Jan 02 2024 / Round the Table Magazine
Q&A: Zhang Sha
Zhang Sha follows a 5-word process to make the most of time management and effective planning.
Why is time management important for you?
Apart from work, we all must make plans for our lives and families, and time management plays a significant role in improving our performance. The key to self-management is to set goals for yourself. I break my work down into monthly and weekly tasks according to my goals to manage my target schedule and performance.
How do you manage your business and partnerships effectively?
What works best for me is my own five-word process: Entrust, Do, Record and Say No. If I don’t have to complete a task personally, I will entrust it to my assistants or recommend a more suitable person. Whether the task is for the company or the client, I usually make a preliminary judgment on whether to entrust within 10 seconds. If there is something I can only do on my own, I will do it as soon as possible. When I contact a new client, and they are unavailable this week, I will immediately record their status in my work log. Documenting what happened reminds me to think of a better time to reach out again. We are not qualified to accomplish everything, so we must learn to say no in our daily work. When I run into something that is beyond my ability, I may immediately tell them, “Sorry, I can’t do it.” This practice helps me keep my workload under my control.
How would you handle a lot of tasks at the Do stage of your five-word process?
I follow the principle of first things first. If there’s something that I deem both urgent and important, I will deal with it immediately. These items, and those that are important but not urgent, receive my attention first. For example, client development and client service may not immediately produce results, but they will yield a lot of added value in the long run. Many of us have misconceptions about time. If advisors log how they spend their time, many might find that much of their work time is spent on activities that are not productive or valuable.
What are your time management tips for advisors who want to increase their productivity?
Don’t try to be perfect at everything. Some advisors may update their proposals over and over just to submit a perfect one to the client. But trying to be perfect at everything can lead to several problems. First, it takes a lot of time and energy at the cost of failure to do something you don’t have time to do. Second, striving for perfection in everything causes many people to expect too much from you.