Too Busy Planning to Retire? Try These 6 Tips

When you are thinking about retiring, there is a lot to consider. This is especially true because now retirement usually means finding a way to do something that will make you feel like you matter, give your life meaning, possibly bring in some income, and enjoy yourself  - all crucial ingredients for your well-being.

It is easy to tell yourself you don’t have time to think about and plan for this next stage in your life. This excuse works because it seems like there is not enough time to get everything done you need or want to do. The fact is that during the Information Age, life has gotten more complex. When you have an endless list of things to do in your various roles, it is common to tell yourself you need more time. 

Has this ever happened to you?

You think being busy is a good thing. After all, busy people seem needed, important, and successful. However, being busy can fool you; it can be a trap. As you move through your day, many times the activities you end up doing do not help you be who you really want to be or do what you really need to do.

Planning your retirement takes time to focus on the many factors that will be changing as you enter this next stage in your life. Some of this you will do independently, some will be with your spouse and perhaps even some other family members. Working with a financial planner will help you manage your finances over the coming years. Working with a retirement coach can help you prepare emotionally for the upcoming changes.

In addition, choosing from the following tips will help you have the energy you need to manage your time effectively:

  1. Think of your life as a series of sprints rather than a marathon. This allows you to push during crunch times followed by rest or play. The downtime is seen as necessary for your body and brain to process the information and prepare for the next task. Constant busyness is seen as a threat to successful retirement planning. Rest and play are necessary and celebrated.
  2. Limit your to-do list to the two or three things that are most important for that day. Plan to schedule 60-70% of your day for tasks. Leave at least 30% for “other.”
  3. Schedule your time according to the task. Group tasks into more general categories for a week, i.e work, retirement planning, exercise, appointments, email, spiritual, self-care, spouse, family, etc. Grouping your weekly tasks into blocks of time relates to the four energy sources (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) and helps remind you of the need for balance in your life. Then place more specific tasks in the appropriate category for a particular day. For instance, you can do retirement planning one evening a week or a few hours on a week end.
  4. Think about what kind of time you need to complete a task: focused, flexible, or free (no work). Planning usually needs focused time. Tasks that can be done even if you get interrupted work well durning flexible time periods of your day. Personal tasks that don’t involve work usually are best during free time periods.
  5. Combine the idea of money and energy by imagining every morning you have $30 worth of energy for the day. Each dollar is the amount of energy expended on a task. When your $30 are gone, your energy is gone for the day. Think about how much money (energy) you will spend working on each task so that you have enough energy to complete your day. Fortunately, you get another $30 the next day.
  6. Look at the outcomes you desire for the day instead of trying to get everything on your list done. Think about how you want to spend your energy, what you really want, and what you are here to do. This will help you know what is most important to do that day.

As you ask yourself what your values and strengths are, which tasks will get most of your energy and which ones will get the least amount of your energy, you will discover how to spend time in the areas that will bring meaning and joy into your life.

Following one or more of these tips will bring you a sense of well-being and fulfillment. I wish you the best of success on your journey.

Comment below about which of these tips you will try in order to break down your retirement planning into small, doable steps. I love hearing from you.

Until net time,

Maurine

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