There’s something illuminating about stock-taking. Apart from the fact that stock-taking sales abound and there are some seriously good bargains to be had, it’s handy to know how much stuff you have, but there’s a lot more to it than that. By taking stock, you can shine a light on what’s happened in the past, and also get an inkling about what’s likely to happen in the future. You do this by looking for trends. If you sold heaps of one thing and hardly any of another, it makes sense that you would focus your time and attention on the thing that pays dividends. The other stuff is just taking up valuable shelf space.
The same can be said for your life. Taking stock of what has happened in the past, paying close attention to where you’ve come from and where you’re headed just makes good business sense. Are your personal trends headed in the right direction? Are you focussing on the things that will pay you dividends or are you gathering dust on the shelf?
Personally, I tend to get caught up in the moment, paying attention to the issues that scream at me the loudest, devoting attention to the most urgent tasks and working my way through the never-ending to-do list, but what happens if all that work isn’t going to get me where I really want to go?
Every so often, I need to take the time to sit quietly for a while and ask myself, “Where am I likely to get my big payoffs?” What’s just taking up shelf space in my life?” “What are the things that occupy my time but don’t contribute to my overall well-being?” Doing a personal stock-take helps you see the big picture.
In the end it all comes down to one burning question, “Am I happy with the status quo?” If not, do something about it. Make plans, strategise, then act. If you like things the way they are, then that raises a whole bunch of other questions. Can you rely on the status quo to continue unchanged? Not likely. Nothing is static. Everything changes, even if just a little bit. Where will it leave you when it does? Is that where you want to be? Can you make contingency plans to cover yourself if the trend you’re on takes a downward turn? What will happen if you become wildly successful? Will you cope with the demands on your time?
What can you do now to ease the pressure later?
Astute business people examine their options regularly. They pay attention to their personal trends and make adjustments to their plans accordingly. New Year’s resolutions aside; when was the last time you did a stock-take?