How to Tackle the Dreaded Financial To-Do List, Part 1

We all have one. A list of dreaded administration tasks that are no fun, but must be done. What’s on yours? Making a will? Rolling over a 401K? Breaking up with the bank you’ve long hated?

We will never approach these tasks with enthusiasm, but there’s good news. There are simple strategies that can help us complete tasks with less stress so we can reap their benefits and then turn our attention elsewhere.

Get it done in minutes.

A few minutes at a time, that is. We often postpone tasks because we dread spending time on something boring and potentially complicated.

That is why breaking it into micro-tasks works so well. The smaller the better. This ensures that no one step feels overwhelming. Schedule a few minutes a day in your calendar for each specific task. By the end of the week, you’ll have one less thing occupying your precious head space.

Example: Rollover old 401k into your IRA

(This is for illustrative purposes and assumes you have already researched the topic or have spoken to a financial professional to understand the financial implications).

Day 1: Look up the contact information for the plan (or for the employer if you can’t find the plan).
Day 2: Make the phone call or send an email.
Day 3: Download the form they send you and fill out the easy stuff.
Day 4: Call or dig into your files to answer the questions that require further explanation or research.
Day 5: Sign and put in the mail. Treat yourself to your favorite takeout as a reward.

I followed these steps recently for an insurance claim I’d been putting off. I couldn’t believe how quick and painless it was. Try it yourself. Then let me know how it goes!