I AM TARGET TUESDAY!
Many people wish to become wealthy, but fail to realize that how they manage their time will play a role in their ability to create wealth. If you talk to most self-made millionaires, you will find that most of them make the best use of their time.
How many hours do you spend each week watching television, on social media, gisting? This is the time that could be spent studying information about how to build wealth. It could be spent performing market research, or finding new ways to save money. In addition to this, it is time that can be spent learning the skills that will be necessary for you to succeed. This is something that most wealthy people understand. They don’t watch much television because they are too busy building wealth. It is their ability to properly manage their time that allows them to become successful. If you are on social media, you must be gleaning information and not just liking, sharing or commenting on any post.
Busy modern lives leave us with little time for managing our finances and we often have to compromise on getting the best deals or completing goals efficiently, simply because we don’t have enough time.
But in many cases, being time poor is just an excuse for procrastination and the reality is that we are either too lazy or too perfectionist to properly find deals and plan for the future (Proverbs 10:4 says Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth).
In fact, the whole business of being time poor is big business and there are companies of all sizes making very good money out of people who don’t believe they have enough time to cook their own food, iron their own shirts, hunt around for cheaper insurance deals, move their money to higher-interest bank accounts or properly research their shopping purchases.
Those who are too busy to spend time planning their financial future are more likely to end up poorer than those who pro-actively research the best pensions, mortgages, insurance policies and investments. Proverbs 21:5 tells us that the plans of the diligent lead only to plenty, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
In the world, time is money and it requires that tasks need to be completed as quickly and efficiently as possible. In my personal life, I have been equally guilty of financial procrastination, making do with the first options I was given and not planning for the future.
To overcome procrastination, it is necessary to understand the factors that cause it. More often than not, it is a combination of the following factors:
Lack of understanding – Financial tasks always become more challenging if it is not clear how to complete them. For example, many people don’t know where to start with setting up a pension or retirement fund account, so it is no surprise these get put off for many years (Hosea 4:6).
Enormity of the task – It is easy to be overwhelmed by the size of some financial tasks and often in our minds molehills can quickly turn themselves into mountains – note that David refused to consider the size of Goliath when the latter challenged him in the fight which made him a VICTOR!. The bigger the task, the less likely we are to start it.
Afraid of not achieving perfection – Most people take pride in the things they do, but for many the fear of not achieving a financial goal prevents them from even starting it. Remember that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2Timothy 1:7).
Failure to see the importance / significance – This is more than just not understanding how to do a financial task; it is the failure to understand why it is even necessary. For example: why do I need to set up my own pension when the government will provide one for me? According to Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
Here are some time management tips that I have applied to my personal life to overcome my financial procrastination – please feel free to add more tips:
1. To-Do List
Whilst everyone knows that a to-do list is probably the simplest and most effective task management tool, it is surprising how many people fail to make one and continue to go about their lives, trying to keep track of all their tasks in their heads.
To-do lists not only help people with humble memories (like me), they also help us begin difficult tasks, as the simple act of writing things down on paper has the psychological benefit of making them seem less enormous and more accomplishable.
There are plenty of apps and websites designed to help people manage their to-do list, but good old fashioned pen and paper works just as well, if not better.
2. Break Big Tasks Down Into Achievable Sub-Tasks
I’ve always found that the more simplistic the to-do list, the more effective it is (the same applies with financial projections!). However, in some cases it is necessary to break big financial plans down into smaller sub-tasks, making them achievable.
Setting up a pension is a relatively big task, but if you begin to break it down into the individual steps (e.g. research on internet, speak to financial advisor, choose the pension scheme, fill in application form, etc), it quickly becomes less daunting and helps you to understand how to complete the task.
3. Plan and Set Deadlines
Multi-tasking is just a modern day synonym for being disorganised. Trying to complete too many financial tasks at once can be overwhelming which might hinder one’s progress.
Better to concentrate on one task at a time and get it done properly, starting with the highest priority item and working down your list in that order.
But at the same time you need to impose deadlines to ensure a good flow of progress through your tasks. As I don’t like to waste too much time undertaking detailed planning, I simply set myself targets to complete a small number of tasks each month.
This is as simple as: By the end of April 2016 (by God’s grace), I would have completed Task 1, Task 2 and Task 3.
The number of tasks you choose to target will depend on their size and complexity.
Maintaining a smaller target prevents me from being overwhelmed and allows me to work through an individual task effectively. If I meet my targets before the month-end I can simply pick up the next highest priority task on the list.
4. 80% Rule of Quality
“Becoming rich isn’t as much about getting rich financially as about whom you become, in character and mind, to get rich.”
You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule – a rule of thumb where 80% of your output comes from 20% of your effort. Well, a variation of this rule also applies to the quality of accomplishing a goal – in this case, generating wealth.
In many cases it is better to complete a task at 80% quality level, than never actually starting it because you are scared of not getting it 100% right first time.
Better to have a pension set up and working to build your future wealth than have nothing set up at all. The pension may not be 100% finely-tuned to take advantages of the rises and falls of world commerce, but at least it is doing something and you can always modify your fund at a later date.
5. Just Do It
If you feel that your financial task management process is growing into an uncontrollable mammoth just remember the concept of Just Do it – JDI.
The concept is simple and straightforward – stop procrastinating and just get the job done.
Why wait till next weekend to research cheaper car insurance deals? Instead start looking tonight after work, whilst you are watching television.
Need to sort out all your files or update you budget – just do it now whilst the thought is fresh in your mind.
The point is that we all need to make time to get into the process of building up our wealth. Don’t let your busy schedule trick you into thinking you can’t do them within a specified time – everyone has 24 hours a day and it is up to us as individuals to make the best use of that time possible.
“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”
Proverbs 14:23 says In all hard work there is profit, but merely talking about it only brings poverty.
Omolara Salami Odukoya
On a daily basis, we feature words of financial wisdom from different Smart Stewards members and sometimes from Guest Contributors. You'd be glad reading them. Enjoy!
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