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Tips to Maximize Your Return on Time [Episode 20]

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Matt and Micah are here to talk about the importance of what they define as ‘return on time’. It’s a concept set in place to ensure that time is spent growing revenue.

Because revenue and growth are both extremely important for the longevity of your firm, your time should be spent accordingly.

To calculate your return on time, Matt simply divides the amount of hours he works every year with the gross revenue of his firm. This then is his ‘hourly rate’.

There you have it. Simple enough, but oh so crucial for weeding out the work hours that don’t serve your practice. If you’re in the middle of doing a task that doesn’t equate to your hourly rate, it’s probably not worth your time.

The rest of this episode is spent reinforcing this idea. Here are some of the key principles to echo:


[#1 Don’t ‘Play Office’]

  • Matthew admits to his wasting time with powerpoint presentations and obsessing over the minutiae of the slides, but realizing that if he spent 6 hours on designing the thing, what kind of value was he bringing to his practice? Was he making his hourly rate? Not at all.
  • Again, playing office in this context means spending too much time on tasks that would be best delegated to someone with powerpoint design strength. Someone who could knock out a powerpoint in 30 minutes, instead of wasting 6 hours on font size.


[#2 Forcing Mechanisms for Productivity]

  • Matthew likes to set a timer when he’s designing a new financial plan. In addition to making the financial plans simple (a different podcast episode entirely), he makes sure he has this simple forcing mechanism in place, or else he can get caught up in the details.
  • Micah, in addition, likes to remind himself that his work should be bringing his practice, his family, and his clients as much value as possible.
  • Another example is that Micah has to constantly remind himself that he does need to delegate tasks to other people. He can get caught up in thinking he can retain and handle a lot of different responsibilities that are best delegated elsewhere.
  • Never underestimate post-it notes! Micah likes to have a note he sticks on his computer that keeps him focused on the 5 most important tasks he has to get done during that day. Essentially, he limits the things he needs done in his day to the most important.


[#3 Outside Accountability ]

  • To keep yourself on the straight and narrow of productivity and revenue-producing best practices, your team, clients, family, and so forth can help keep you focused.
  • Having your assistant keep you on track with meetings and to stay less-distracted by ‘shiny objects’ as Micah states, brings that third-party accountability that is so crucial.


[#4 Misconceptions About What is Required for Work ]

  • Matthew says that so many feel that being reactive is real work. In other words, you need to block out the required time for responding to emails: always being on call to the whims of clients or killing your own productivity by stopping and starting projects to respond to an IM (if you can help it) is a bad practice that detracts from your overall value.
  • Don’t let your teams interrupt you all of the time. A better system needs to be set in place to prevent your teammates from always interrupting your flow.
  • Social media and news is not needed to be a really good advisor.



Matt and Micah’s Action Items

  1. Check out the time blocking video series that Matt and Micah just put out recently.
  2. Put a post-it note on your computer as a reminder to work your true hourly rate.
  3. Read or reread the 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferriss.


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Produced by Simpler Media

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There's more to life than AUM -- assets under management -- to understanding the success of you and your firm. Listen in to learn more.

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