The Productive Art of Practicing What You Preach

meeting_misbehaviorDoctors that smoke cigarettes…

Attorneys who are poor record keepers…

Accountants who don’t know how to use a spreadsheet…

Productivity specialists who waste time playing Candy Crush…

These are people who are not practicing what they preach.


Allow me to introduce you to Jeff Turner, Certified Financial Planner®  and Accredited Estate Planner® .  Jeff is not only my family’s financial advisor but someone I definitely wanted to feature in my #ProductivitySuperheroes blog series.


Why?  Because Jeff practices what he preaches.


Jeff’s specialty is helping families and professionals make good decisions to mitigate financial risk and increase the health of their businesses.  He has been doing this for 22 years, which is remarkable in a field where lots of folks come and go.  Jeff and his partner manage 600+ clients and have over $100 million in assets under management.


So, what does Jeff “preach” to his clients?

  • Plan ahead toward a desired goal
  • Consider possible hiccups along the way to success
  • Be selective and strategic about investing your money
  • Delegate appropriately and monitor results
  • Keep the long term in mind
  • Use the right tools and be nimble
  • Reward yourself


These are all good things that contribute to financial success.  What is particularly interesting (and relevant for an article on productivity) is how Jeff applies these same principles to managing his work.


So, what are some of Jeff’s productivity Best Practices?  In his own words, they are:

  • Headshot_JeffTurnerI don’t let as much in the front door as I want to. I have to be selective with the projects I take on.
  • I am wireless in every sense of the word. As long as I have a computer, phone, and internet connection, I can do anything for a client.
  • I do my hardest work first. I try not to do my brainiest work in the afternoon.
  • I moved my residence to reduce my commute. That helped give me work/life balance.
  • I took control of my calendar. I focus on the best and highest use of my time. 
  • I take a lot of “three-hour vacations” on Friday afternoons to give myself little rewards for a good week’s work.

What impresses me most about Jeff’s productivity practices is that they reflect the same principles he advises his clients to follow in their financial lives:  Think long term.  Be intentional.  Understand risks and mitigate them.  Assess problems and implement targeted solutions.


I’ll say it again…Jeff practices what he preaches.


What are you good at?


This is not a rhetorical question.  Take a pause and think of some personal and professional skills that you have.




Okay.  Now think about how or why you are good at those things.  If you had to teach someone else to do what you do, what best practices would you put in the instruction manual?




Last thing…How can those best practices you use in other areas of your work and life apply to how you are managing your time, information, tasks, projects, and processes?


Here’s an example.


I had a client who was an expert meal planner.  She set aside time every Sunday to determine what she and her husband were going to prepare for dinner that week.  She checked the pantry, made the grocery list, and purchased everything needed for the entire week.  Dinnertime was a smooth affair in her household.


But, she was going crazy at work.  She was behind on her tasks.  Projects were a disaster.  All she needed was to practice at work what she preached at home.  Her question to me was “Why can’t my work week go as well as dinnertime does?”  My answer was, “Why not?”  We analyzed her success in the area of meal planning and, not surprisingly, she needed to apply similar strategies at work.


Are you preaching something to your clients, your kids, your spouse, or your partner that you are not practicing consistently?  Apply the strengths you have in one area to another space where you are weak.


Jeff Turner is not perfect.  None of us are.  Jeff calls himself “the youngest, dumbest, and poorest person on the board of the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils.”   But he is practicing what he preaches.  He is applying the skills that have helped make him successful as a financial planner into his day-to-day work practices.


What am I good at?


I can help you break down the barriers between the skills you have in your work operations and the struggles you are having in the administration of your job.  Even the highest-ranking of corporate executives must manage their tasks.  I am a tactical and practical coach.  Perhaps we should talk.


This article is a part of my #ProductivitySuperheroes series where I profile people who are exceptional at managing their time, tasks, information and/or life in general. If you’d like to nominate yourself or someone you admire, please email


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Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.


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