Unfortunately, many advisors continue doing the same things in the second half of the year as they did in the first but expecting different results. As I recall, that’s the definition of insanity! It’s important to know where you excelled in the first half of the year and where you need to implement changes in the second half of 2019.
Take a timeout and click on the Halftime Report to answer 12 simple questions to better understand where you’ve been and help you proactively plan where you want to go in the second half of the year.
1. In what areas have you exceeded your expectations in the first half of the year?
It’s important to know what you’ve done well so far this year. Instead of beating your head against the wall doing more of what’s not working for you, analyze what has worked in 2019 and develop a plan for doing more of this.
2. What has been your weakest link in the first half of the year?
It’s important to know your weaknesses as well as your strengths. Usually your “weakest link” tasks tend to be your least favorite and subject to procrastination. These are the tasks you want to delegate as much as possible. If delegation isn’t possible, develop a time block for these tasks and knock them out early. You will be far more focused and get much more accomplished when you time block these tasks.
3. Where have your biggest time leaks been in the first half of the year?
Trying to be proactive in a reactive business makes time management a challenge from Day 1 until the day you retire. It’s important to know exactly where your biggest time leaks are. Only then can you begin to develop strategies for minimizing them.
All too often, advisors try to do and be everything to everyone all day long, which means you spend a good part of your day stopping, starting and trying to get back on task. A study conducted by the University of California, Irvine found that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on task after being interrupted. Do that several times a day and two hours of your day quickly disappear.
Advisors also spend way too much time trying to figure out what to do next. Having a detailed daily to-do list before you walk through the door each morning can help with this.
Another tip for minimizing time leaks is to start making Mondays your prep day. Mondays are a weekend recovery day for clients, prospects and advisors alike. Typically, no one likes to make calls or receive calls on Mondays. Instead of writing Monday off as a wasted day, use it to do all of your prep work for the week. Outline who you plan to call, when you’re going to call them and what you’re going to talk to them about. Take to time to prep for all the week’s appointments on Monday. This helps you to move more seamlessly from one task to another with minimal downtime.
4. What could you have realistically done more of?
Reality Check Part 1 and time to be brutally honest with yourself. This question will help you to become more aware of your most productive tasks and gauge how much time you’re actually spending on those critical results-oriented tasks.
5. What should you have realistically done less of?
Reality Check Part 2. Most advisors are drawn to the business because of the freedom it allows you. Unfortunately, this is often a double-edge sword. Freedom can be awesome, or it can be your worst enemy. You know what you should be doing less to be more productive. These are the tasks that should be delegated, eliminated or time blocked for increased productivity and efficiency.
6. As we close in on the end of the first half of 2019, how realistic are the 2019 goals you set in January?
Reality Check Part 3 and time to be brutally honest again. Evaluate the goals you set for yourself in 2019 objectively and unemotionally. If you’re on target or ahead, great job! Give yourself some credit and even a reward. Advisors are so busy setting their next goals, they rarely take time to enjoy the goals they’ve reached.
If your 2019 goals are no longer realistic, don’t beat yourself up. What’s done is done. Be a student of yourself and learn from it. Instead of letting unrealistic goals bring you down and effect what you accomplish in the second half of the year, it’s time for a do-over. Set new stretch but doable goals for the second half of the year. Give yourself the opportunity to finish the year strong and on an uptick going into 2020.
7. What do you most want to accomplish in the second half of the year?
Give this question some serious thought. What is your #1 priority in the second half of the year? What is more important to you than anything else in your business? Once you’ve pinpointed this, develop a detailed month-by-month plan for accomplishing it. At the beginning of each month, evaluate last month’s progress and develop a weekly plan for the upcoming month.
8. What would be 3 stretch but doable goals you’re willing to commit to, that if you were to reach by year-end would have you feeling awesome about the year?
You want these goals to stretch you but to be doable. Once you decide on your 3 stretch goals, dissect them. Determine what you will need to do on a monthly basis to accomplish them. Develop a tangible month-by-month plan and commit to diligently implementing that plan each month. Just like in Question #7, at the beginning of each month, evaluate the progress you made in the previous month. Set weekly goals for the upcoming month and develop the action plan to get there. The key word here is “commit!”
9. Motivation Check: On a scale of 1-10, with 1 you’re in a coma and 10 you believe on a cellular level that this is going to be your best year ever, where do you lie on the Motivation scale?
Motivation is key to reaching your goals. How motivated are you? Are your goals “should” goals “want to” goals? “Want to” goals are usually more powerful and rewarding than “should” goals. Examine the “why” behind your goals. The stronger the “why” behind your goals, the more endurance and power your goals will have.
10. What would you need to do to raise your motivational level by 2 points?
Always look for new ways to raise and sustain your motivational level. Knowing how to get your motivation back before it suffers a setback helps you to minimize downtime and get back on track quicker and easier.
11. Burnout Scale: On a scale of 1-10, with 1 you need time off NOW and 10 you feel you can take on the world, where are you on the Burnout Scale?
Guard against burnout. It is insidious. It can take you out of the game and the longer you’re out of the game, the harder it is to get back in. I’ve seen burnout take advisors down for months at a time. Be prepared.
12. In the past, what has been the quickest and easiest remedy for you personally to get out of burnout?
Know where you are on the burnout scale at all times and know the quickest and easiest methods you’ve used in the past to get out of its grips. Have a plan ahead of time. At the first and slightest sign that burnout may be creeping in, implement your predetermined action plan immediately.
Regardless of where you are at halftime, use your answers to the above questions to formulate your plan for finishing strong in 2019. If you had a great first half of the year, you’re awesome but don’t let up now. Determine what your most results-oriented tasks were and commit to doing more of those in the second half of the year.
If the first half of the year was lackluster, take the time to figure out why and what needs to change. Set new goals for Part 2 of 2019, develop concrete monthly and weekly plans for getting there and commit.
Make the second half of the year your best half of the year. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free complimentary coaching call and we’ll identify and implement the changes you need to make in the second half of 2019 to keep calm and finish strong!