Advisors who are distracted with a mind full of to-dos don’t realize that they are filling up their mind’s “working memory.” To keep my working memory clear I use the “empty your mind” process.

1. In Microsoft Excel, type in every idea, project, task and “to-do” item line by line until you empty your mind. I do this on a weekly basis and I review the following areas for info:

  • Business plan
  • Documents that I have created in the last week in Excel, Mind Genius, Word, etc.
  • E-mail – incoming
  • Files
  • Loose paper notes on my desk which I file at the same time
  • Notes in my journal
  • Maximizer, Outlook or the CRM system that you are using
  • Smartphone notes and sticky notes

2. Next, review the following categories and see what other areas come to mind and add them to the list: administration, computers/systems, customer service, financial, marketing, office management, planning, product development, production, sales, team building and training.

3. Then, in a separate column, type in the category that each idea, project, task belongs to.

4. Next, sort the ideas, projects, tasks and to-dos alphabetically by category.

5. Using another column in Microsoft Excel, prioritize by A, B and C.

6. In another column identify what can be delegated and meet with your team with written instructions.

7. Next, schedule your A priorities and take action.

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Simon Reilly of Leading Advisor Inc. is a financial advisor coach, speaker and writer with over twenty years of experience working with advisors to clear their roadblocks to meet and exceed their goals. Simon writes a daily blog at can be reached at www.leadingadvisor.com/blog.