Let us look at the typical morning of a financial advisor: Work on a spreadsheet. Check emails. Send proposals. Browse social networking sites. Chat with a college buddy. Read random articles on the internet. Answer unexpected calls from potential clients. And all of a sudden, rush to the meeting because he is already late.

Is this also your typical morning, financial professionals? If that is the case, you might be in the lowest performing tier, especially if you are working in a private equity firm or investment bank. Five to ten years from now, no colleague or employer will remember or promote you because of all the busywork you have done. Such entities prefer significant and necessary outputs over busywork.

Planning and Multitasking

In organizing one’s work schedule, planning is the key. Create a daily ‘To-Do’ list, it can be written on a Word or Excel document. Then, 10 minutes before leaving the workplace at the end of the day, write all the tasks that you need to do and rank these according to its importance and priority. Ask yourself if such things are vital to your success at work and in your professional career. Again, quality over quantity. Employers prefer workers who give substantial reports on or before a deadline over those who merely do a decent job.

Another ingredient for success is the financial professional’s capability to deliver immediate and crucial deliverables. Like what has been mentioned earlier, rank the action items in your list based on its importance and priority. Group the tasks into four categories: urgent and important, not urgent and important, urgent and not important, and not urgent and not important. Do the significant, difficult, and urgent tasks at hand first. Then, work all the way down. By doing so, you can avoid multitasking, hampering people from giving their best on few vital deliverables which employers expect from these professionals.

If working on a long-term project, create a timetable and divide it into shorter-term milestones, and finish the project ahead of time in order to avoid constantly starting over and recalibrating on multiple, unrelated items. As the American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company Henry Ford once said, "Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs." At the end of the day, the company will not look at all the emails you sent, the chronological filing of folders in the cabinet, or the meetings or social gatherings you attended.

Checking Work Emails

Do we really to check emails from time to time? Definitely not. This will waste a lot of time, especially if you are working on a major project. According to marketing firm EmailLabs, half of email users check their personal email frequently everyday. But this tendency can be avoided by doing the following:

  • First, set predetermined times for checking emails and one should check their inbox for three to four times each day.

  • Next, create a folder for emails that you should get to after working hours. These are messages that are not urgent in order to get back to important requests that can wait for a few business days.

  • Then, the most critical emails must be sent during workday. Yes, it is significant to be abreast with worthy updates within the organization but not every email is work-related. Some colleagues flood your inbox with irrelevant messages, so might as well ignore it.

  • Lastly, empty your inbox before leaving the workplace. You can create a folder for each project to address specific concerns. By eliminating non-core messages and emptying the inbox, you will save time. Separate the messages that require attention within the next few hours or the following day and place them in an urgent folder.

Of course, do not forget to divide the labor. Delegate, delegate, delegate. You are not a superhero to do everything at once. Deal with tasks that only you can execute. Assign the talks that you need not to handle yourself as much as possible and work on the deliverables that really require your attention or skills.

If you value your life, make your time worthwhile. If you are in a workplace, just do your job efficiently and on time. Save your time for fun and other things later. Remember, what matters to an employer is the quality of one’s deliverables, not everything else. Be organized. Manage your time wisely.