A Three-Step Blueprint to an Efficient Schedule

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Forget scaling down to a four-day work week. Sometimes it feels like I need an eight- or nine-day week just to stay on top of my workload. It’s never been easy to keep up with the demands of being a financial advisor, and as you take on more and more work, there’s less and less room for other important parts of your life.

In a perfect world, you’d reduce your workload and hours worked without impacting your business – and stay healthy without needing time for things like rest and relaxation. This is not a perfect world. You can’t add more hours to a day. You can’t decrease the amount of work on your plate. Your only option is to try to save time by increasing your efficiency.

The question is how.

Time blocking: A three-step blueprint to an efficient schedule

Most of us are multitasking all the time. You probably have a dozen different tabs open on your browser, Outlook running in the background or on a separate monitor, CNBC playing on a screen in your office, two or three running text conversations on your phone, and a spreadsheet or two that you’re working on.

For me, those are understatements.

We’ve all come to accept multitasking as a way of life, but it’s not nearly as efficient or effective as we think. It takes time for us to fully engage with a task. Research done by the American Psychological Association found that repeatedly switching between tasks can cost as much as 40% of someone’s productive time. If we were to draw our schedules out task-by-task, we’d see that we typically only spend a few minutes on a task before switching to something else, guaranteeing that we lose minutes or hours of productivity every day.