The clock is ticking

Have you noticed how much faster time goes as you get closer the end of a holiday?

We’ve all been there. You’ve waited all year for this. The annual holiday is a great chance to escape normality, relax and recharge the batteries. When you arrive, the stresses of home and work seem a world away. But as the halfway point of the holiday approaches it’s like someone speeds up time and before you know it, you’re at the airport on the way home.

My parents tell me that this principle also applies to life in general and that the older you get, the quicker time goes. Now in my early 40’s, I’m starting to think they have a point.

How does this relate to money? Well, it’s a paradox that in helping people to become better financially organised, our main topic of conversation isn’t money – it’s time. More specifically, it’s impact on our financial planning strategy. It’s a sobering thought that, rich or poor, old or young, there’s no escape – we’re all going to die at some stage. Not a particularly positive viewpoint? That depends how you look at it.

Certain mortality isn’t necessarily a negative thing. You could argue that a finite life makes our experiences and achievements not only sweeter but more likely to happen. Previous Apple chief Steve Jobs and ex Prime Minister Tony Blair have both pointed to their limited time on the planet as the single biggest motivating factor of their success.

Embracing the fact that we have limited time, far from being a restriction, is extremely liberating. It focuses the mind on what’s actually important to us and how we go about getting it.

So the next time you’re putting things off (we’ve all done it), whether it’s creating a new financial plan or tackling something else important, give yourself a pinch. If, like me, you’re in or approaching the second half of your life, think about how much faster time is going to pass as you get older and make a start.