Person looking at their watch

8 practical tips to help you manage your time effectively so you can enjoy the future you deserve

It might sound a strange source for an illustrative quote, but a line from Avengers: Endgame set me thinking recently.

Amid all the action and turmoil, as two sides battled for – as far as I could tell – control of the universe, one of the lead characters came out with the line: “No amount of money ever bought a second of time”.

Time is our most valuable commodity and, unlike money, it’s finite. We can’t create more of it so we should be looking to make the most of the time we do have.

We tend to envy the young and tell them how lucky they are because they have their lives ahead of them. As you get older, you start to become increasingly aware of your own mortality. You realise that the image of life isn’t an empty road of possibility stretching into the distance but rather an egg-timer slowly emptying of sand.

I believe there are some positive steps you can take to make the most of time, so that you can maximise the opportunities you have.

Here are eight tips to help you to manage your time effectively. Some of them are simple time management ideas that I’ve found useful myself and happy to pass on.

Others are based around the idea that having the right financial plans in place to enable to you fund the lifestyle and retirement you want can be the best time-saving process there is.

1. Use to-do lists to plan your days

It’s a simple idea, but by planning what you’re going to do each day, you give yourself the best chance of controlling what you get done.

Start each working-day with a to-do list and work through it. Try not to get waylaid with distractions. By doing this, and focusing on the tasks you initially set yourself, you should end each day with the positive sense that it’s been productive.

To be honest, it doesn’t just have to apply to working days. If time is, as we’ve already said, a finite resource, ensuring you make the most of your leisure time can be just as important. A lot of positive mental wellbeing can emanate from knowing you’re doing something tangible with your time.

2. Create a work-life balance you’re happy with

Think about your work-life balance and focus on creating the type of lifestyle you’re happy with.

For example, if you’re one of the many who have started working from home since the start of the pandemic, create a clear demarcation between your work and home lives. Don’t be tempted to check emails out of hours and, if you set yourself a target of stopping work at a certain time, stick to it. Don’t be tempted to send “one more email”, because it’s likely to become four!

3. Longer hours don’t necessarily make you more productive

Aim to work productively, because longer working hours don’t necessarily mean more or better work produced. It’s well-acknowledged that, as you get tired, you get less effective and are more likely to make mistakes. Clearing up those mistakes just takes up more time and isn’t productive.

The time you spend not working can improve your mental wellbeing, which in turn can make you more productive when you’re working.

This helps create an almost serendipitous positive reinforcement cycle where working productively helps you better enjoy your leisure time.

4. Manage your money to help you achieve financial freedom

Plan your finances in such a way that you’re improving your work-life balance. Focusing on building your retirement pot and other savings should enable you to become financially independent – which will, in turn, help you create the balance you want rather than have it dictated to you.

5. A financial planner can help you look at your finances objectively

In the same way you might use an accountant to manage your day-to-day finances and a solicitor to sort out legal issues, an experienced financial planner can help you plan your financial future.

The key to this is that they’ll take an objective view of your finances. If there are potential issues that could prevent you from enjoying the future you want, with more time for yourself, they’ll tell you.

This will help you ensure you’re on track to achieve your goals and can take steps to change your plans if you aren’t.

6. They can also give you valuable peace of mind

The knowledge that your finances are on track can not only give you a sense of relief but can also help free up time because it means one less thing for you to worry about or have to sort out yourself.

Remember: financial planning is about more than just retirement. It’s also about ensuring that your loved ones are protected in the event of the worst happening and you’re no longer able to support them.

It also means having plans in place to pass on your assets when you die, giving you more peace of mind, knowing that your wealth will be effectively used by future generations.

7. Understand what “enough” is

A financial planner can also help you understand what “enough” is when you’re building your wealth. This could mean “enough to retire” or “enough to reduce your working hours”.

By ensuring you have a robust investment strategy to maximise growth, you could find yourself with time on your hands that you previously hadn’t anticipated because you’re able to stop working sooner than you’d originally believed.

8. Use cash flow-modelling to ensure you stay on track

By regularly reviewing your financial future using an effective cash flow modelling tool, a financial planner can ensure your plans are on track.

If they are they can help you gain a clear understanding of what you need to enjoy the financial independence and retirement you want.

They can also help create more peace of mind for you by using the same modelling process to war-game certain events – such as a stock market crash – to ensure your financial plans are robust enough to cope with such an occurrence.

Again, this type of planning can save you time you might have spent trying to do it yourself, or even just worrying about it.

Get in touch

To find out more about how financial planning can help save you time, please give me a call on 07769 156 250.

Please note

The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.

Foster Denovo Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Wills, Power of Attorney, savings, and taxation and trust advice.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

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