November 14, 2014 | Adrian Eskew
One of my favorite strategies for closing more files has always been the ‘flipped’ schedule. That is, a day that is the complete opposite of how most adjusters line up their schedules. You know what I’m talking about, start early, end late and then work on a computer late into the night.
I remember trying so hard to make that work, but the claims managers and supervisors were quick to remind me that I wasn’t trying hard enough. I was losing claims, and even more sleep. So I came up with a new strategy, flip my day.
It started as an accident in an attempt to ‘catch up’. I woke up extra early and started writing reports first thing in the morning, saving inspections for later that afternoon. After a few days of doing this, I noticed I was consistently caught up and even getting to bed at a reasonable hour.
Want to try it out? Here’s the advantages and tips for how you can put this strategy to work for you:
I have a house full of kids, and trust me, you cannot get up early enough to catch all of them asleep. As much as I love having my family around, they can be a distracting bunch, especially when you have to focus.
The same applies to claim work. If you start before the hotel doors start to slam, or get in your office while it’s still dark, I’m certain you can set aside a few hours of distraction free time.
The trick however, is to start with the hardest thing first. Whether that large estimate or the last eight pages on that commercial narrative, it’s important to get something hard out of the way while you’re fresh. This will free your mind to work on the next task and give you a sense of victory that will last throughout the day.
All adjusters like to think of themselves as problem solvers, myself included. We’ve all received that call where we have to make an emergency stop or rework our schedule to make room for another inspection. These calls are unpredictable and can kill any hope of getting office work done in the evening.
With a flipped schedule, you can always fit an extra inspection in ahead of the rest instead of trying to tack it on the end. All this does is cut short your office time by an hour or so, which is easily made up the next day. As an added bonus, all of the work that you have already completed for the day puts everyone at ease that you are ‘on it’.
Probably the most obvious benefit to flipping your adjusting schedule is the one that is most neglected in a cat situation…rest. When you stay up late, especially after a busy day, your mind doesn’t want you to accomplish anything, it wants rest.
Do this day after day and you will see sleep deprevation starting to creep into your work. Have you ever read something after you hit send late at night? Do yourself a favor and save the evening for easy tasks that don’t require heavy thought, like scheduling appointments, returning phone calls and reading emails.
Try it: If you use an alarm clock, set it to go off an hour earlier tomorrow and then get up and tackle your hardest project first. Keep the phone off, stay out of your email and just focus on getting that one thing done.
This may not seem obvious, but the person you’re preparing that report for does not work the same hours as you. Most likely, they are working normal business hours in an office somewhere and are not available for questions when you may need them if you’re burning the midnight oil.
By making yourself available during the day, you will miss less calls, stay on top of emails and be overall more available for whatever may come up. Being available to tackle revisions quickly can be invaluable to your reputation as well (it worked for me).
Just like number four, your insureds are not likely to be available in the middle of the day, which makes an early afternoon or evening inspection all the more beneficial. You are then able to help more people get the inspection time that works best for them, which makes you the hero and cuts down on multiple calls trying to get an appointment scheduled.
Being available when your client is at work will help you close more claims and hopefully receive more claims, as you’ve seen. Getting your energy back by cutting out distractions and mastering your schedule are just added benefits. So have you tried flipping your day? Let me know what worked best for you in the comments.
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