Abram Interstate Insurance Services, Inc., CMGA

Helping Independent Insurance Agents Since 1996

5 Tips to Getting More (Important Things) Done in Your Day | Business Tips for Insurance Agents

Published on March 23, 2017

What time is it as you read this? How much have you gotten done so far today?

Do you often find yourself wondering how the day got away from you again? Or how you were “productive” or busy all day, but you made little progress on that one project, that one thing that is big and important and needs to be done — still?

Productivity can often feel elusive — even when we work hard and focused all day, somehow we still come up in a different place than we wanted to be by days end.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

There are endless tips for productivity on the internet (and on this blog for that matter), but these 5 are tried and true (IF YOU ACTUALLY ABIDE BY THEM — PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO 4 & 5).

So if you’re ready to focus in and finally make some headway on what’s most important on your plate right now,

Try these 5 tips from Donald Miller at Building A Story Brand:

1. Get to work as soon as possible.

In their book Willpower, Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney make a compelling argument that the brain works like a muscle, meaning it gets fatigued as the day goes on. For this reason, productive people tackle their most important projects early in the day.

Get into the chair and start working as fast as possible before anything can interrupt you. If you have to take the kids to school, tackle Project One immediately when you get to the office.

2. Develop a morning routine

One key to starting your work earlier is developing a morning routine. When you give your mornings a predictable structure, you take the guesswork out of how your day starts.

For example, a simple morning routine might be:

• Get up
• Take a walk/jog
• Take a shower
• Make coffee and eat breakfast
• Get to work

What I love about my morning routine is that I don’t have to will myself to work. It’s just the next thing I do as a part of my daily habit. It took some time, but now the habit and routine kick in, even when my motivation doesn’t.

3. Pinpoint the next step in advance

I’m convinced that 90% of productivity is simply getting started.

A lot of big projects get pushed off simply because we don’t know where or how to begin. We feel overwhelmed by the scope of it, so we spin our wheels. Instead, we do a lot of little tasks that chip away at our energy because it feels easier.

To combat this, pinpoint one small, doable task for your project. Know what it is the day before you sit down to work so you don’t have to think about it that morning.

4. Skip the negative stuff

Have you ever heard of the term “negativity bias?”

Psychologists coined the term because they have repeatedly observed that we are much more likely to remember the bad stuff than we are to remember the good. It’s hard-wired in our brains from our caveman days, when our survival depended on remembering what could harm us.

So when you start your day with negative thoughts, they’re more likely to stick with you, interrupting and diminishing your work.

At the risk of stating the obvious, Twitter and Facebook can be pretty negative places these days. So those casual check-ins on social media over breakfast may be undermining the work you do all day.

5. Don’t check your email first thing

For 80% of people between the ages of 18-44, the first thing they reach for in the morning isn’t an alarm clock or a toothbrush. It’s their smartphone. Before even getting out of bed, they’re off to the races, checking emails.

And even if you manage to wait until you’re in the office, it’s often the first thing we do — open up our inbox and “get to work.”

Don’t do that! Why? Your email inbox is full of tasks from other people’s to-do lists. Your best energy of the day gets scattered among little to-dos that don’t move your big project forward.

Your email inbox is full of tasks from other people’s to-do lists.

So wait to process your inbox until after you’ve made significant headway on your big project. If you’re worried about responsiveness, just add a footer to your email signature that tells people when they can expect a reply from you — for example, not before 10 a.m. and not after 6 p.m.

Making headway on your big projects, the things that really matter is about more than just productivity. The success of your Insurance Agency depends on your ability to focus in, prioritize, and execute those critical tasks  — whether that’s landing a big customer and binding all their risks, or becoming an expert (or just entering) a new corner of the insurance market, or setting up a marketing campaign, or any number of things between all of that.

As Cal Newport says in his book, Deep Work, “If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive—no matter how skilled or talented you are.”

If your next step in your high-priority work is finding a market for a risk in Personal Lines, Commercial Lines, or Agribusiness, we’re here help.

Quote risks online HERE, or chat with us online HERE or over the phone at 916-780-7000 if you have any questions.


Abram Interstate Insurance Services, Inc. is a California wholesale insurance broker (CMGA) that has licensing and expertise to place business in both admitted and non-admitted markets for personal lines insurance and commercial lines insurance in California and surrounding areas.

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