Struggling to get things done in Lockdown? You’re not the only one…

Struggling to get things done in Lockdown?

“Life under Lockdown”. It sounds like a low-budget Netflix documentary about life in a US penitentiary but it’s a title used in many news and lifestyle articles at the moment.

These focus less on the health crisis and more on day-to-day observations about life under Lockdown v3.0 (or is it 4.0? I’ve lost count). Some have really resonated and prompted me to take a look at how I’ve been faring under the odd conditions we find ourselves in.

Lockdown limbo

I’m usually a “get stuff done” kind of person and this remains very much the case as far as work’s concerned (we’re thankfully very busy). But away from business, I must admit I’ve been struggling to motivate myself to tend to things that are usually important to me or have been on my to-do list for a while.

On the family front, we’re hopefully looking to move home at some point in the next year or so. In normal times, I would’ve already made some progress here but devoting hours to trawling property sites or speaking to agents doesn’t feel that pressing.

As for leisure, I play in a (very) amateur football league and usually try to put in extra fitness work between matches to avoid being completely overrun by guys half my age on a Saturday afternoon. But with our league season now on hold until further notice, transforming myself back into a finely-tuned, whiny prima donna feels like it can wait.

In amongst this are the odd jobs around the house I’ve been meaning to get round to since 2014 and some legal matters we need help with. And our loyal cocker spaniel is still waiting patiently for the agility training I’ve been promising her!

Words of wisdom

After a brief period of existential navel-gazing, my very patient and supportive wife helped me realise that my problem isn’t motivation – it’s simply that I have too much time to get these things done and no clear or obvious deadlines. This means I end up investing even more time in the business or having a good old wrestle with my 2 year old son. These are both things I hugely enjoy but they’re still a distraction from the to-do list!

My wife also reminded me that time has a habit of passing all too quickly and she’s right (grrr).

Before we know it, Spring will be here and other equally pressing matters will need attention. The to-do list will have grown (as will my waistline), that floor tile in the bathroom will still be loose, our Wills still out of date and the dog will no doubt have packed her bags.

This little pep-talk motivated me to set some deadlines for the next few weeks beginning with a run last Saturday morning.

Predictably, this lasted all of 10 minutes thanks to a pulled calf muscle.

A minor setback perhaps but I now have the bit firmly between my teeth. I may even manage 5 press-ups and some downward-facing dogs between now and when the calf has healed.

Why am I sharing this riveting story?

Dealing with financial matters is one of those things that sits on people’s to-do lists far longer than it ought to.

Lack of time is often cited as the main reason it takes so long for people to reach out for advice but it’s not always the case.

Some put off the conversation because they’re cautious about working with or even changing advisers. It’s completely normal to feel this way so we encourage new clients to air all their concerns right up front. We’re usually able to ease doubts and address any misconceptions there and then, which sets strong foundations for a great working relationship.

For others, they feel panicked by the current state of the world and assume now isn’t the “right time” to undertake financial changes or invest money. I’ve written previously about how to best reconcile the challenge of market timing – if this sounds like you, maybe give this blog a read.

There are, of course, financial matters that do have an actual deadline –  the end of tax year being the most obvious (5th April).

I wrote recently about likely the tax increases we’ll likely see as a result of Covid financial support measures (you can read more about this HERE). If you agree that it’s important to optimise the tax efficiency of your financial plan, pensions and investments, be sure to get onto this comfortably ahead of April.

Getting focused

Whatever your reason, if you have financial stuff on your to-do list, set yourself a date to at least establish contact with someone you think that can help.

If you’re not exactly sure who that person should be (accountant, financial adviser, solicitor), feel free to get in touch and I’m sure we can point you in the right direction.

What financial matters have you been putting off?

What’s stopped you from giving this the attention it needs?

If not now, when?

As ever, if you need help or guidance in any financial matters, please get in touch on 020 8371 0982 or simon@arkenstonewealth.co.uk

Thanks for reading.

Simon

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