As an independent insurance agent, do you struggle to manage time and stay productive? There are many ways to stay on track. Here are some time management tips to help.
Maintaining good time management skills is vital for independent insurance agents. Since you are your own boss (and employer) when you're independent, it's important to find ways to make the most of your time. Here we discuss best practices for managing your time and staying productive.
Multitasking is a term you hear people use to describe how productive they are. In reality, multitasking can slow you down.
Most people who multitask find themselves doing work more slowly – and making more errors while doing it. You're better off staying focused on one task at a time rather than trying to do more things at once.
Set Goals for the Day
It's essential to have goals for your day. Keep your list of goals relatively short. You can always add more goals as your day progresses.
Working with a shorter list helps you stay focused on the few things you have to do in a day and leaves room to add more tasks. Having an attainable list of goals will prevent you from spinning your wheels, and hopping from one job to another without finishing anything.
Clean Your Desk
Having a clean desk makes work more manageable and less overwhelming. You'll be more efficient when you can get tasks done! If your desk is messy, you may have difficulty finding time to clean it all in one day.
Set aside 15 minutes to clean your desk at the end of every day. It won't take long before you've got a clean desk and, more importantly, a visually uncluttered workspace that makes it easier to organize your thoughts and stay productive throughout the day.
Set Aside Time for Big Projects
It's hard to find time for big projects, especially if you're answering your phone all day. Decide how much time you need to handle your larger tasks – whether that's half a day, one day per week, or several hours spread throughout the week – then set that time aside.
Let phone calls go to voice mail (to be returned later), and if you have an assistant, ask them to hold calls. Set aside time on your calendar to ensure that everyone in your office knows that you're busy.
Know Which Tasks are Most Important
Prioritize your tasks to avoid forgetting something important. Address the most critical tasks first, but take time to address some lesser tasks when you're feeling frazzled or bored with what you're working on.
Have a list of "low hanging fruit" that can be accomplished quickly, and use those to-do’s to fill in the time between your more significant, essential tasks.
Check Email at Specific Times of the Day
Email can be a great convenience or a terrible distraction, depending on what you need to get done. Set aside specific times of the day for answering emails, and close your inbox down at other times, to avoid becoming distracted.
Depending on how much important information comes through your email on a given day, you may want to set aside three or four separate occasions to check your email between projects. Set up a schedule that works for you.
Take Payments Online
Taking payments over the phone can be a big waste of time. Work with staff and clients to move to an online payment system only – this will save you time and reduce the number of phone calls you have to take in a week.
Don't Forget to Take Breaks
It may sound counterproductive, but many people slow down and become less productive as the day progresses – unless they can take breaks.
Go for a walk in the morning to jog your thoughts and give yourself time to think. Take lunch, during which time you turn off your computer and phone. Take a final break in the afternoon.
Taking breaks can help you feel less overwhelmed throughout the day, which can help you be more productive when you're not on break.
Utilize All Resources Available To You
Make the most of your time at work by utilizing resources from your insurance cluster. Members of Voldico have access to our full menu of operational supports, including payroll, claims, data entry, accounting, and more. To get started, contact us today.