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Simplifying work during an economic crisis

Kenichi Ibuki

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Ibuki shares the strategies he used to sift through information, prioritize tasks and simplify his business during the 2008 economic crisis.

First presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting

During this global economic crisis, simplifying our work activity is the key to success. When we get rid of unprofitable burdens and organize, we can focus on more important things.

We live in a world with an overwhelming volume of information. My cabinet and desk drawer used to be full of information. I had a long list of favorites in my computer with lots of newsletters and lots of files that I thought one day would become necessary.

As a saver of information, I spent too much time looking for what I must have saved somewhere. If I couldn’t find it quickly, I was bothered throughout the day and my performance suffered. Finally, I realized that my frustration had a negative power and restrained me from moving forward.

One day, I decided to throw away everything except for the most important things. I developed a worksheet to crystallize my thoughts using these questions:

  1. What is important to my life?
  2. Why? When the world is confusing, I need to know in which direction I am heading.
  3. When do I start?
  4. Where is my market?
  5. Who am I?
  6. How do I want my future to be? What should I keep and what needs to be added?
  7. Is this something I am enthusiastic about?
  8. How much will it cost me? Is this something to invest in?

It took me days to get rid of all the junk I had saved over the years. But after a week, I could once again clearly see my goals and purpose. I also found I could concentrate more and my performance improved. 

Successful insurance professionals have a routine activity to follow to be successful. The first step is to determine your routine and then focus on that only. Get rid of unnecessary stuff and lighten up. 

Clean up your desk. Get rid of the paper and documents piled up on the desk. A messy environment will only bring messy thoughts. Confusion creates negative power. 

Eliminate email. Get rid of old email in the inbox. Once a week, I delete unimportant messages. 

Pass on unqualified clients. Give unqualified clients to your staff or new agents in your office. They will be happy to serve them. 

Focus on the important work. Every morning, I review my schedule for the day and find as many tasks as possible to delegate to my assistant. 

More is not necessarily better. Be selective. Think of what is most important to you. Focus on what you value. Do the things that are good for you, your family, your community and the world. 

Kenichi Ibuki is a 27-year MDRT member from Tokyo, Japan.


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