This is a simple rule of thumb that means –
You need to think carefully about how efficiently and elegantly you are using your resources.
When thrashing around “getting things done” and cutting through the mass of stuff that makes up our daily grind; the tendency is — sometimes to choose expedience over elegance.
When faced with a big pile of “got to…” we hop into the sink and thrash away. Messy, messy, messy
There are two conditions that make climbing into the sink to wash the dishes more likely.
The first, as I’m sure you can guess by now is inadequate planning and preparation – the choice to “wing it”, when a bit of advanced consideration, and a decent mise en place would resolve the tissues tidily.
The second is defending our suffering with regard to how we make use of our resources.
This means the defense of how we have done things in the past (“because… because… because…”), when our needs and circumstances have changed.
When I transitioned from running in the corporate rat-race, to running one very small boutique consultancy; initially I hadn’t taken full account of the resources I had when I was on the company’s dime.
When I left the madness behind; I also left the infrastructure behind with it. Life-shock was the result.
This is a common issue for people leaving large companies.
The point was that I had to very quickly find the critical path through ordinary life, re-discovering how to live in a radically changed workflow and way of life.
I made a careful estimation of what my critical resources were in terms of revenue generation and optimized them.
That meant spending for some things that others would consider luxuries but that were actually time sinks where I could potentially lose significant working hours each work that could be better and more profitably used generating revenues.
The key was that I had previously established strong output habits that, when the time was there, I was capable of using it in a focused manner to generate revenues.
The point is that we all have this “critical path” of activities that “make the cash register ring”.
If you focus on what is critical, and spend where truly necessary to lift time and energy constraints; you improve and streamline your workflow.
The calculations on whether hiring someone to perform a function for you is a worthwhile investment includes: how much your time is worth, calculated on an hourly basis (and this depends on how honest you can be with yourself about your use of available time); how important a manicured lawn is to you; how much time you put into mowing on a weekly basis; and what sort (and even how much) additional value you can create by dedicating the time saved in mowing to revenue focused activities.
Finally, there is the question of what you consider to be disposable income from profit – after a certain point, the price of services is not really relevant to a decision to spend on having the function fulfilled.
There are many places in our lives and workflows where, with a bit of thinking, ingenuity and careful consideration of resources; we can free time and energy.
And then there is re-jigging and re-designing of our workflows themselves – taking out the waste, cutting the flailing around in exchange for a more structured and disciplined process that FREES US TO DO MORE OF WHATEVER WE WISH.
You see, ultimately it’s about freedom, and eliminating unnecessary binds and devotion to outmoded methods.
The shackles we put on ourselves are worse than anything imposed by others.
The only thing between you and a more elegant, focused workflow is your devotion to your story… are you sticking to it, or are you looking for a new lease of life?
Look at your use of resources – money, time, materials and skills – how you use them, where you waste them, how you could re-arrange them in more profitable way.
Consider alternatives for how you spend or hold:
Can you create 15-20% more time and productive, focused and even profitable activity?
What has to happen to do that?… just by re-arranging… and getting out of the sink while washing the dishes.