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Category: Sales · 5 min read

6 Ways to Avoid Getting Sidetracked

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on January 22, 2019

author profile photo

on January 22, 2019

Professional-looking man using his tablet in a meeting room

It can be hard to stay on track the whole day. Trust me, I know. You start with your daily to-do list and have the best intentions of getting it all done, but then small fires pop up and you get several phone calls, and before you know it, the day’s half gone and you’re not even through the first item on your list. 

But sometimes, staying on track can be in your control. You can limit your distractions. To counteract the small fires and keep focused on the big wins, here are six tips to implement in your day-to-day routine.  


1. Time Block 

Client meetings can (and should) take over your schedule. But, in order to make sure you have time for the other things you need to get done, own your schedule and block your time. This means blocking off one, two, three, or more hours on your schedule, so you can dedicate the appropriate time to your tasks. This may vary, based on the priorities for the day, but the goal is to create intentional time for you to stay productive and on target.  


2. Set a Daily Schedule 

This one is underrated. Yes, every day is different, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a standard schedule in place to help you stay on track. In fact, a schedule can be a beneficial way to keep your productivity up and bring some balance to your days. For example: set 8 to 9 a.m. as time to respond to emails and calls, reserve 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. for marketing efforts, and have 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. be for client meetings and management. This goes hand-in-hand with blocking time, but committing to a set, daily schedule that gives you time to get work done and not get distracted can give you the chance to accomplish more in your eight-hour day.  


3. Set up a System for Client Self-Scheduling 

Let’s be honest for a moment. If you think about it, what’s the number one reason you get sidetracked? Is it your clients? Even though they’re essential to your business, sometimes they can be the reason the rest of your day veers off course. Responding to prospect and client emails can eat up a lot of your time if you aren’t careful. Of course, you want to respond quickly, but you also have to be aware of the other tasks at hand.  

Managing and scheduling client and prospect meetings can take up a good chunk of your day. If that’s you, then it may be worth looking into a self-scheduling system, where clients are directed to a scheduling site where they can pick a meeting time that works for them. This scheduling software syncs with your calendar, so clients and prospects can only choose times that you’re available. This can eliminate the email back-and-forth, and lead to an overall smoother process for you and your clients. Plus, automated scheduling frees up your attention, so you can focus on other important things. 


4. Have a Meeting Time Limit 

If you aren’t diligently watching the clock, it can be easy for client meetings to run long. You get to talking, there are more questions than usual, and, the next thing you know, the meeting has gone on for over an hour. To avoid this, set a time limit. Set your phone alarm (on vibrate, so it only alerts you), start a countdown, or have someone peek their head in to remind you. Whatever you have to do to stay on time. This way, you can maximize your time and ensure that you stay on track with your daily schedule.  

Committing to a set, daily schedule that gives you time to get work done and not get distracted can give you the chance to accomplish more in your eight-hour day.

5. Set up Inbox Rules for New Emails 

How many unread emails are in your inbox right now? Do you go through and organize all of your emails, or do you just leave them? Your inbox can be a major source of distraction. New emails lead to new problems and new responses. To stay organized and on track, you can set up inbox rules that determine what to do with incoming emails. New emails can be automatically put in a folder, and you can set up automatic responses or utilize Gmail’s quick responses to certain types of emails, so you can be organized from the get-go, and keep you focused on the big picture.  


6. Prioritize Your To-Dos 

It might seem obvious, but prioritization can make all the difference in what you accomplish in a single day or week. Ask yourself: what’s the most important thing I need to get done? And then rank all of your to-dos with that question in mind. Putting a priority on your tasks can keep you productive, motivated, and on track to complete your major milestones. If you do this before you start on your to-dos, it can eliminate any hesitation on what to start on next, so you can be more efficient with the free time you have.  

Don’t let the distractions of your phone, social media, or emails keep you from getting your necessary tasks done. Instead, manage your time and productivity to help maximize your daily accomplishments, so you can provide the best service to your clients, while also growing your business.  


For Financial Professional use only, not for use with the general public. #19-0005-010720

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Written By

Jamie Austin

Executive Vice President

Jamie Austin is the Executive Vice President of Brokers International. Jamie has over 20 years of experience in industry operations, and specializes in aligning strategy with organization, vision, and goals. Jamie has spent her career accelerating revenues, improving brand image, and building strong and sustainable sales practices.

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