The end of the year can be a busy time for independent agents. January 1 renewals and the other usual year-end and holiday tasks can lead to a stressful December. It doesn’t have to be this way, though! Try our favorite time management strategies to enjoy the last weeks of the year and be ready for a fresh start in January.
Time Management Strategies to Hack Your Renewal Season
Insurance agents and brokers tend to stay busy throughout the year but if you’re feeling an extra rush of activity this December, focus on managing your time — and stress — with these tips:
Use your natural rhythm to your advantage.
Now isn’t the time to fight nature. Take advantage of your natural boosts of productivity throughout the day to accomplish more. If you are a morning person, push yourself to work diligently during your early morning peak hours. Pull out your laptop and keep working if you feel a burst of energy mid-afternoon or late evening. Recognize your own energy levels and work with them to see greater results.
Build breaks into your day.
Adding breaks to your schedule when you are already busy may sound counterintuitive, but this is critical. Listen to your body when you feel like taking a break, whether after thirty minutes or two hours of work. Be intentional about how you recharge during your breaks, too. Plan to stand and stretch, take a walk, be outside, drink water, or eat something nourishing. Enjoy the view of something other than your laptop screen and refresh throughout the day. Building blocks of breaks into your day will let you be more productive during work time — and you’ll feel better for it.
Be creative with your time.
It can feel overwhelming when you have more work than time in the day. But if you are creative with your time, you may surprise yourself with what you can accomplish. Adding 30 minutes to the start and end of your day, plus eating lunch at your desk, gives you an additional two hours each day. Use the gaps in your day wisely. For example, if you have ten minutes before your next call, you can use that time to work on a To-Do list item rather than waiting for the next meeting to start.
Rely on support staff.
The savviest brokers and agents rely on their teams. Trust the people you work with to handle some tasks for you as appropriate. This saves you time, lets you focus on your strengths, and develops your team’s skills. Be deliberate about delegating tasks to the right people; the more you practice this skill, the better you will be.
Stick to your priority list.
You should follow your list of priorities during the day with few exceptions. Urgent requests will always arise, but if you stop to handle every new thing that comes up, you will not accomplish your priorities. Determine how you will manage the day-to-day requests in advance. Develop your triage system to include them in the priority list or delegate them. Once you have your strategy in place, it will be easier to manage these interruptions since you already have a plan for handling them before they derail your day.
Group related tasks or activities together to be more efficient. Try blocking time and focusing on one action during that time block. Some people work faster when they don’t have to shift gears often, so you may find working on one type of activity for a longer time is more effective for you. Experiment with time blocking to see if that extra focus helps you accomplish more.
Find More Resources for Renewal Season From the American Agents Alliance
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