Living Lean in 2017

If you had to take an inventory of everything you own, what would that look like? How does it make you feel?  Does it truly reflect your character and values?

One of my favorite quotes from The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is “you become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed”. So simple, yet so profound. The same holds true for what you possess. Each piece represents an investment of time and labor, as well as ongoing time and cost in storing, protecting and maintaining.

In the early 1990’s Lean Management became popular in manufacturing and business management. The idea of reducing wasted resources – time, talent, inputs and costs – in order to zero in on what truly adds value to a product or service, offers many interesting lessons. Here are three for you to consider:

  1. Clarify your priorities – Make a short list of what matters most to you at this point in your life. Another way to think about it is to describe your perfect day. What activities would you be doing? Who would you be with? Where would you be?
  2. Identify your burdens and obstacles – Track how you are spending your time and resources. Take an inventory of what you have/do and label each with how valuable and necessary it is for you. Include activities where you volunteer, have a membership or make a contribution.
  3. Take Action – Start with the most obvious and easiest by donating, selling, gifting or recycling. If it does not add meaning or value to your life then let it go. Cancel memberships; take time off from groups that are not moving you forward. Be protective of your time, energy and talent.

Kick off 2017 with a Lean, Agile mindset. Be focused and intentional on doing what matters most to you.