I wish all of you a very Happy New Year and a belated Merry Christmas. I apologize for being gone for some time now. I was on a work related trip for the past few days and was now back again with a concept that I hope you would like.
Focus! This is what I lack sometimes and which obviously throws me out of competition most of the times. Due to lack of focus I am not able to address my priorities. My priority today is to reduce my debt and to have an initial financial plan for myself for the next five years.
Focus as per the wordweb online dictionary is defined as
The concentration of attention or energy on something.
Maximum clarity or distinctness of an idea.
I tried to frame my own definition as
Remove all the clutter around something (your priorities) and you are automatically focused or in other words finding the correct answer by eliminating the all the wrong answers.
Lacking focus and purposely avoiding a situation are two different things. When it comes to debt, at times I try to avoid the matter. This you can say as loosing focus on purpose. Take an example, I have host of interests; reading, playing chess, playing video games, photography, watching movies. Now when it comes to ponder upon my debt situation I tend to resort to any one of the interest that I have.
If I can quantify these interests then I can say that photography requires skill, not only for shooting but also for editing the photos etc. this means some investment of time in acquiring other skills and it’s an expensive hobby. Playing chess, games are addictive and it’s a shear waste of time but when you make the high score then it gives you a high.
Now if I think of my priority and the first thing come to my mind is my debt, financial planning and money matters. So what I do to address them, I generally tend to occupy my mind with other things like a movie, or the interest that I have mentioned. This is primarily because I don’t want to think about debt, same is with financial planning or any other matter of high importance. The bottom-line, I am forwarding the problem, running away from it but sooner or later I have to face it. This running away is one of the reasons that I find one day trapped and cornered by debt and I was not in position to handle it.
If we can work upon the problem this could be avoided. There are various methods to do it, considering money as my priority I can do budgeting, keeping a list of purchases, controlling my impulse buying behavior etc.
The method I am suggesting here is an alternative process that can be used to focus on your priority. If you have difficulties in having a direct focus or you are purposely avoiding it then remove the elements that make you lose focus from your routine to force yourself to stay focus. For example you can just stay away from watching a movie or a video game etc. for sometime, then you’ll have nothing to do and you’ll be forced to think of the priority which is your debt or financial planning.
This process I have termed as De-cluttering My Routine. By doing this I am not only focused but I can find out finer things in my behavior which has similar clutter and in the long run it will surely pay off at least I hope so.
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