Get more out of your day with these three tips

“Email is our biggest distraction every day. If you’re constantly checking and responding to what’s incoming, you’ll never get any meaningful work done.”

How often do we come to the end of the day and think to ourselves “there aren’t enough hours”? We all go through periods where we feel overwhelmed; when it seems like we’re getting nowhere or that we’re drowning in paperwork.

Kristy Bartlett, Loan Market’s head of learning and development, spends countless hours with brokers identifying where they can be more productive. As she explains, the challenges brokers face often come down to a lack of organisation.

“As a broker, you need to be really disciplined. Every moment you waste could be used to connect with a new customer - there is no time to lose,” she said.

And according to Kristy there is a simple strategy you can put in place to make sure that every second of your day counts.

Colour-code your diary

“Having a colour-code system in your calendar means you can clearly see how your day is planned out; you can see what’s on at a glance on any given day, week or month. It shows how your days and weeks break down in terms of activity and allocation of time, so can help with identifying efficiencies,” Kristy explains.

Try it out for a month and see if it helps: use red for first appointments, green for second (or third) appointments, yellow for signings and blue for prospecting.

Chunk out your day

According to Kristy, this is all about arranging your day effectively and focussing on specific tasks at certain times. As an example: you might book all your new client appointments in the mornings and your doc signings in the afternoon.

“Most importantly, don’t stop to check emails throughout the day. Constantly reading and responding to emails is where most of us lose the majority of our time. If you have a PA, have your emails directed to them and implement a ‘red flag’ system.

“This where you schedule three quick catch ups every day: one first thing in the morning, another right after lunch and a final one at around 4pm. These meetings are an opportunity for your support staff to seek guidance from you on any issues and have all their questions answered in order to action your emails effectively,” she said.

Confirm all your appointments the day before

“Make sure you confirm all your appointments the day before. Or even better, have your PA do it for you. There are two things that can really throw out your day: people not turning up for their appointment at all or people showing up without all the documentation you need.

“Every time you meet with a client that isn’t prepared, it takes another hour and a half of your time by having to set a second appointment,” Kristy explains.