?
  • Does anyone need to make concessions, compromises, or tradeoffs?

Finally, it can be helpful to determine the Advisor’s earnings-per-hour rate, or to examine the dollar value of particular activities. Time-wasting activities must be eliminated or minimized.

The Time Management System allows an Advisor to spend the majority of time doing only those things he or she does best and finds rewarding.