Mike Robertson Associates Ltd, Lifestyle Financial Planners, Battle East Sussex


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A Lifestyle Financial Planner or personal financial planner is a professional who prepares financial plans for people. These financial plans often cover cash flow management, retirement planning, investment planning, financial risk management, insurance planning, tax planning, estate planning and business succession planning (for business owners).

Are you finding it hard to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life? Well, you are not alone.

With technology giving us more and more ways to connect with each other it has become increasingly difficult for many people to separate work from their personal lives. Checking your email in bed, tweeting during dinner and taking work calls at the weekend have become commonplace in many households, leaving little time to decompress and spend quality time with the people you love.

Psychologist Robert Brook, PhD, said "A lot of people are having a more difficult time finding balance in their lives because there have been cutbacks or layoffs where they work. They're afraid it may happen to them, so they're putting in more hours."

"But even if you do not have much control over the hours you work, you can ask yourself: In what other ways am I bringing greater enjoyment into my life?" Brook goes on to say "Focus your time and attention on things you can control."

Our Lifestyle Financial Planners (LFP) have come up with five ways to bring a little more balance to your life:

Step 1: Build some downtime in your schedule.

Independent Financial Advisers or IFAs or Lifestyle Financial Planners who are professionals that offer independent advice on financial matters to their clients and recommend suitable financial products from the whole of the market. We listen to you on all areas including many matters such as investment, retirement planning, insurance, protection and mortgages (or other loans). IFAs also advise on some tax and legal matters.

A LFP will assist you to plan your week so that you can schedule time with both your family and friends and activities that help you recharge.

If a date night with your partner or meeting with friends is on your calendar, you will have something to look forward to, which will give you an incentive to manage your time well so you don't have to cancel.

Michael Neithardt, an actor and television commercial producer in New York City, wakes up 3 hours before he has to leave for work so he can go for a run and spend some time with his wife and baby.

Neithardt said, "A lot of my friends tend to wake up, shower, and go straight to work. They often complain about having no time to do anything. I find that if I can get those 3 hours in the morning, I have a more productive and peaceful workday. I can sure tell the difference when I don't."

Planning in time to relax and do nothing is also important. The 'resting' brain consolidates memories, makes sense of the past, and searches for solutions. Rest is scientifically proven to help people stimulate and sustain creativity - making you a better worker.

Step 2: Drop the activities that sap your time or energy.

A Lifestyle Financial Planner or personal financial planner is a professional who prepares financial plans for people. These financial plans often cover cash flow management, retirement planning, investment planning, financial risk management, insurance planning, tax planning, estate planning and business succession planning (for business owners).

Have you noticed that some activities take longer than they should, or are physically and mentally draining beyond the time they require and don't add any value to your life? We often get into habits that make us less efficient without even realising it.

A LFP can help you take stock of the activities that don't enhance your work or personal life and minimise the time you spend on them. This was advice from Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, a psychologist and executive coach in New York and Connecticut.

Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, said, "Many people waste their time on activities or people that add no value - for example, spending too much time at work with a colleague who is constantly venting and gossiping."

You may even be able to leave work earlier if you make a consistent effort to limit the time you spend on the internet or social networking sites, making personal calls, or checking your bank balance*.

Step 3: Rethink your errands.

A LFP may suggest that you should consider whether you could outsource any of your time-consuming household chores and errands.

They may suggest ordering your groceries online and then have them delivered. Or have your dry cleaning picked up and dropped off at your home or office. Maybe you could order stamps online so you don't have to go to the post office. Even if you're on a tight budget, a LFP will assist you to discover that the time you'll save will make it worth it.

Also, you could suggest trading services with friends, offer to do some of the tasks you enjoy or that you were planning to do. By enlisting the help of others to accomplish some of the tasks you normally do, you will have more time and energy for the people and activities you love the most, and you will be one step closer to achieving the work life balance you dream off.

Step 4: Get Moving.

A Lifestyle Financial Planner or personal financial planner is a professional who prepares financial plans for people. These financial plans often cover cash flow management, retirement planning, investment planning, financial risk management, insurance planning, tax planning, estate planning and business succession planning (for business owners).

We understand that it is hard to make time for exercising when you have a jam-packed schedule, but it may ultimately help you get more done by releasing endorphins increasing your ability to concentrate. Just a few minutes of jogging or exercising with friends can take your mind off the stresses of life.

Robert Brook, PhD, said "Research shows exercise can help you to be more alert. I have noticed that when I do not workout because I am trying to squeeze in another half hour of writing, but I do not feel as alert."

You don't have to rush out, join a gym and go 7 days a week - unless you enjoy doing so. You can start by introducing exercise in small ways - maybe a 10 minute walk at lunch, or a bike ride with the kids at the weekend. Find something that you enjoy, as you will be more likely to keep it up and begin to feel the benefits of an active lifestyle.

Step 5: Remember that a little goes a long way.

Don't assume that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. We recommend setting yourself realistic goals, e.g. leaving the office earlier one night per week, unplugging from screens earlier each night.

"Slowly build more activities into your schedule that are important to you," Robert Brook PhD said. "Maybe you can start by spending an hour a week on your hobby, or planning a weekend away with your spouse once a year."

Even during a hectic day, take 10 to 15 minutes to do something that will recharge your batteries. I.e. take a bath, read a book, go for a run or listen to music. It is recommended that you make a little time for the things that ignite your joy.

*MRA is not responsible if you cannot leave work early.

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Mike Robertson Associates Limited is an appointed representative of Lighthouse Advisory Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England No 4501167. Registered Office 30-34 North Street Hailsham East Sussex BN27 1DW

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Mike Robertson Associates Ltd is located in Battle, East Sussex, near Hastings, Bexhill and Eastbourne