Whether you're among the growing numbers who have seen and become obsessed with Marie Kondo's Netflix series Tidying Up (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvyeapVBLWY) or not, the ultimate message she promotes is applicable to building a financial practice as well: clear away the clutter... and choose joy!
Here are a few ideas to help simplify, de-clutter, and allow room to focus on the things that "Spark Joy" rather than being distracted by the things that hold us back.
De-Clutter Your Priorities
It's easy to feel that every opportunity, request or obligation carries importance or worse, urgency! But freeing ourselves from looking at urgency and importance as the same thing creates space to truly prioritize what we want and then to evaluate which activities will most effectively support those outcomes. For example, if making a new rep feel welcome and supported is a priority outcome, 2 hours of face-time at an office happy hour isn't the only path. A 5 minute 1-on-1 conversation in the hallway where you are fully present, authentic and engaged could actually do more to achieve the outcome than spending 24 times as long meeting what feels more like a social obligation. And in the end, attending may not even achieve the real outcome! When we are crystal clear on our desired outcomes and the priority among them, it is far easier to see the most direct path to making sure we get the outcomes we seek most without being distracted by urgency or obligation.
De-Clutter Your Calendar
We each have just 24 hours in a day and how we decide to spend each minute shapes our future. Now that you know your outcomes and how they are prioritized, you can look at each specific request or commitment ahead and ask:
- Does committing time in this way align with my greatest priorities or help me achieve a top goal or outcome?
- Is there a more efficient way to get the same outcome?
- How will I decline the requests and remove the commitments that don't serve me without letting others down?
Hint: this last question is often the place where we get stuck. When you ask the question this way, however, with focus and determination, it implies that an answer already exists. Given some latitude and a little patience, your brain will not disappoint in being creative if necessary to find the answer. Set a new standard and don't accept less from (or for) yourself.
De-Clutter Your Space
Organizing and letting go of material things that do not serve a strong purpose, have outlived their purpose or that now detract can be both cathartic and create momentum and energy. This will be true for you, your spouse and/or kids and your team! Get help if objectivity or leverage are necessary to complete the task.
De-Clutter Your Process
The shortest distance between two points is still a straight line. Reevaluating how your practice gets thing done by drawing out each step and who owns it may reveal more steps than necessary or too many cooks in the kitchen. If things feel too complex, have your team help suggest ways to simplify without delivering less, or benchmark similar practices that seem more streamlined.
De-Clutter Your Recommendations
Clients value an expert who can take a complex set of inputs, assumptions and options and create a simple, logical conclusion and recommendation. By focusing recommendations on only the elements and actions that matter most at the present moment, clients will have clarity in how they should move forward and will be able to do so faster and with greater confidence.
As our inspired visions for the new year are tested by the challenges of daily reality, a little time spent clearing out the clutter will bring clarity of focus, more efficient progress, renewed energy, and most important, JOY!, to the pursuit of your 2019 goals!