Loan officers are busy professionals with a lot on their plates. Learning how to best manage their time is key if they want to continue growing their business. With only so many minutes in a workday, how can you make the most of each one? Committing to building and improving strong time-management skills is essential. Here are some of the best strategies for busy loan officers:
Prioritize Your To-Do List
For many of us, our to-do lists are long and full of a variety of tasks. Some are of top importance, while others are more gentle reminders. When your to-do list is a random mixture of all types of tasks, it isn’t a very useful tool. It’s fine to have a catch-all list like that, but I’d recommend also creating a short, cleaned-up to-do list every day. The best way to do this is to prioritize. Look at your lengthy list and determine which items are the most important for the day ahead. Create a list of just the priorities to reference throughout your day. If completing a large project is an item on your long list, don’t just carry that over as a priority. Instead, write the specific action or actions you need to take that day to work towards completion. When you get clear and focus on the most important tasks, you streamline your workflow.
Time-Block Your Schedule
Another great strategy is time-blocking. Break down your day into smaller windows of time with a specific focus. Perhaps you spend an hour in the morning concentrating on marketing efforts, and maybe a half hour in the afternoon cleaning up your inbox. Of course, the length of time and type of focus will depend on your work, but using this strategy is a great way to maintain focus and work more efficiently. It also gives you a visual overview of the day, making it easier to transition from block to block because you know what’s coming.
Identify and Prevent Distractions
Most of us are well aware that distractions are all around us, but we don’t always take time to pinpoint the specific ones that drain our productivity. For any professional, it’s worth pausing and reflecting on which distractions regularly steal your focus. These are the ones that can be most detrimental to your time-management efforts. Perhaps you often find yourself on LinkedIn to share a post and wind up scrolling through your homepage feed for five or ten minutes. While there is probably some great content on there, if this wasn’t how you were planning to spend your time, it’s not conducive to productivity. Make a point of identifying the distractions that waste your time. Maybe even write them down. The more awareness you bring to them, the easier it is to spot them before they throw your time-management plans off course.
Pause Before You Answer
For busy professionals, we often get in the habit of saying yes — yes to a prospect, yes to an extra meeting, yes to helping out on an additional project. While this can be a great way to grow your career, it can also work against your time management. I’m not suggesting you decline all additional work or meetings, but rather practice taking more time to consider your schedule before accepting. When you get in the habit of ensuring your schedule can accommodate before taking on something new, you set yourself up to manage your time better.
Mortgage professionals who want to grow their business need to invest in building strong time-management skills. This will allow them to better use their time and increase their productivity. With just a few small adjustments, loan officers can start to dramatically shift the way they manage their time. Do you have any other time-management tips? Share them with us.