The days are long and the years are short.
Have you ever heard this phrase? It’s one of my favorites. It seems so often that our days can seem so busy and stressful. Facing long to-do lists in the middle of a chaotic week, it seems as if Friday is an eternity away.
Yet, when you reflect on the bigger picture, time seems to be moving ultra fast. If you’re in your thirties, it can be hard to believe that 10 years has passed since you finished college when it seemed like only yesterday. If you have children, how fast does it seem like the years pass?
The downside of this phenomenon is that it can lead us to procrastinate on the important to-do’s in our life because it seems there is always a fire popping up. I think this idea is best encapsulated by what Steven Covey coined as the ‘Time Management Matrix’.
The Time Management Matrix
We can be so consumed with things that are urgent, that we neglect the important things in our lives. We say we’ll spend time reading to our kids tomorrow when we aren’t so exhausted. We’ll begin that exercise plan next week when things aren’t so busy at work. We’ll call our mom later.
Weeks, months and years can slip by quickly if you aren’t paying attention. Getting your financial house in order is one of those things that so many of us let slide down our list of priorities because it isn’t urgent.
The good news is that you can start today.
The other good news is that once you take the initiative to start doing some planning and saving, inertia will kick in and you’ll continue doing it. Financial planning isn’t rocket science, but it does require you to set aside some time to figure out what’s important to you and make sure that how you steward your resources matches your values.
A financial planner can help you make intelligent decisions with your money, that goes without saying. More importantly, a financial planner can bring accountability that will help you make planning for tomorrow more urgent.