The Number One Solution to Your Time Problems

I remember when I used to jump at everything anyone thought was urgent—the daily assault of e-mail requests and offers, visitors dropping by for a friendly chat, the ringing phone from people wanting anything except to hire me, that article I stumbled upon while surfing the web that I just might use…someday.

Then there was the guilt I felt when vacationing or taking my daily (well, it was supposed to be daily) jog. I would think “I can’t afford to take the time to do this. There’s so much work to do.” So I would skip the vital workout.

Also, I’m embarrassed to admit, I often neglected my wife, Charlene, because I had so much to do at work. (Sounds just like a workaholic, doesn’t it?)

All that changed for the better one day when I discovered Stephen Covey’s Time Matrix. His book, Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, is a must-read for every independent financial advisor.

With the Time Matrix I instantly got my priorities straight. Stephen Covey’s clever distinction between what’s urgent and what’s truly important did the trick.

Isn’t your relationship with your loved ones most important—the top priority—followed by caring for your mind and body?

Suddenly, taking care of me was okay. Taking care of me was taking care of business. It was not, as I used to think, taking time away from business.

With that new shift in thinking, I happily started jogging five days a week. I got in great shape and my concentration and mental stamina increased right along with my physical stamina.

With family and friends the top priority, I saw to it that I spent time with them. Charlene was very pleased. Daughter, Dawn, was thrilled. I was always a star in her eyes and her favorite, even though Charlene spend tons more time and energy on her. Freud was right on this one. Daughters love their daddies.

These vital activities—nurturing and loving relationships, taking care of your mind and body, planning and preparing, and getting clear on your values are classified by Stephen Covey as “Not Urgent and Important.” Never forget or neglect these.

Another class of activities labeled “Urgent and Not Important,” is activities you don’t want to tolerate or have in your life. Those are the things I mentioned in the first paragraph. I’ll repeat them here. Everything someone else thought was urgent—the daily assault of e-mail requests and offers, visitors dropping by for a friendly chat, the ringing phone from people wanting anything except to hire me, that article I just might use…someday.

These are time vampires. They’ll suck all the precious time out of your life if you let them. Don’t let them. You’ll be amazed at how much more truly important things you’ll accomplish. You’ll also be calmer and less stressed.

Get a copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The audio version is an excellent alternative. Be sure to read or listen to the section about his Time Matrix.

Apply these principles and your  advisor practice and life will be the better for it.

Have questions or comments? How are you handling your challenges around time? Join the discussion and I’ll reply.

Feel free to reply to any of my emails with your questions.

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