Cannon Financial Institute

5 Hacks for Super Productivity in 2019


  1. Do Less
  2. Plan in Real Time
  3. Capture Info
  4. Know Your Numbers
  5. Plan Your Own Retirement


If you want to accomplish more, then, counterintuitively, you need to do less. Have a to-do list longer than your arm? Do you complete only 1/3 of the tasks on the list every day and then feel guilty for not completing the other 2/3rds? If so,your to-do list isn’t helping you; it’s hurting you.

How to Make Your To-Do List a Useful Tool in Your Practice

I recommend the following, which has worked for me and thousands of professionals who have participated in our workshops and online training. Before you become entangled in your workday with phone calls, meetings, and emails, write down three tasks which will most help you leverage your practice that day.  

Make sure that the three tasks you record are really tasks.  For example, if you believe it would be tremendously beneficial to your practice to truly master the many creative uses of life insurance, that isn’t a task.  It may be a pursuit with a highly tangible reward, but it’s a project, and because it is all too easy to defer to a “less busy day” (read “never”). Readin­­­g an article on insurance as a buy/sell strategy for business succession is a task.  Registering for a course is a task.

Next, make certain you carry out those three tasks during the day.   If you follow this, then every week, you will do 15 tasks, which will leverage your practice, and every month you will do a total of 60. You need to keep the future of your practice in mind as it will strengthen your ability to focus on what matters. This is key to super productivity.

Plan in Real Time

Does your calendar often have appointments stacked one on top another like this: Mrs. Jackson 10 – 11; Jones Annual Review 11 – 12; Miller Retirement Luncheon 12 – 1:30?  If your calendar looks like this, then your schedule doesn’t reflect any travel time, traffic time, time to gather your thoughts before a meeting or collect your notes after a meeting.  If you add 10 or 15 minutes to either end of every meeting, then you will find additional time in your day. 

Capture Info

The most important asset you have in generating revenue and serving your client is to listen and memorialize what your client tells you whenever you talk. Do this as soon as you end your conversation. Every minute you wait, the more information flows away from you. Dictate notes into your cell phone or a voice recognition program on your computer or desktop. And when scheduling calls, build in the time you require to do this before you go on to the next client.

Know Your Numbers

You can watch the business-based reality TV programs and observe that people who have their numbers wrong get skewered by the experts (as long as they know the facts). Do you know how many families you have as clients? Without looking it up? Do you have any idea of the time you spend on every relationship? Most important, do you how much profit or revenue you are generating from every relationship? Even if you work for a large firm, your practice is a business you own. Think about what a business owner would know about his or her business.

Plan Your Own Retirement

If you have been in the industry at least ten years and plan to stay, can you tell me what your balance sheet should look like when you choose to retire? You may not retire at that moment, but you want to continue working as a conscious choice, not because you have to.

Certain homilies continue generation after generation because they express essential truths about life. One of my favorites is, “the shoemaker’s children go barefoot.” Let me ask you, shouldn’t you treat yourself and your assets with the same care and attention you treat those of your clients? You want your hard work to have a reward, and one of the best ways to accomplish this is to have your own Financial Advisor.


To learn more about this topic, register for our Sales and Practice Management course. 

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­ Contributing Writer: Subject Matter Expert Charles McCain

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