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Harness technology to reclaim your most valuable asset—time.

June 1, 2023
clock 6 MIN READ

Regain your time with technology.

“To produce at your peak level, you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task, free from distraction,” according to Adam Grant.

Easier said than done, right? There are many activities that interrupt daily focus on revenue-generating activities. Here are two ways you can leverage technology and operations to offload tasks that aren’t a good use of your time:

1. Take yourself out of processes

If you’re looking for your technology to help you gain efficiency and scale, it starts with defining your processes. Define key processes such as account opening, client review meetings, or money movement, and explore how you can keep yourself out of it. If you have support staff, how can you be as little involved as possible in the firm’s day-to-day operations?

List where you must be involved and figure out how to solve for everything else. For example, you may need to:

  • Approve specific steps that require licensed review. Are there other licensed individuals that you trust to delegate this to? Consider how you’ll stay informed if you’re ultimately accountable.
  • Conduct client meetings
  • Record meeting notes

Take action:

Get started building or expanding your use of workflows with our 10 tips for implementing workflows

2. Automate with technology

Anything that you have to do on repeat is likely not a high-value use of your time. List your most common tasks and categorize them into low- versus high-value. How can you use technology to automate, especially those that are not high-value?

For example:

  • Use technology to capture website leads as a new opportunity in your CRM, including key information such as the source and date.
  • Automatically add leads to your newsletter campaign.
  • Use a CRM workflow to trigger your sales process, which creates a task for leads to receive a template email and a follow-up call from your staff if no meeting is scheduled after three days.
  • Once a lead schedules an introductory meeting using a calendar scheduler (which is captured as a pending activity in your CRM), trigger the initial meeting workflow, which assigns tasks to staff as needed.

When business tasks have appropriate automation or delegation, there is more time to focus on the business versus in the business. According to Capital Group’s “Pathways to Growth Advisor Study 2022,” spending one hour a week on activities such as goal planning, or approximately 1% of your time, can result in 3% greater growth.1

Take action:

    Manage your time.

    “Want something done? Give it to someone busy.” — Benjamin Franklin

    In order to increase the time spent on the business, many successful advisors micro-manage their calendars (and time) with meeting scheduling tools (i.e. Calendly), workflow tools (i.e. Hubly), and time-tracking software (i.e. Toggl Track)3. You define how you want your calendar to look and use technology to manage it. Here are two ways to define your time so you can manage it using technology:

    Operational time blocks

    Time blocking requires you determine what you plan to do, and when you’ll do it, in a given day or week. Consider the categories of work that you need to do and design your ideal day and/or week. Additionally, many advisors benefit from having a maximum number of meetings per day.

    For example:

    Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Meeting prep

    Technical client work

    Business development

    3 meetings max 3 meetings max 3 meetings max



    There are a number of time-management frameworks out there. Make sure to find one that resonates with you and your work style.

    Consider surge meetings

    If you want to take it to the next level, consider meeting with all of your clients within a certain time of the year to allow you and your team to get into a rhythm for a finite period. This allows you to create chunks of time to do other deep work and strategic projects, such as finally having time to build and implement workflows.

    For example:




    • Business development
    • Strategic projects
    • Scheduling for spring surge meetings




    Surge meeting 1:

    • Review and reset goals (i.e., education funding, etc.)
    • Retirement planning
    • Cash flow management
    • Review previous year taxes




    • Business development
    • Strategic projects
    • Scheduling for fall surge meeting
    • Vacation




    Surge meeting 2:

    • Estate planning
    • Tax planning (RMDs, Roth conversion, charitable giving, etc.)
    • Year-end review and summaries

    Whatever method you use to proactively plan how to use your time, make sure it finds its way into your calendar so it happens.


    Protect your time with technology.

    Consider setting boundaries with clients, staff, and partners. If your service model is to be available 24/7, that’s fine. But for many advisors, an “always-available” model impacts productivity.

    Here are two things you can do:

    1. Use a meeting scheduler. You can use an online calendar such as Calendly to prevent all or certain meetings to be booked on certain days and/or time frames. It’s easier to protect your focus time when it’s not available for meetings.
    2. Proactively set expectations using template responses. Imagine getting a planning question from a client that’s not time sensitive and being able to quickly pull this template response from your email library:

    “That’s a great question. I’ve added this as an agenda item to discuss in our next meeting. I’m looking forward to it. In the meantime, if you need an immediate response, please let me know.”

    In your response, you cc’d your CRM or a staff member to add this note to the client’s contact record. Now you have an excellent agenda item that won’t get missed for your next meeting.

    When setting boundaries with clients, it’s important to:

    1. Be clear. Communicate what the boundary is.
    2. Be consistent. Giving in to your boundaries for what you think is a one-off scenario sets unclear expectations for the client. Are they really boundaries?
    3. Be respectful. Understand the need for your clients to have access to you. Have it reflected in your service model and set expectations upfront to avoid any conflict later on.

    If you're unsure where to start in creating your balance, try documenting your ideal day. Then, make progress by changing one thing a day.

    Take action:

    If you’re not already using an online scheduler, seriously consider using one that integrates with your CRM. Start by exploring options available through your broker-dealer or custodial partners.

    Technology can be a time enabler when used with intention.


    1 “Pathways to Growth: 2021 Advisor Benchmark Study,” Capital Group®
    2 Redtail is not affiliated affiliated with SEI or its subsidiaries
    3 SEI does not endorse the example products and services mentioned herein

    Stephanie Reilly

    Practice Management Consultant

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