Businesses put resources behind maximizing their resources – human resources for employees, strategic planning for growth and operations management for processes. Time, money and energy are our resources to accomplish our personal goals, maintain good health, keep solid relationships and enjoy life. As we approach year-end, take an inventory of how you are using your time, money and energy resources. Are you spending them on things that matter? Are you getting results? Do you need to reallocate or change your approach to get better mileage out of your efforts?
Do a time audit. Where are you spending your time? Are your weekdays entirely committed to your day job? Are you losing time with an excessive commute, hours “decompressing” in front of the TV, or searches for lost items in a cluttered and disorganized environment? Do you take time to exercise, see friends and family, maintain the household, and pursue a passion?
Do a money audit. How much in checks, credit card bills and cash have you spent this year? This total is what you spent; are there large sums of money where you have no idea what you spent, where you unconsciously frittered away your money? Do you set aside funds for emergencies, retirement, vacation and leisure, and extras that matter? Do you even know what extras give you long-lasting fulfillment rather than cheap thrills?
Do an energy audit. When are you most focused? Do you save your creative, strategic, or important work for these hours? Do you plan for exercise and snacks when your energy drains? Do you get enough sleep?
Switch TV for a more fulfilling hobby. Try to spend money on things that you really want even on a smaller scale – e.g., a spa day rather than a spa vacation. (You might find the small, affordable sample is enough, or the taste will inspire you to save up for the real thing.) Try incorporating one habit that will boost your energy. Good businesses consciously reengineer their processes where needed. Figure out what you need to reengineer in 2009 to maximize your resources.
Caroline Ceniza-Levine is co-founder of SixFigureStart (www.sixfigurestart.com).