Monday Morning Quarter-Buck 06/25/2018: Time Management


“Either Run the Day OR the Day Runs You.” - Jim Rohn

I can’t believe that it is the last week of June!  Where did the time go? In just 6 days, half of 2018 will be over.   Will you be making any mid-year adjustments based on the first half of 2018?   I’m excited to announce that we are! Earlier this year we added Kate Welker to the team and she has been a wonderful addition.  Then we added Becky Partridge as an intern and she was a wonderful addition (stay tuned for more about Becky next week). Now we are excited to announce that we’ve added Matthew Fizell to the team.  

As you will read below, Matt lives in Madison, Wisconsin.  Matt heard me on a podcast where I mentioned my firm had grown to the size where I really needed to decide if I was going to hire or stop taking on clients.  He called me and said, “I’d like to work with you, so that you can continue sharing your talents with the world.” That day we spent over 90-minutes on the phone and over the course of last fall, winter, and this spring, we continued to chat about how he could work with the firm remotely as a part-time para-planner.  

After Matt passed the CFP exam in March and we chatted about his aspirations, I decided working in a consulting relationship wasn’t enough.  I wanted him to be a contributing part to of the firm, not a contractor. I wanted his fresh thinking and inquisitive personality. I could see that he could make me a better planner, just as much as I could help him become a better planner.    If you’d like to listen to one of the podcast’s he was on that reinforced this, hop on over to So You're A Financial Planner...Now What? Episode 31


Here is a little bit about Matt:


Growing up in a single parent household, I was exposed to a great deal of financial strains at home as a child.  Money was always a factor in what we could and could not do as a family, and it wasn’t until I was in college I understood the sacrifices my mom made to give me an amazing childhood.

While attending college, I was fortunate enough to have exposure to entrepreneurship, and my first real experience having any form of disposable income.  My sophomore year of college was when I discovered Financial Planning as a career option and based on my childhood experiences with money, I almost instantly knew I had found my calling. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Personal Finance in 2015.  

My first job out of college was with a large insurance company who pitched me a real “financial planning job”, which quickly changed into them wanting me to sell large amounts of insurance.  After having studied Personal Finance and having the education requirement to sit for the CFP Exam, I quickly realized this was not the position I was promised and would not be a suitable long term fit.

In 2017, I left my job with the insurance company and started working with a fee-only planner at a small firm located in Madison, WI where I currently reside.  I greatly enjoyed working with clients, being involved in building financial plans, and helping run the business more effectively for both the clients and the lead planner.  This led me to form my own consulting business where I currently support several fee-only planners across the country in addition to helping clients of my own.

Since forming my own consulting business, I have passed the prestigious CFP Exam and anticipate being able to use the marks behind my name in early 2019.  My goal in financial planning is to be able to help those who are ready to take charge of their financial lives, regardless of how much or how little they have in their financial picture.  I hope to be a key part in delivering a high quality experience here at Irvine Wealth Planning Strategies for many years to come.

In my spare time I enjoy playing in recreational sports leagues, riding the countless bike trails here in Madison, or spending time near or on the water.  As a commitment to serving my community, I serve as the President of the local chapter of Wake the World, a non-profit organization with a mission to impact the lives of underprivileged, abused, and fostered children by teaching them to waterski and wakeboard.

Please join me in welcoming Matt to the team!

He can be reached at

You may hear from Matt from time to time as he helps me with pre and post-meeting questions and follow up.

And now, here is a little bit of information FROM Matt:

Our Time: The Budget We Always Forget About
By Matthew Fizell


We always hear about the importance of having a budget for our wallet, but do we do the same thing for our calendar? “Time is money”, after all.  Before you roll your eyes at the sight of the dreaded “b-word”, let me be clear in saying this will not be a lecture from me saying “you are wasting your time doing (insert activity)”. Time restraints force us to decide “Can I make it to Timmy’s baseball game?”, “Will we be able to take that vacation this summer?”… if you have ever felt or said “I just don’t have enough time,” this is the article for you.

We live in a world today that has us connected to our friends, families, and in some cases complete strangers who are all blasting our social media feeds with photos of recent vacations, videos of meals we will probably never cook, and their expert opinions on the political crisis of the day. According to a recent study conducted by The Telegraph, the global average of social media per person is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes per day.  Based on the U.S. Census average salary of $56,516, the average American is wasting $14,129 worth of time each year just on social media! We won’t necessarily spend all of that extra time working, it is important to realize the potential our time has to improve our lives.

While I highly doubt anyone actually sits down and religiously reads their Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter feeds for a consecutive 1 hour and 40 minute session, the 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there really adds up throughout the course of a day. The concept of small increments adding up to a larger problem in our calendars is no different than many small purchases adding up on a credit card, wiping out our cash flow to achieve the things we REALLY CARE about. Unfortunately, we can’t create more time in a day like we can when trying to create additional income and this can create tough choices for where we use our time, leading to unnecessary stress.
Getting your calendar under control is a process, but rest assured it is possible!  The following tips and resources are a great way to start gaining back some of your “wasted time”:

  • Time Tracking:  Take a hard look at where you are spending your time.  While it doesn’t need to be down to the last minute, forcing yourself to write down what you have done every 30-60 minutes is a great way to start.  A simple pen and paper approach to this task works fine, but there are free apps out there such as Toggl or RescueTime that will make it easy to keep track with your favorite mobile device.
  •  Priority and Stress Management:  One of the worst side effects of our connected world is how quickly information moves.  This has transformed the way we interpret what is, and is not urgent in our lives.  If you have never heard of the “Eisenhower Matrix”, I highly encourage you to give it a try.  As you can see in the chart below, it forces us to place our activities into one of the four quadrants.  The less time you can spend in “Urgent and Important”, the less stress you will have.  Unfortunately, our time-wasters can make “Non-urgent and Important” become urgent items, adding stress to our lives.
  • Turn off those notifications:  Do you find yourself constantly opening apps when those little red bubbles pop-up on your phone? You are able to turn off those notifications by going to your smartphones settings and disabling them for specific apps.  If an app falls into the “non-urgent and not important” category above, go ahead and turn those off.  Plan time in your day to catch-up on what is going on in your social circle instead.

Just remember, at the end of the day “time is money”.  If we can make the choice to focus our time on what is actually important to us in life, we can achieve the goals in all corners of our lives. Whether it is a little extra money to go on that vacation, making sure we are able to attend family focused events, or taking care of our physical well-being, we all have the time…. we just need to make sure we use it wisely.