The best way to get ahead in the world is through hard work, diligence, sweat and toil. Right?
A recent article based on interviews with top-flight athletes shows that the workaholic mindset is generally not a feature of top performers. The article found that working long hours tends to put a strain on your mind and body, and causes you to burn out before you ever achieve success. Instead, a healthy dose of rest and recovery seem to be essential to long-term peak performance. Think of training for a marathon rather than a sprint.
I thought it would be interesting to review some the practices of those who are performing at the top of their profession, and see how we can adapt these habits to our own financial life.
Top Performers: Successful people tend to know their prime work hours, and do their most important work during that time. Think of the time of day when you feel most focused, energized and creative, and structure your most important tasks during that time window.
Financial Application: Dealing with your finances doesn’t need to be a tedious daily task, but you certainly should have allotted time set aside. To keep yourself on track, you should view your financial goals and objectives several times during the year.
Top Performers: Successful people are consistent. They tend to keep everything simple and direct and are consistent in their training and work habits. If you want to be successful, focus on one discipline that you happen to be very good at and develop your proficiency every single day, for at least a few hours each day.
Financial Application: Similarly to the top performers, consistency is also key when dealing with finances. When possible, take advantage of automated systems. For example, if you have a 401(k) or a similar retirement plan through your employer, utilize it through systematic payroll contributions. It’s fairly simple to set up and starts a good saving habit.
Top Performers: Top athletes also tend to have a support network. There’s a strength coach, a training coach, a manager, and more specialized trainers like an infield coach. To become successful, choose this inner circle wisely, and consider hiring specialized professionals, from coaches to massage therapists, who will hold you accountable for your improvement.
Financial Application: Working on your finances doesn’t have to be a one-person show; you too should have an inner circle of help. Aside from a financial planner aiding your plan, you should likely need the support of your attorney, accountant and insurance specialist along the way. Additionally, you may want to consider your family, as well. Letting them know in advance of your wishes and estate plan will keep everyone on the same page.
Top Performers: Successful people believe they can succeed. There is something about belief and conviction that increases our chances of bringing our dreams into reality.
Financial Application: You took the time and energy to design a financial plan, and now it’s time to commit to it. Working with a financial planner and knowing you have a solid plan should empower you in the pursuit of your goals.
Top Performers: Successful people make time for play. Working optimally is about balance. If you want to achieve success, also create time in your schedule for recreation and leisure, to replenish your creativity and problem-solving skills. Working all the time tends to reduce motivation, which is the first point of the article.
Financial Application: You don’t need to stress daily over your finances or review your investment portfolio on a daily basis. Just remember, success isn’t achieved overnight. Enjoying today doesn’t also mean you’re neglecting the needs of tomorrow.
Just like anything else in life, successfully managing your finances is about finding the right balance for you. Purposeful financial planning through plan development, implementation and review will surely make you feel like a top-flight performer. If you have any questions on how financial planning may empower you to feel in control of your personal situation, please contact us.