Time Bandits

One of the most common recommendations of financial planners is a yearly review and rebalancing of your portfolio.  This rebalancing is very important to maintain a diversified investment mix.  What typically occurs is that some investments will grow faster than others and this will result in having too much of your resources in one area.  This skewing is often difficult to notice unless you are disciplined and review your portfolio on a regular basis.  The insidious aspect of this skewing is that your best performing investments may actually put you out of balance and you may be tempted to increase your allocations in this area.  However, this can be dangerous or even reckless as it will actually defeat the benefits of diversification.

We should also do a yearly review of where we put our time and resources in our life plans.   A review and rebalancing of your life allocations can reap big rewards.  Here are five strategies for your annual rebalance:

  • Find a Quiet Place– Seek out a place where you can think and reflect on your current allocations.  This may require that you go off by yourself and spend a day away from your family.  You must remove the distractions in order for you to do an objective life review.
  • Make a Time Line– Write out your typical schedule each week.  List each day and then list what you typically do each day.  Calculate the percentage of time for each item and make a list of the items in the order of percentage value.  You may want to actually write this out “real time” during an actual week to get an objective view of what is really consuming your time.
  • Write down Your Goals– Make a list of your goals.  Divide your goals into long, medium and short terms.  Color code and group your goals- personal goals, family goals, marriage goals, faith goals, career goals, etc.
  • Analyze Your Data– What is the data telling you?  Are you controlling your life or is your life controlling you?  Are you making progress on your goals?  Are there “time bandits” in your day?  Often we are putting too much time in areas that are really not important to us.  We are out of balance!
  • Make Changes– Strategize on areas of change and look for synergies.  For example:  Although you may be compelled to be at work for a large portion of your day, you may be able to include one of your other goals during the same time period.  You can exercise at lunch if you need more time in this area.  You can network and seek opportunities for long term, professional goals.  You can seek personal development training at your present employer to improve your skills.

Although you may feel that you are obligated to your schedule and responsibilities you can make changes.  Consider any components of time that you can exploit – early morning, late evening, drive time, etc.  Develop a plan to include components of each of your goals and track your progress.  Turn off the noise on a regular basis.  Dedicate a portion of your week to reviewing progress by turning off your phone and computer and completely unplugging to allow time for you to recharge and reflect.

Rebalancing is essential in examining how we are allocating ourselves to align with our goals.  When we get busy and obligated, our plans and goals can end up on the back burner.  It may be time to make some tough choices on your time allocation.  Can you rid yourself of some of your “time bandits” and make some real progress on your goals?

Do you have any suggestions or strategies that you have used to rebalance your life?  Please respond below!

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