Ask the expert

Dave Hershman talks time management

Ask the expert

Things are going well. I'm really working hard and staying motivated. I'm reading and learning as much as possible. Sometimes I feel like my time management needs a lot of work. It's not that I don't work hard, rather it's that I'm not sure I have developed a system that is most effective. I work long hours and know I can be taking advantage of my time more. I know this comes from within, but do you have any advice on this? There is just so much that I don't know where to organize things according to time. What did you do to organize your day when things got busy as a loan officer? Time-blocking your schedule? — Former Student, Chad

Chad, let's go back and review a major theme of my course. It is the word ‘prioritization’. Every book on effectiveness has this as a core component. Effective people spend time on important tasks. Ineffective people spend time on menial tasks. I start each day with a list of things to do. That is not unusual. What is most important is prioritizing this list. Instead of doing the easy things first, do the important things first. If there are no important things residing upon on your list —then you have a REAL problem. You need to go back and formulate your long-term goals and work backwards. Your everyday list should actually be comprised of actions which are short-term goals designed to get you to those long-term and intermediate-term goals.

Here is an exercise to try: go back and chart how you spent the last two workdays. How productive was your time utilized? If you spent time on unproductive tasks, how can you eliminate these? That might mean anything from saying “no” to certain types of business to the delegation of certain tasks. You must make adjustments. The true definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. Hopefully this helps.


Dave Hershman has been the leading author and a top speaker for the industry for decades with six books authored and hundreds of articles published. His website is If you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered in this column? Email Dave directly at [email protected].


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