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You Have Enough Time

noor Younis

Life is busy, isn’t it? Work, family, community commitments, a little social life…

But imagine for a moment the nightmare of every parent: in the middle of the night, your young child stumbles, bleary-eyed into your room, struggling to breathe. Is it a cold? Allergies? Asthma? Something else? Quickly you pull on some clothes and rush him to the emergency room. Maybe you’re there for an hour. Maybe all night.

Does it really matter? Of course not. You did what any loving parent would do – you took care of your priority - your child.

Now, suppose the doctor gives you medicine that she says will keep your child out of the hospital again. But he’ll have to take it four times a day for a year, including a dose administered in the middle of the night. Would you do it?

It’s not really a question, is it? You would give your child the medicine when prescribed…even in the middle of the night.

But what happened to your busy schedule?

I’ll tell you what happened – it got pre-empted … by a higher priority.

I know you’re busy. But “more time” is not the answer to your issues. There is no more time. Every one of us has the same 24-hours in every day.

So simply telling yourself that you are busy and that you “don’t have enough time” is wasting that most precious of your resources - your time.

In the emergency room example above, the reason for all the rush is that you genuinely believe time is of the essence. You wouldn’t drag yourself out of the house at midnight for your child’s routine dental hygiene appointment. Because there’s time. It can be done later.

What about your financial planning – is it urgent? Important? Or can it be put off for later?

Author Stephen Covey introduced us to the difference between things that are urgent and important, and things that are non-urgent and important.

Urgent and important things are emergencies. Non-urgent but still important things should be priorities but have not reached the stage where they demand action.

If you know someone who is constantly frazzled and complaining (even if it’s the person in the mirror), you can bet they’ve never learned the secret of prioritizing the non-urgent, but still important things in their lives.

[Successful, mature individuals have learned that not every crisis is a crisis. Indeed, how many of the “critical / must do it now” things in your life would fade away in the face of a real emergency (like your child needing to go to the emergency room)? ]

Successful, mature individuals make space in their busy lives to take care of the not-yet-urgent, but important things in their lives – like financial planning.

Did you hear me - I said MAKE space.

You really don’t have enough time to put off your financial planning any longer. Unless you want to invite crisis into your life, sometime, somewhere.  

[So, first, make a decision that you will do this – that you’ll make the time.

Second, get someone to help you. You’re going to need outside accountability and someone to walk you through a process.]

Busy? I’m sure you are.

And that is exactly why you’ve got to get started on the planning you’ve been putting off…right now.

Byron is a Certified Financial Planner and Managing Director of the Planning Group at Argent Advisors, Inc.
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