Getting Above the Noise (from Down Under)


Achieving long-term goals requires getting above your daily swirl.

  • Set aside 15 minutes at the end of each day to review what you accomplished that day.
  • Create a written daily log of what you got done.
  • Review your log regularly so you can see if you’re on track to legitimately be able to expect success or if you need to course-correct and increase your productive activity to ensure you hit your goals.

Related: Are Your Clients Prepared for the Inevitable?


On any given day, you face a collision of clients, wanting to know about their cash flow needs or learn about college education funding. You have staff who had their objectives and prerogatives, and they’re wanting responses from you. There’s this mass collision of demands on your time and emotions. How do you process this and ensure you stay on track?

To best handle all these demands, you need to get above the noise. . .

You just saw all that activity going on at street level. That can be what our days are like as advisors: we have myriad things happening to us all day long that are superimportant, supercritical, and helpful for our clients. But, each day we need to get above our hustle and bustle to be able to review it.

I’m standing here at the top of the Sky Tower, New Zealand’s tallest building, and, in fact, the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest building. All the way back down there, you can see street level, where I was initially in this video. Now, that I’m above all of that, we can see simply a beautiful view. I can get some perspective and focus on the bigger picture.

It’s the same with you as an advisor. You have myriad things happening all day long. You need to spend a set amount of time at the end of your day to step back from the busyness of your day and review what you actually got completed. We hear a lot about creating a to-do list at the start of our day, and it is super important; I talked about it often. But what’s more critical than the to-do list is listing what you end up getting completed that day.

So, to do this most effectively, set aside 15 minutes at the end of each day to review exactly what you got completed. Keep a written record which will then act either as an encouragement that you are on track and getting done the things you need to complete, or you might see that you are accomplishing less activity than you need to hit your objectives by month-end, quarter-end or year-end, and so have to make adjustments.

This isn’t only something for clients to think about. What about you? Who might two or three people be that have been key in your life that you would have present some memories at your memorial service? These are things for you, the advisor, to think about for yourself and the benefit of your family and to discuss with clients when the time is right and it’s appropriate to do so. However, understand, because you’re a fiduciary, it’s incumbent upon you to raise these issues, whether they’re comfortable to talk about or not.

So to most effectively monitor exactly what you get completed every day,

  1. Set aside 15 minutes at the end of your day—it’s just a quarter of an hour—to record exactly what you got completed.
  2. Open a document and keep a running log of each day so you keep track of exactly what you got done and see it as encouragement to keep the momentum going.
  3. Review your log regularly. See that you have been doing the work needed to allow you to expect success. Understand that the amount of activity that you’re getting done should be adding up to your achieving (and perhaps even surpassing) your goals. Use it as a way to encourage yourself or to motivate you to course-correct so you remain realistically targeted towards hitting your goals.

Okay, just a final view of beautiful Auckland City… That is Auckland Harbor behind me, where the America’s Cup is taking place. You see Rangitoto Island out there, where Frodo’s mother-in-law lives. It’s a beautiful city, here in a very beautiful country.

I will be back in the USA next week, where I get to be back with my beautiful wife and business partner. I’m looking forward to that!

Also, I look forward to bringing you another Distraction-Proof Advisor Idea then.