When you have a LOT to do, do you get so overwhelmed that you do…nothing?
I know that happens to me more than I’d like to admit. You just freeze up and check out.
It happens to me when I let my “to do” list get too long. And I’ve seen it happen when someone decides to deal with their financial lives for the first time. It’s so overwhelming, with so much to do…they end up doing nothing.
So, when you’ve got a very long to-do list for your financial life, it doesn’t always matter where you start; it matters most, that you start.
Job one is to slow down and chill out. The more wound up you get, the less you’ll actually get done.
If you’re facing a very long financial to do list, try this…
Get twelve sheets of paper. At the top of one write “November.” At the top of the next write “December.” At the top of the next one write “January,” and so on.
Now, put your “November” sheet on top and write on the next line: “property and casualty insurance.” I know you’ve got a ton to do, but for the month of November. you are only going to do one thing: property and casualty insurance.
Next on your “November” property and casualty insurance sheet, start a list. Number one on the list is “call my agent. Set a review appointment.” For number two, you can write this statement, “If the bad thing happens, and I could buy insurance the next day, how much insurance would I buy?” The reason you buy insurance is in case a bad thing happens (car wreck, house burns, my kid runs over a grandma with his skate board…). So why not buy the amount of coverage you’d be satisfied with in case that event occurs?
A competent, professional agent can help you work through these decisions. I honestly do not see how people can do this online, even if fifteen minutes does save you fifteen percent. What if you have to make a claim and discover your “savings” came as a result of lousy or inadequate coverage?
OK…that was November. You have a whole sheet of financial planning things do to, yet you only got one thing done. But it was a big one. An important one. And because you focused on it, you got it done right.
Cool. Doesn’t that feel good?
Now, let’s pull out that next sheet – this one is for December. And at the top of it write “wills,” as in that legal document that tells everyone what to do when you die. I’ll bet you know what number one on this list is going to be: call the lawyer.
Get the idea?
What if you committed to doing just one financial thing each month for the next twelve months? Your list may look different than mine, but here’s what you might accomplish: property and casualty review, wills drafted, disability insurance updated, life insurance done, debt reduction plan designed, savings plan started, retirement plan reviewed, investments reviewed, tax planning done for next year, long-term care insurance reviewed, savings plan for a dream vacation designed…and I’ll even give you a month off to rest and do nothing.
It’s amazing what you can get done if you stop trying to do everything…and just do one thing…at a time.