Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Let's make a list...

Awhile ago I read an article in one of my favorite magazines that equated running a business to life. In it, the author discusses 10 common business strategies that can be used by everyone.

I won't paraphrase the whole article* here, but there were two "strategies" that I found particularly life-changing:
  • #1: Identify your core values. Companies list what is truly important to them so that those things can guide their decisions- that's something we can all do.
  • #2: Understand your opportunity cost. Time, energy, and money are not unlimited resources. Devoting yourself to one thing (opportunity) means detracting from another (cost). For every minute I spend on my blog, that's one less minute spent studying. The trick is to balance costs with opportunities.
The other day I was thinking about this article and I decided to figure out what my core values were. So I pulled out some paper and listed the things that were important to me (not the things I think should be important to me, the things that actually are), in descending order. At the top of the list were values like giving to others, my relationships with the people I love, my education, my health and financial stability, etc. Toward the bottom of the list were things like my hobbies, my ever-expanding makeup collection, my clothes.

Then I took a look at how I devoted my time, energy, and money. In short: not very efficiently. Even though I know what's really important to me, I devote most of my time to less consequential things. To some extent, I think we all do that.

The good thing is, knowledge is power. From now on, I'm going to try and use my values to guide the way I use my resources. That's one of the reasons I wanted to switch the focus of OHP- so that I could spend more time on the important stuff. And I've got my list taped up on my mirror now, so that I won't forget what's important to me.

Readers- what do you all think of this new plan? And a challenge to you: make a list of your own (you don't have to share it with us).

*For the curious, the article was titled "10 Business Strategies to Organize Your Home Life" by Patrick Lencioni, and it was in the Feb.2009 edition of Real Simple Magazine. I highly recommend looking it up on their website.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool idea. I'm definitely going to do this. I think it would help us all be happier and save money :-)