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Enhance the Quality of Your Life

Enhance the Quality of Your Life Have you ever wished you had more time in the day to do what you wanted to get done?
I think at some point in our lives we have all wished for more time. The truth is that even if we had 5 extra hours a day we would still probably misuse them and still complain that we can't finish what we set out to do. No matter who you are, you only get 168 hours per week. It doesn't sound like a lot but it can be. With a little bit of thought and some strategic delegation, those 168 hours can become more than enough time for the things in life that are most important to you.

As a financial advisor, it always amazes me that some people spend an inordinate amount of their 168 hours/week on their finances----reading Money Magazine, watching CNBC, etc. We call that stuff "financial pornography". It reminds me of a story I once read about two families who were dining out at a restaurant. The fathers got to talking about what they did, one was a financial advisor, and the other was a doctor. It turned out that the doctor spent a lot of time "dabbling" in the stock market; he also weighed around 300 pounds. If he could take the time he spent on the stock market and instead spend it on his physical health there is little doubt that he and his family would be much better off. He was spending too much of his precious time on his money while at the same time ignoring his physical health.

Money is not the most important thing in your life. It is important in that it allows you to have what you want to have and do what you want to do. Other areas like physical health, mental health, spiritual health, and relationship and family health are more important to most people than money. Your money can be delegated but you cannot hire someone to work out for you, eat healthy for you, spend time with your family for you, etc. We do an exercise with our clients called the Quality of Life Enhancer, from the book Values Based Financial Planning by Bill Bachrach. The exercise is based on two principles:
  1. The more you can align your behavior with your core values (what's important to you), the happier, more satisfied, and fulfilled youll be; and
  2. The more you delegate what is less important, the more time you have for what is more important.
You can do this exercise yourself to determine what kinds of changes you would like to make in order to have a better quality of life:
  1. List all of the things that are more important than money (family, health, spirituality, etc)
  2. For each area is it delegatable or not? If it is you can hire someone else to take care of it.
  3. List how many more hours per week you would like to spend on each of these areas.
  4. Write two or three activities that you could do each week that would improve or contribute to the realization of this area of your life.
  5. Write down what impact it would have on your life if you could actually follow through and do these activities on a weekly basis.
You know have an action list of things that you should be doing every week to enhance the quality of your life. You find the time to complete these actions by hiring someone to take care of your money and delegating the areas of your life that can be delegated.

Some things cannot be delegated and some things can. The Quality of Life Enhancer, is designed to help you keep financial management in perspective.

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