Grandmaster Garry Kasparov gave Grandmaster Susan Polgar’s chess team a good tip for dealing with time pressure when he told them, “Always keep ten extra minutes on the clock, or you will end up making rushed decisions.”
When you feel pressured by time, it’s easy to make a move that you may later regret. Time pressure can make you feel cornered and desperate, and you may end up moving randomly, feeling accomplished as long as you did something.
Take time to make balanced decisions
The effects of time pressure are not only felt on the chessboard, but can also be felt in your financial life. For example, pressure to buy/sell a particular investment immediately so you “don’t miss out on a great opportunity” may cause you to act without thinking. Before you make any financial move, you must decide if it is really the best move for you at this time.
Tips for minimizing time pressure
You can limit time pressure in your financial life by using time more effectively.
- Save time by paying your bills online or through an automatic payment system.
- Automate your savings so that you always pay yourself first. This way, you know that it’s done.
- Organize your time so that you use it productively. Unlike your investments, if you lose time, you can’t make it back.
- Create a daily calendar, scheduling your tasks to make sure you accomplish the most important things first.
- When you build your plan, remember to add those ten extra minutes to cover the unexpected things that may cause you to make a rushed decision (remember Kasparov’s advice above?).
Efficiency, planning, and organization are necessary for winning chess teams. They are also vital for running your finances and keeping you ahead in your daily life.
Try this time management tool to keep your most valuable assets – your time and your money – safe.
Douglas Goldstein, co-author of Rich As A King: How the Wisdom of Chess Can Make You a Grandmaster of Investing, is an avid chess fan, international investment advisor and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).