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Time Management for Financial Advisors

SmartAsset: Time management for financial advisors

Being a financial advisor often means wearing multiple hats and it’s easy to feel that there aren’t enough hours to fit everything in. Making the best use of your time is important for increasing productivity and focusing attention on activities that are likely to yield the biggest return for your business. Time management for financial advisors is mainly about discipline and creating a routine that helps you make the most of your daily round.

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Why Is Time Management Important for Financial Advisors?

A typical day in the life of a financial advisor involves juggling a wide range of tasks. Some of the most important things an advisor does in a day can include:

  • Reaching out to prospects
  • Reviewing financial plans
  • Meeting with current clients
  • Networking
  • Managing the administrative side of running an advisory business
  • A 40-hour workweek is a given, though it’s not unusual for advisors to work longer hours or complete work-related tasks on weekends. Time management is critical for ensuring that the most important things necessary to grow your business get done while enabling you to maintain some work-life balance.

    Benefits of Time Management for Financial Advisors

    SmartAsset: Time management for financial advisors

    Being proactive about managing time as an advisor can benefit you and your business in more ways than one. When your days have a set structure and routine, for example, it becomes easier to prioritize where you spend your time and stay focused on the task at hand.

    Rather than jumping from one thing to the next, you can move through the day in an orderly, organized way, reducing stress in the process. Embracing time management tips also makes it easier to identify potential time drains and weed them out.

    If you notice that you’re spending a significant amount of time decluttering your email every day, for instance, you might decide to delegate that task to someone else or at the very least, put a time limit on how long you’ll spend sorting through messages.

    Learning to better manage your time can help your business to become more efficient and potentially give your productivity a boost. That’s something you might appreciate if you feel like you’re doing all the things but not making any progress with scaling.

    Last but not least, good time management can allow you to maintain balance by drawing a line between working and non-working hours.

    Time Management Tips for Financial Advisors

    Developing good time management skills can take a little time but the payoff can be well worth it. If you’re looking for ways to get more done each day with less overwhelm, these tips can help.

    Start With a Routine

    Creating a daily routine is a simple but powerful way to regain control of your time. You can break up your routine into chunks, starting with the period between waking up and starting the workday.

    Working hours can be segmented into morning and afternoon blocks, followed by an evening routine once the working day has ended. These traits can have a positive impact on your career path. Routines can help you to cultivate good habits when managing time and get rid of bad ones that may be costing you precious minutes or hours throughout the day.

    Use Lists Strategically

    Keeping a to-do list can help you to stay organized but if there’s too much on it, you’re likely to get to the end of the day and feel like you’ve accomplished nothing. If you’re just making one big list each day, consider how you might group activities.

    For example, you might use three categories: Must get done, would like to get done and doesn’t need to get done yet. You can then choose your top three tasks for the must-get-done category and work on those while assigning other tasks to the lower-priority categories.

    Be Proactive

    Putting everything on your to-do list can backfire if you end up procrastinating when it comes to doing certain things. Or you may simply feel bogged down by the size of the list itself. Here’s a simple rule that can help with time management: If something can take less than five minutes, do it without adding it to your list.

    Acting quickly on smaller items can help you keep your to-do list from becoming cluttered. However, this does require you to be realistic about time estimates when deciding what to act on right away. For instance, you might intend to call a client or colleague for a quick five-minute chat but that can easily turn into an hour-long call.


    Automation tools can help with simplifying and streamlining some of the behind-the-scenes tasks that are necessary for running your business. For instance, you might use automation software to manage bookkeeping and recordkeeping or to onboard new clients.

    Artificial intelligence tools can make it easier to draft marketing content for social media posts or email newsletters. The more you can automate, the more time you can free up to focus on other things.


    There are some things you may not be able to automate in your business, but you might be able to take them off your plate by delegating.

    Going back to the email decluttering example mentioned earlier, that’s something that a virtual assistant could help with. Virtual assistants for financial advisors are trained to handle a wide range of activities, from inbox management to scheduling to recordkeeping.

    Outsourcing may require you to make an investment of money for those services. However, that could be justified if you’re able to reclaim valuable hours that you could spend prospecting or engaging with clients.

    Put Yourself On Your Calendar

    Overwork can lead to financial advisor burnout which can have negative consequences for your business if you’re unable to focus or find yourself losing interest in your work. When implementing time management strategies, it’s important to consider where time for yourself fits in.

    That includes working in smaller breaks throughout the day to unplug from your phone or laptop temporarily, as well as drawing boundaries so that your workday doesn’t encompass all your waking hours.

    The Bottom Line

    SmartAsset: Time management for financial advisors

    Good time management can help you to grow your practice without stretching yourself too thin in the process. If you’re just getting started, keeping a time log that tracks what you do in a normal workday can give you some perspective on where the minutes and hours go. Once you get a routine in place, it’s a good idea to review it regularly to see what’s working and what’s not, then adjust accordingly.

    Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business

    • Maintaining a steady client list is vital to your overall success, but prospecting can be time-consuming. Outsourcing some of your prospecting efforts using a tool like SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor can help you put precious hours back into your day. You can get qualified leads delivered to your email and decide which prospects you’d like to reach out to.
    • Digital marketing can be a powerful way to connect with prospects and establish your brand. If you’re not working on creating a digital footprint yet, you could be missing out on opportunities to grow your client base. Learning digital marketing strategies, including social media and email marketing, can help to increase your visibility online and make it easier to attract clients to your business.
    • Photo credit: © Penn, © Pevide, ©

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