What is the biggest personal productivity killer?
Sales & Marketing for Professional Services & Strategic Issues

What is the biggest personal productivity killer?

May 19, 2014

by Tony Vidler

One of the few things that all professional advisers would agree upon is that they would like to achieve more in less time.  They would like to have better business results for less work, and have more time away from the business.  In other words, personal productivity – or business efficiency if you prefer – matters.

An excellent report recently highlighted that the financial advisers who feel most in control of their businesses have higher productivity and business focus than those who do not feel in control. That is perhaps not surprising as those who are achieving more will usually feel like they are in control of their business, rather than the other way around.  HOW advisers get to that higher level of personal productivity and business efficiency is interesting however.

It seems that the biggest personal productivity killer is simply a lack of thought.

Oddly enough for professional advisers who are in the business of thinking for a living, it is the lack of thinking about the right things that kills personal productivity.

Even for the majority of those with a business plan that has clear business goals they find that the plan is relatively ineffective in helping to guide the actual business operation.

Think about that for a moment….intelligent professionals who are in the business of thinking and then planning for clients are finding that their own planning is falling short – and it is because they are thinking mostly about the wrong stuff.

There are three suggested types of productivity, and like all solid structures there is a logic, or sequence, to how each builds upon the other in order to achieve maximum effectiveness.

Foundation of productivity

Too many advisers that feel things are out of control are spending too much time focusing upon the structural stuff and the personal productivity.  Despite the time, effort and focus that is applied in these areas the majority of advisers still feel that they are not in control.

It is the classic professional blunder: “I am busy being busy” syndrome.  Reading time management books and refining how one arranges “to do” lists and creating excellent procedures manuals to instruct all and sundry on how the practice should run….but without a clear vision on where the practice is going or why.  Just “being busy being busy” is the biggest personal productivity killer.

To achieve maximum personal productivity – that is, the best return for the time and effort employed – there has to be strategic clarity first.  That is the foundation for building the right structure and systems that make for a more efficient practice, which then enable the adviser to concentrate upon the right tasks and use their own time well.

Then there is a very good chance that the adviser will feel like they are in control and the business is serving its purpose for its owner.


The full report can be viewed at:



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