Faster or Smarter - what's your choice

30 Jan 2015

By Andrew Bollen

If you're anything like me you probably find that there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. You may find yourself getting up earlier, staying up later or burning the candle at both ends in a vain attempt to complete your "to do" list.

The end of January is a good time to review the New Year's Resolutions you may have set for yourself at the start of the month. Are you still on track to achieving your well intentioned goals or, like most of us, did many of your well planned intentions fall by the wayside maybe through a lack of planning? Well take heart, there are ways to help you refocus on what's important to you.

Effort Plus

I'm sure most of us have heard the phrase "work smarter not harder?" It all sounds well and good and I don't think anyone would disagree with the idea, but how do you actually go about doing this? Some goal setting is a good place to start.

One of the greatest benefits of setting goals is that it helps you focus your attention and allocate your time and resources efficiently. Once you figure out your key life goals, be it building a career, spending time with family, getting fit and healthy etc, it becomes much easier to prioritise your time and efforts.

When you set goals, they should be SMART. The best goals are – ​

  • S– Specific
  • M– Measurable
  • A– Attainable
  • R– Relevant
  • T– Time-bound

I have been a financial adviser for the better part of 16 years, and in this capacity, I have had the privilege of seeing clients set goals (eg. retire at age 60), figure out the steps to get there (have a financial plan prepared) and then work towards achieving that plan over time (regular meetings and accountability). The amazing thing is that it works!

Setting goals is a fundamental component to long-term success. The basic reason for this is that you can't get where you are trying to go until you clearly define where that is.

Remember that it is never too late to begin the process and set a goal or refocus on a goal which may have fallen by the wayside due to the pressures of everyday life. So get focused on what's important to you and then move towards working smarter and not just harder to help get you there.

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