I often times wonder how I can free up my time to focus on the things in life that are important.
Do you ever feel like you’re crossing items off of your daily checklist but deep down you don’t really feel like you’ve accomplished anything? Or perhaps you’ve been working on a large / time consuming project only to feel that you’ve been unproductive that particular day or week.
We all lead very busy lives. Our plates are full. We are burning it at both ends.
- – Do you feel that balancing work and life is a struggle because it seems your company wants you to work more for less?
- – Is it frustrating knowing that you can’t escape the ever growing email inbox at work?
- – Are you a parent with young children and feel that (1) diapers always need changing, (2) children always need to be played with, or (3) house work always needs to be done (which is pointless when you have tornado children)?
- – Are you a soccer mom or dad and feel like a non-stop shuttle service?
We just don’t seem to have enough free time any more. We are getting things done, yet there seems to be no true sense of accomplishment or even satisfaction in some cases.
Let me tell you about a story that I recently told at a company event.
A young boy lived in the country. His family had to use an outhouse, which the young boy hated. It was hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and always smelly. The outhouse was located near a creek so the boy got the idea that one day he would push it into the water. After a long spring rain, the creek swelled to the point that the boy decided to push it in.
Later that night the boy’s dad said that they needed to make a trip to the woodshed, which the boy knew meant trouble. He asked his father why to which his dad replied, “Someone pushed the outhouse into the creek and I think that someone was you. Was it?”
The boy begrudgingly responded that it was him who did this. However he added, “Remember when George Washington’s father asked him if he had chopped down the cherry tree and he didn’t get into trouble because he told the truth?”
“That is correct,” the dad said, “but his father was not in the cherry tree when he cut it down.”
This story, in my mind, is about creating memories. Perhaps not good memories at the time, but you can imagine the father and son laughing about this years later.
Creating lasting memories with our family and friends is an important part of where we are spending our time.
HOW TO LIVE A BALANCED LIFE AND CREATE LASTING MEMORIES
You see, besides being good looking, charming, thoughtful, and incredibly funny, one of the reasons people work with me and my firm is that it frees up their time to be with family and create great memories.
We take the potentially unpleasant tasks of investment management and financial planning off of a person’s plate and put it squarely on our plate. This frees up their time to focus on the things in life that are important.
We all know people who are a jack of all trades. They fix their own car, do their own taxes, cut their own hair, handle their own investments, etc… There’s nothing wrong with this unless it takes you away from doing the things you love to do (or need to do). There’s nothing wrong with this unless it takes you away from creating memories with your family and friends. Other people need you!!!
I’m not saying that you have to turn over every aspect of your life to a professional. But if you have a task in which you lack the time, desire, or knowledge to accomplish, then I challenge you to consider allowing someone to help you out.
Let me wrap up by telling you a story about an actual client of ours.
Our client came to my firm a few years ago after having accepted an early retirement package from his company. His concern was whether or not he would have to obtain a part time job to make ends meet.
After crunching some numbers, determining his retirement expenses, and doing some strategic Social Security planning, I told him that he did not need to return back to work.
The retirement analysis also showed that he would have a surplus of money available at his projected death to leave behind as an inheritance.
Since there was a surplus, I brought up the idea of him leaving an inheritance while he is alive instead of waiting until he’s gone. I actually recommended that he consider taking his son’s family on vacation and paying for it. Our client ultimately decided that he could afford to take his family on a trip every other year.
This was a way for our client to watch the legacy unfold before his very eyes. He gets to “experience the legacy” instead of “leaving a legacy behind”.
Hopefully this article has given you some ideas of how to live a balanced life. Don’t let your time be consumed by unimportant stuff.
Time is of limited quantity. What will you do with yours???
Brad E.S. Tinnon
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™
P.S. We would love to hear any comments you have, so feel free to leave them below.
Image courtesy of chanpipat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net