Saturday, January 26, 2008

Run Your Life Like A CEO?

Measure yourself using the same techniques the Fortune 500 uses:

I have a very attractive single female friend who’s convinced that she needs to lose weight to get a boyfriend. I took one look at her a few months ago and said, “You’re crazy.” She looked great. Despite my comments, she decided to spend the last six months being ultra-disciplined about her diet and exercise. She’s lost weight and looks even better now.

The thing is, she’s still gotten 0 dates.

If she were being intellectually honest, she would have kept a spreadsheet that looked like this:

It’s hard to ignore data as objective as this. Sure, maybe weight matters, but it’s clearly not the most important factor to work on. So today, I’m going to show you how I track spending, eating, etc — and give you templates to do the same.

...I don’t understand people who do increasing amounts of work without measuring the results... why would you spin your wheels without figuring out a way to analyze what’s working and what’s not? After analyzing my own time, I’m convinced that about 30% of what I do really matters, 30% might matter, and 30% is completely worthless.

Maybe some people like to feel like they are doing something? The thought that you might not actually know what to do to change what you want to change in life is a scary proposition to confront. People may sometimes busy themselves in an attempt to feel as though they are in control of aspects of their life they may not have control over. Unfortunately, this process can oftentimes lead to failure to discover what might actually work.

I think many people behave as though they were measuring their life against an often unarticulated metric. When I was in buisness school, they taught us that organizations will operate according to what you measure. I guess that's true for people too. I've noticed from oberserving friends, it seems like I could characterize the long-term behavior of many of them in one of the following ways:

  • Wealth maximizer
  • Cost minimizer
  • Minimizer of emotional pain
  • Risk minimizer
  • Mistake avoider

Where would I fit into this categorization? I'd probably classify myself as an experience maximizer. When I was in college, I remember deciding I would rather "collect experiences" than collect stuff. With my penchant for travel and education, I think this paradigm describes my behavior fairly well. I guess the biggest question is -- should I restrategize?

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