Attend any productivity workshop or speak with any business management consultant and the conversation will eventually, if not inevitably, cover the need for a “to do” list. There are obvious benefits to having a to-do list, but I’ve found that most people are ineffective in the consistent documentation as well as ensuring that they are capturing all of the “to do’s” in their life.
We’ll forget about the all-encompassing to do list or productivity system. For that, I highly recommend David Allen’s book and system Getting Things Done. It’s changed how I capture, clarify, organize, reflect, and engage the endless stream of “things” that need to get done.
Most advisors I’ve worked with, when asked the question “How do you track everything that needs to get done for all of your clients and prospects?” will respond with an answer that includes a combination of platforms, including their inbox, a calendar, their smartphone, sticky notes, white boards, their CRM, or their staff reminding them.
However, implemented in totality and properly, a workflow system can replace all of that. Take a look at what the home screen looks like in a Redtail CRM where a robust workflow system has been implemented. You’ll see that I have a high level view of all of the open tasks that I need to complete.
Not only can I see the totality of outstanding tasks that I have to perform, but I can also drill down one more layer deep and see what needs to get done and the upcoming due date of that task. (Names of the clients were omitted for privacy).
The benefit in this type of system is that I have the peace of mind to know that I (as well as everyone on my team) has a succinct list to go to for everything that needs to get done in the practice. While we know that not all tasks get done on or before their exact due date (for various reasons), having a system like this in place can prevent tasks from falling through the cracks.