As a financial advisor, are you doing the most important task at the most opportune time?

Or are you in a rut of doing work but not putting your time to the best use?

Time management consultant John Anderson poses these questions as a way to get advisors to think about how much they are actually accomplishing.

Financial advisors who want to grow their businesses should keep track of how they spend their time for a week and then analyze the results, says Anderson, head of practice management solutions for SEI Advisor Network.

But few advisors look at how they spend their time, he says.

“The most surprising thing advisors find is how much time they waste doing what seems important but is not really important or that could be done at another time,” Anderson says. “When we are younger and in school, there is a schedule for everything, but independent advisors have a lot to do but no schedule to do any of it, so nothing gets done.”

Anderson suggests that tasks that do not involve talking with clients or prospective clients be done at the end of the day. Other tasks can be delegated to someone other than the advisor.

“Any time spent in front of a computer is time that is not spent in front of a client,” Anderson says.

A recent Cerulli report showed that advisors spend an average of 13 percent of their time on business development or new client acquisition, which is far too little if the advisor expects business to grow, he says.

“The more contact you have with clients, the better you are at solving their financial problems,” he adds. “If they think of you first when it comes to finances, they will refer you to others and your business will grow.”