In our last Hometown University blog post, we talked about how an insurance agent might develop and prioritize a good to-do list. In this post, we’ll look at how to put your plan into action by scheduling it into manageable chunks.
Step 5 – Schedule Ongoing Tasks First
Start by looking at the top six to eight tasks on your list. At this point, you should have a pretty good idea which tasks are ongoing (like calling leads) and which are one-time or infrequent (let’s say, revamping your website). Begin with the ongoing activities, setting up a repeating appointment to do each task at whatever frequency makes sense to you (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.).
For example, maybe you block three hours every weekday morning and every other Saturday to call leads. Within that period, you can create a priority order like this: freshest leads first, then scheduled calls, then re-calling leads you were unable to reach before, then cross-selling to current clients. Put this in the memo portion of your calendar appointment if that’s helpful.
Repeat this process with the rest of your mandatory tasks. This will ensure that you’re making enough time to do what you need to in order to be successful. And don’t forget to include a regular chunk of “Admin/Flex Time” to handle the unknowns that are sure to come up in the interim.
Step 6 – Add One-Time or Infrequent Activities
After you’ve got all of your essentials scheduled, it’s time to move on to the more infrequent activities. One of the biggest mistakes most people make at this point is underestimating the amount of time it will actually take to accomplish a job. This is where it’s helpful to be very honest with yourself about your own process, preferences and budget.
For example, it’s possible to pay someone to create a fantastic new agency website for you with little effort on your part. But are you comfortable with someone else deciding what content belongs on your site? Do you have the budget for that? Do you have the time to find someone trustworthy enough to handle this important job for you?
Breaking larger tasks into smaller pieces and assigning a time allotment for each piece will help you gain clarity about whether you can do a job yourself or whether you’ll need help. For a web redesign, this might include things like: browsing competitor’s sites for ideas, outlining the pages and content you want on your site, getting recommendations and hiring a designer, getting recommendations and hiring a writer, reviewing the first draft, etc.
For some with a clear vision and a staff, it could take as little as an hour to jot down a few ideas and either assign the job to someone else to complete or hire a contractor to do the bulk of the work. For others who don’t have the budget, staff, or desire to bring in outside help, a website redesign could take many, many hours. The key is to know yourself and be realistic about how much you can accomplish yourself given that there are probably competing priorities for your insurance business.
Go through this process with the three or four most important one-time tasks on your list and add them to your calendar in priority order; do this even if they overlap with other schedule blocks you’ve already got on there.
Step 7 – Evaluate Your Schedule
Once you have all of your most pressing tasks scheduled, look at your calendar one week at a time. Does everything fit neatly, or are you over- or underwhelmed with commitments? Can you move a block from an overloaded week to one that has more openings? Do you still have more time available that you can fill with other items that are further down on your list?
Or, do you simply have too much on your plate to handle on your own? If so, it’s time to figure out how to unburden yourself. Sometimes this means you need to make a monetary investment or hire part-time help, or you may need to reprioritize and delegate. It may mean that you need to put an hour on your calendar to “Create a savings goal timetable” so you can find a way to pay for the help you need.
A well-organized schedule provides direction and can help keep you focused on the activities that are going to help make you more successful. It’s much easier to get where you want to be when you have a clear roadmap to follow.
If you haven’t already, make sure you pencil in time to check out Hometown Quotes and our services. Using our real-time, high-quality leads can free up your time to grow your business in other ways. Give us a call at 800-820-2981 to learn more.