David Allen is the guru of organising email, meetings, events, and anything to do to maximise your business and life productivity. After years of advising wealthy corporations on efficiency, he wrote:
The real issue is how we manage actions. That may sound obvious. However, it might amaze you to discover how many next steps for how many projects and commitments remain undetermined by most people. It’s tough to manage activities you haven’t identified or decided on. Most people have dozens of things to do to make progress on many fronts, but they don’t yet know what they are. David Allen Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (Penguin Books)
Wealth creation may yet be a significant priority to be fully realised. To gain the capital that retirement requires, you must turn your thoughts and your to-do list into actions which move you toward your financial goals. A review of a life insurance policy or a solid investment plan may mean you will retire well and protect your assets in the meantime.
“The knowledge that we consider knowledge proves itself in action. What we now mean by knowledge is information in action, information focused on results.” Peter F. Drucker
Let’s develop a list of priorities that start your action plan:
- Admit that Financial Independence is NOT an option. You are taking a step towards financial freedom. Sure, it’s easy to wait until tomorrow. But tomorrow could be your 55th birthday when you finally decide to start investing wisely when you could be ready to draw a lifetime income from invested capital. Assess where you are before retirement and move toward the next step. Future income will enable you to have the means to support yourself once you do retire. Reach out to an advisor today to move toward financial independence.
- Make time to visit with a financial advisor. Achieve this important task first during your most energetically aware time. Put it first among your following three things to do. People who schedule a meeting to review their finances will prioritise face-time with their advisor in their calendar by calling to ask for an appointment that is not a difficult or time-consuming task—those who achieve financial independence act on their desire for success alongside other mundane tasks. David Allen advises that “you don’t manage priorities–you have them. Instead, the key to managing all of your ‘stuff’ is managing your actions.”
- Get comfortable working with an advisor. Don’t expect to know what you need to do first to acquire wealth over the long term. Ask your advisor when you meet to lay out the step-by-step process as you move forward. Guidance with prioritisation can then utilise the core expertise of professional personal financial management. This is important because financial strategies often require multiple tactics, such as calculating your future income needs and determining your risk profile while balancing your ongoing investments wisely.
- It lightens your mental distress. If you procrastinate, knowing that you must begin your financial quest for independence, you will waste precious investing time and mental energy. Switching your focus back to the undetermined priority creates anxiety for not acting while imagining the negative outcome of living in poverty. Sometimes minor tasks that could be done once and for all expand in our mental accounting system to consume far more time and energy than they will if acted upon. Heed the warning. Take the load off. Call your advisor today!
David Allen sums it up nicely, “Clarifying things on the front end, when they first appear on the radar, rather than on the back end, after trouble has developed, allows people to reap the benefits of managing action”.