Interview with Investment Executive- Handling the RRSP Home Stretch

How to keep control of your schedule and your health

By Fiona Collie | February 27, 2012

Make RRSP season less stressful this year — and every year — by getting organized and staying focused.

Getting a handle on RRSP season can help to streamline your business and keep a busy season from becoming hectic, says Rosemary Smyth, coach and owner of Rosemary Smyth and Associates in Victoria, which specializes in coaching financial advisors.

As you head into the final couple of days of RRSP season, these tips will help you get through the rush:

> Get some perspective
If you're feeling overwhelmed by a busy RRSP season, remind yourself that it's not going to last forever.

Remember that RRSP season is temporary, Smyth says. It's not going to be this busy every day of the year.

> Maintain healthy habits
A busy schedule is no excuse for not taking proper care of yourself — physically and mentally.

Make sure you continue to exercise, Smyth says, eat regularly (don't skip lunch) and get enough sleep.

Looking after yourself will help you maintain the mental alertness you need during this busy time of year.

> Take a break or two
Make the day, and RRSP season as a whole, a little easier by taking breaks throughout the day.

"Take time out and quick breaks during the day," Smyth says. "Get away from your computer for a while."

Even a five- or 10-minute break to get some water from the kitchen, or going for a short walk outside, will make a big difference.

> Manage expectations
Don't let tasks get out of hand. Tell yourself and your clients what can reasonably be accomplished in a day.

Keep client expectations for what you can accomplish at this time of year reasonable, says Smyth. For example, if a client wants to come in and meet with you on the last day of RRSP season to open an account, make a deposit and do a review, tell the client what can be done today and what will have to be left for another meeting. Don't try to do everything in one day.

You must learn to say no, Smyth says, and manage expectations about what you and your team can do.

> Don't overbook yourself
Keep your schedule under control and make sure you have only as many appointments as you can handle.

Check your schedule and consider moving some meetings around, Smyth says, so you do not become overwhelmed.

If, for example, you're used to having four appointments a day and now you have six or seven, you run the risk of running late and making your clients wait. And no one wants that.


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© 2009 Rosemary Smyth & Associates