Day 12: Focus
So – you need to plan for retirement, maintain your automobiles, shop for new clothes, budget your money, adjust your investment portfolio, pay off your credit cards, spend time with your kids, balance your checkbook, fix things around the house – wow, you have a lot on your plate!
Let’s begin at the beginning. Take a few minutes to take stock of your life. Are you frazzled and stressed out, worried about all of the ‘stuff’ you have to manage? Maybe it’s time to simplify your life, get rid of some responsibilities, and focus on the things that are really, really important. I realize that this is WAY easier said than done, but maybe the following ideas can help you out a bit:
Live on a budget – As standard as this sounds, using a budget can radically simplify your personal finances. Instead of worrying if you have enough money for a particular purchase, a budget will help you to “know” exactly how much money you have, how you should be spending it, and how much “extra” you do or don’t have.
Be content – We live in a ‘more, more, I need more’ society. Instead of going with the flow of the masses, swim against the tide and be happy with the things you already have.
Make appointments with yourself – If you get sick, you make an appointment with your doctor. If you have a spiritual concern, you make an appointment with your pastor / priest / adviser. Guess what? In your house, you are the “finance manager” and you need to make an appointment with yourself! Take the time – daily, weekly, monthly, and annually to plan your finances.
Clear out the clutter – Create a system (simple or complex) for managing your financial documents, monthly bills, and other assorted documents.
Read this book – Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – This is my favorite book about organization and time management. Seriously, read Getting Things Done.
Create Specific Goals – Instead of having a series of one-day-I-want-to’s, create a series of specific, attainable goals.
No: I want to get out of debt and save some money.
Yes: I am going to make an extra payment of $250 per month to credit card A for 10 months.
No: I need to think about my retirement.
Yes: I am going to read The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.
No: I need to get rid of some stuff and clean up around here.
Yes: I am going to clean out the front closet.
Do you have an organization tip? Leave a comment and let us know. If you are a blogger, write a post about organization, and contact me. I’ll be more than happy to link to your post.