Let’s face it. Most of us want a little excitement, fun, and in the best case scenario….adventure in our work life. Yes, the point is to make money but we’re human. Most people in our species gravitate towards pleasant, gratifying, and enjoyable experiences. As a seventeen- year- old seeking part-time employment over twenty years ago, I was not any different. Visions of high-rise office buildings, power lunches and water –cooler camaraderie danced in my head. As my job search progressed, realistic choices overshadowed my visions. Opportunities were available in the following categories: fast-food, babysitting and inventory. I ended up with the prized- position behind curtain number three. I landed a job taking inventory. The entire concept seemed nonsensical and a blatant waste of my talent and intelligence. What sense did this make? I was an aspiring corporate mogul. How could I flourish and develop my potential counting merchandise? Why do companies spend time and money doing this in the first place I wondered? In time my questions were answered. I learned that inventory control within the retail industry is a critical step that impacts the bottom-line. This process in addition to effective cash management programs helped the failing Battery and Tire Warehouse in St Paul, Minnesota become profitable after one year.
Powerful business tools are available for personal use as well. Much like the companies we work for, buy from, and invest in, periodically you must take personal inventory. This is necessary to successfully navigate your life. Stop and think for a minute, it makes perfect sense to reassess the various components that sum up your unique existence. I find the following steps to be useful in this process and they may be effective for you as well.
STEP #1 – Get rid of the junk
Over the years we accumulate a lot of junk that we store in numerous places:
• Storage bins
It’s impossible to know what you have, want to throw out, or give away unless you execute an inventory process.
Proactively sift through that enormous pile of debris consisting of:
Make a conscious decision to keep the good and salvageable stuff only. There may be areas that need work but you have the ability to turn things around over time.
STEP #2 – Improve what you keep
Chances are you’ll discover some great treasures hidden in the debris. These are areas that have been mixed up with all the junk and have not received your care and attention. Make a list of all the good things you’ve discovered and the improvements that are needed. These improvements will add to your quality of life and contribute to your overall growth as a person. Remember these two words “over time”. Concentrate on making consistent manageable improvements as opposed to tackling everything at one time. The latter route would be overwhelming and discouraging.
STEP #3 – Address your needs
Clutter and junk leaves very little space for the stuff you actually need and want. There is simply no where to put it. But after you get rid of the junk there is ample room for those things that will make your life complete:
Cleaning out closets, draws, garages etc. have never been my favorite task du jour. In fact it’s one of those chores that I always put off indefinitely. When I finally do it, I don’t understand why I waited so long. The outcome significantly out weighs the work and exhaustion that’s part of the process. Personal inventory provides an opportunity to continually mold, shape, and direct the life you choose to live and that’s definitely worth it.
Judith Paul Jackson is an author and trainer that focuses on professional and personal development. www.LQM-online.com