One of the things limiting my financial success has been that I try to do too many things. I end up not doing them quickly enough to achieve the results I want. Or (more often) I skip doing the things that could really make a big difference, and end up doing little unimportant things instead.
For example, what’s more important, trimming the pet’s toenails or writing a blog post? Sure, their toenails do need to be trimmed regularly, and as a pet owner it’s my job to care for them properly, but do they need to be trimmed right now, when it’s late at night and I still haven’t written anything for the following day? That would be a no.
And that’s always been my problem. I’ll take a look at my list and do the things that look easiest or quickest first. That way I get the satisfaction of crossing them off the list and feeling like I’ve accomplished something. But it’s not like they’re going to write “Trimmed her pets’ toenails regularly” on my gravestone. That’s not exactly a life accomplishment, if you know what I mean.
I’ve struggled with this for years, but finally started using something that’s gotten me whipping time into shape and making sure that the important things get done as well as the little things: Google Calendar.
I have multiple calendars on it that display in different colors. It’s easy to view things in a weekly format or as a daily agenda. That way I can estimate how long I think something will take, and arrange it on my schedule.
Plus I can SEE when too much of my time has been used up, and in theory STOP adding things to my calendar when it gets too full. (Or at least add them to a different day or week instead.) I then use the daily agenda to go through my list and get things done. Generally I even manage to do this in the order that they appear, which is the point.
You wouldn’t think such a little thing would make such a big difference, but it’s helped me to avoid missed deadlines, unnecessary expenses, & errands, and to get more things done work-wise, which should eventually improve my finances.