How Financial Advisors Maximize Time Spent on Revenue Generating Activities

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According to Kitces Research, most financial advisors only spend 50% of their time on direct client activities. 20% of their time is spent in client meetings.

Based on that statistic, there’s close to 80% of time being spent not directly in front of clients where most revenue is generated.  How would your practice change if you could flip that ratio to spending 80% of your time in client meetings and only 20% of your time on back office related tasks?

Your day as a financial advisor can be broken up into two categories, revenue-generating activities and non-revenue-generating activities. Here, we’ll help you understand how to better prioritize your revenue-generating activities, what the cost might be if you don’t, and a few options to diminish or remove your non-revenue generating activities altogether so you can scale your practice quicker.


What Is A Non-Revenue Generating Activity?

Your non-revenue generating activities involve an almost infinite list of tasks. Typically these tasks don’t align with your unique ability as a financial advisor because they don’t revolve around relationship building or conveying complex information. These tasks include data entry, preparing and processing paperwork, running proposals and anything else that can be done from behind a desk. While these are necessary in helping clients, advisors aren’t directly compensated for performing these tasks.


What Is A Revenue-Generating Activity?

This is the relationship side of the business. Your unique ability. The list of revenue-generating activities is fairly finite and includes identifying leads, prospecting, networking, client meetings, service opportunities, and client appreciation and marketing events. All of these activities have one thing in common… people. More specifically relationships. Developing, cultivating, and maintaining relationships ultimately leads to a successful practice that endures.


Prioritizing Your Revenue-Generating Activities

In the fast-paced career as a financial advisor, it can be difficult to determine how to best prioritize your revenue-generating activities. We’ve all read the job description before about the ability to ‘prioritize competing priorities,’ and likely have just nodded our head that we’re an expert in that regard. But, when push comes to shove and you need to actually prioritize those competing priorities…what is the best way to do so?



Following an ideal work week is about building habits for yourself. Building strong (and possibly new) habits requires time and dedication to the process. The ideal work week follows a 1-3-1 structure with three focus days in the middle of the week and a buffer day at the beginning and end of the week. This structure allows you to maximize your time and accomplish more, while maintaining control.

1 Day for Administrative Tasks – 3 Focus Days for Client Activities -1 Day for “Catch Up” Activities


Mondays and Fridays

  • Administrative tasks
  • Training and development
  • Internal Meetings
  • Prospecting lists


Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays

  • Client meetings
  • Client phone calls
  • Networking opportunities 
  • Anything where you’re in front of people

Following the 1-3-1 method allows you to actively plan for the bulk of your weeks to be centered around results-producing relationships.



With so many aspects of your career that you can’t control – your calendar is an aspect you can control. Calendaring tends to be an underrated but invaluable tool for financial advisors to enhance their productivity, organization, and overall success in their careers. 

It’s easy to block off time when you owe someone something or have a meeting but calendaring shouldn’t stop there. When done right, calendaring should go beyond client zoom invites. Effectively utilizing your calendar means blocking time for what you owe yourself – whether that’s personal time, a training that will propel your career forward, or working on elevating your client service model.

By treating your competing priorities like scheduled meetings, you can hold yourself accountable to show up for yourself. Each and every day.

Prioritizing your revenue-generating activities will prove to be paramount for the success and sustainability of your practice.

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What Is The Cost Of Spending Too Much Time On Non-Revenue Generating Activities?

Just like opportunity costs, each decision you make (or don’t make) has the potential for loss or gain. This is true of your time spent on non-revenue generating activities. What are you giving up by spending time on these activities?

The problem with non-revenue generating activities isn’t necessarily the recurring, consistent activities, it’s the one off things that pile up over time.

These distractions are harder to schedule around and pull you away from focusing on your revenue-generating activities.

So, what’s the true cost of spending too much time on activities that don’t generate revenue for your practice?



Your time has more value than you even realize. One way to evaluate your time spent is to quantify that time. First, let’s identify how much time you spend on non-revenue generating activities. The answer here is usually less than you actually spend but this provides us a good basis. For the sake of this article, let’s say your answer was one day per week. One day, out of 5 days, spent on non-revenue generating tasks.

Next, let’s quantify the cost of the time spent on those non-revenue generating activities. For simplicity we’ll say $100,000. If you earned this salary while spending 20% of your time on tasks that don’t generate revenue, how much money could you have earned if you were able to delegate those tasks elsewhere?

By giving yourself that one day back to spend on revenue-generating activities, going from 4 days to 5 days, your income could potentially be $125,000 rather than $100,000.

While one day a week doesn’t seem like much, the cost of losing that one day per week adds up. Especially the longer you’re in this career…that number continues to grow as you earn more.

So, what are your options for spending less time on non-revenue generating activities?


3 Options To Remove Non-Revenue Generating Activities Off Your Plate

The good news is, you do have options when it comes to your non-revenue generating activities. Whether that’s diminishing your time spent here or eliminating that time altogether.



Splitting administrative costs with another financial advisor can be a mutually beneficial arrangement for all parties included. This better allows you to shift some of your non-revenue generating activities off of your plate while sharing the expenses and potentially reducing the financial burden on your individual practices.

However, partnering with another advisor can include a lot of heavy lifting to ensure the best outcome and protect all involved, including:

  • Assessing compatibility
  • Identifying cost-sharing mechanisms
  • Establishing a formal agreement
  • Setting up a shared administrative infrastructure



Hiring your own staff is a clear path for ensuring your non-revenue generating activities are completed just as you expect them to be. You dictate their process and the scope of their responsibilities all while solely focusing on your revenue-generating activities…or so you thought.

While this might seem like an ideal scenario, hiring your own staff is no small undertaking. Along with the actual hiring is the ongoing management of your staff members. Some of these areas include:

  • Time Spent Training
  • Salary
  • Incentives
  • Benefits
  • Ongoing Management and Accountability

If you’re hiring inexperienced staff, the training timeline is longer. But, if you’re hiring more experienced staff, the expected salary is higher.

Now, we’re willing to bet that part of the reason you become a financial advisor is because you tend to work better on your own and enjoy managing yourself. Hiring staff means you will be managing people all while running your practice. This almost sounds like you’re shifting your time spent on non-revenue generating activities to time spent managing others – which is also, technically, non-revenue generating.

These costs persist in perpetuity, for as long as you have your own staff.



A firm that shifts non-revenue generating activities off of your plate can alter the trajectory of your career for the better. Yes, this kind of firm exists. While there is more rigidity in what you can do with these offerings – for some advisors, this is a far more seamless option for their career and their resources.

As a financial advisor, the bulk of your day should consist of your unique abilities. These unique abilities are relationship building and the ability to convey complex financial information simply. All the rest – the non-revenue generating part of the business should be left to those whose unique ability it is. We’re willing to bet you not only dislike paperwork but you’re probably not the most efficient at completing it either. And that’s ok.

Consolidated Planning was designed with this in mind. Our philosophy and resources work to take the paperwork, planning work, and marketing work off your plate. Rather than becoming distracted by tasks that don’t generate revenue for you, others can help you, allowing you can focus on your revenue-generating activities…your clients and prospects.


Start Spending More Time Building Your Practice

More time dedicated to building your practice means less time spent on non-revenue generating activities. While easier said than done, there are options to diminish or even remove the activities that aren’t generating revenue for your practice.

While non-revenue generating activities are still essential factors in your practice – your time, as a financial advisor, is better spent on doing the thing you’re better at than anyone else and the thing you enjoy more than anything else. For most advisors this means being in front of people – a revenue-generating activity.

Now that you have some best practices and options to consider, what is stopping you from lessening your time spent on non-revenue generating activities?

Let our recruiters help you understand how our support resources give you more time back to build a thriving practice.


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Exp. 6/2025


Published:  June 29, 2023