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Ever thought about benchmarking your life for a profit & loss account? You might find it instructive.

Measure it, manage it

Ben Prendergast

I’ve been in a bit of a funk of late. A special project I’ve been working on for almost a year has come to its conclusion, I’ve taken on a new non-caffeine/sugar/alcohol diet (yes I know I’ve previously espoused the virtues of said stimulants) and I’m at a point in my career where paranoia and anxiety usually meet opportunity.

I know it’s not uncommon to feel displaced or “spread thin” when there are so many changes in one’s professional life. I’ve been here before and I’ll be here again! However, this week I went back to basics and adopted the business school mantra “what gets measured gets managed” to get a sense for how my life was tracking. And it worked! But how do you account for life? Is there a personal profit & loss? Yes there is, you just need to measure the oblique.

Measure your Success

  • When was your last career-defining moment?
  • When was your last personal victory?
  • You were just out of high school, how close have you come toward your aspiration?
  • Remember that tyrant boss (you know the one), do they cast the same mental duress they once did?

Measure your Career

  • What percentage of your income is derived for a source that makes you smile (in one way or another?)
  • How often do you converse with customers (or at least someone on the front line) and resolve real issues?
  • How often do you sit and work through your current personal/business promotion (advertising, resumes, bios, folios), and account for its success?
  • Are you now in a position you lusted over five years ago?

Measure your Efficiency

  • Do 20% of your customers take 80% of your unpaid “support” effort?
  • What percentage of your weekly to-do list is checked at the end of the week?
  • Do you spend more than an hour a day in idle break time?
  • Are you working more than 80 hours a week, when 60 will do?

Measure your Mind/Body balance

  • What percentage of your time is spent on physical vs mental exertion?
  • Is your waistline over the diabetes-risk limit?
  • What percentage of your lunch/dinners are with friends vs customers vs staff?
  • What percentage of your time is spent on your “other passion” (you have one, yes?)

Measure your Perceptions

  • What percentage of your dealings with customers are praise/criticism?
  • When were you last talked about?
  • Do you overstate your import with customers/staff/colleagues?
  • Are you a David Brent or a Tim Canterbury?

It doesn’t take a mid-life crisis to galvanise action. All it takes is a little creative criticism to put things in perspective.

To read more Ben Prendergast blogs, click here.


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