Loan officers committed to growing their business need to make productivity a top priority. Otherwise, they risk collapsing under their success. As business grows, so do work demands. Loan officers need to have the productivity skills in place to meet a growing to-do list head on, without working themselves to exhaustion. Real growth and success need to be sustainable, and productivity is a key component of getting there. So, how can loan officers evaluate their productivity to ensure they’re on track to support their growth?
Here are some key questions to ask:
Do you know your distractions?
Sure, we might think that productive people don’t get distracted very often, but it tends to go deeper than this. We’re all susceptible to distraction. What highly productive people do differently is ensure that they are aware of the things that distract them most so they can strategically avoid or prepare for them. If you feel like you’re losing time throughout your day but you’re not entirely sure where it’s going, distractions could be the culprit. Take a step back and assess your current workflow and try to identify your top distractions. From there, you can put strategies in place to keep them from draining your productivity. Maybe you silence notifications when you’re working on an important project or perhaps you bulk all your social-media work together so that you’re not logging on throughout the week. Self-awareness is key to taking control of your productivity.
Do you multitask?
What’s your work style? Especially when things get busy? Many professionals resort to multitasking. They feel that by tackling several things at once, they’re getting more done. Unfortunately, quality and/or speed tend to suffer here. It’s work for our brains to transition back and forth between tasks, and it requires significantly more energy to focus on the task at hand when we work this way. This means that, although we’re tending to multiple things at once, overall, we’re not actually getting any more done than we would by tackling things one at a time. When we single-task, we support productivity because we give all our attention and focus to the one thing in front of us, helping us complete it faster and with greater accuracy. Though you’ll only be working on one thing at a time, you can plow through your to-do list this way.
Do you take breaks?
For some professionals, breaks are the first things to go when they make an effort to increase productivity. But productivity isn’t just about creating more time to work. It’s about maintaining your efficacy and focus so that you can work at your best without burning yourself out. And breaks are a great way to support this. In order to maintain that optimal state throughout the day, you need to give your body and mind the opportunity to recharge. Rather than steamrolling through your day, taking a working lunch, and never stepping away from your desk in the afternoon, schedule strategic breaks throughout your day. Even a short five-minute break can be beneficial to productivity. Pay attention to the times in your average day where productivity declines and see if you can get ahead of them by taking a break 20-30 minutes before. Trudging through your tasks exhausted and unfocused isn’t productive. See breaks as a strategy to support success.
Do you plan ahead?
Productivity and planning go hand in hand. When you plan your day out ahead of time, you’re much less likely to be pulled off course by distractions and lower-priority tasks. An evening planning session the night before or a morning overview are both great options for professionals to create a framework for productivity. You can organize your workflow to support success, and you can schedule those breaks in ahead of time. It’s also wise to leave a bit of space for the unexpected. Your schedule is a powerful tool when it comes to productivity if you actively use it.
What’s the verdict? Is your productivity where it needs to be? Taking the time to occasionally evaluate this is an important strategy for all loan officers to ensure they’re working at their best. What are your thoughts on productivity? Please share them with us.