Can You Complete One Important Priority Before Labor Day?

There’s always a small moment when I start a new task where I wonder, “What’s the cost?”

Specifically, does my decision to work on something new create a conflict between what’s urgent and what’s important?

I know many of you share this same, often unspoken concern.

We push through our daily to-dos, the urgent things that demand our attention RIGHT NOW, and in the process, we put the important things off to the side.

I see this situation play out frequently when people are trying to wrap their arms around their financial lives.

We’ve got bills to pay, and they always seem to be more than we expect.

We’ve got bosses that want us to work more, but our income doesn’t move.

We’ve got kids who suddenly decide they’d really like to play soccer, and we have no idea how we’re going to pay the fee to participate.

Every morning, we’re confronted with a list of urgent demands for our attention

I know from personal experience just how difficult it can be to prioritize.

In the meantime, off to the side, we’ve set the goal to rewrite our will, rebalance our portfolio, and review our home owner’s insurance policy.

All these things are important, but they’ll never compete for our attention — until something happens.

I know that August is a vacation month.

Many of you may have blocked out a few days or even a week for vacation next month.

The last thing you may want is to think about anything important.

I don’t blame you at all, but I’ve got an idea to run by you.

Before Labor Day hits, do you think you could check one important thing off your list?


Consider using your vacation to talk about this important thing with your significant other.

The interruptions will be fewer, and the demands on your attention will different.

Use this time to talk about at least one important thing that you’ve managed to ignore for a while.

You might not resolve it completely, but use this opportunity to make something important a priority.

Then, when you return from vacation, set some specific actions to take and get that important something checked off your list by September.

Fair warning, the last month of summer (or winter for my friends in Australia) will fly by.

Try not to wait until the last week.


Carl Richards’ Behavior Gap blogs appear regularly on Property Update. View the original here.


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Carl Richards is a Certified Financial Planner and a columnist for the New York Times, Morningstar magazine and Yahoo Finance. He is author of 2 books, The Behavior Gap & The One-Page Financial Plan. Carl lives with his family in Park City, Utah. You can find his work and sign up for his newsletter (which has an international audience) at

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