Recognizing Leverage As It Happens


Late yesterday afternoon, I was doing something unrelated to my new business idea when I realized a way to solve something that hadn’t really been an issue, but might have a lot of leverage. I had noted on some of my comments for the habits I do each day that they were a duplicate of some other habit I also do each day. One was a substitute for the other, but I didn’t have any way of tracking these events.

I won’t explain the technical solution, but this morning I wrote something to implement the idea I wrote down last night as I was getting ready for bed. It only required one new field to establish the relationship, and another field to count how many times it happens. I thought I could get away with just two relationships, but it turns out I need six. However the benefits will be significant once I have a few weeks of data.

Here is what I’ll be able to see when that time comes:

  1. How frequently specific things are leveraging each other
  2. How significant the insights I get doing one thing are when it is leveraging something else seemingly unrelated
  3. How much of my day is spent doing two or more things at the same time

Is this significant? Maybe not. But I connected the dots on this yesterday when I watched a TED video by Jessi Arrington, where she talked about wearing nothing new. Her approach to fashion is to buy her clothes at thrift stores, and her strategy is so brave as to actually travel to another city for a week and only take underwear. She buys everything else when she gets to a thrift store at her destination. The outfits she had for her week at TED were very striking and vibrant. But it made me realize that is what I am trying to do. I’m opening a thrift store for ideas and processes. Or maybe I’m providing a thrift store for ideas and processes. I’ll give people a place where they can come in and browse for one kind of thing and find something for another purpose that might work well or even better.

I have so much fun being retired. It isn’t that much different from my best times at what I retired from. But I’m not sad they didn’t appreciate what I was doing, or understand what I could have done for them if asked. I get to do all this for myself now. And the manager I’m working for now, just little old me, is much harder on me than any of them were. Because my current manager knows what I can do, and he is expecting me to achieve things no one ever asked of me before.

Does that relate to where this thought started? I think it does. I didn’t notice how many things connected to each other until yesterday. There are 109 tasks in my agenda for today. I think 80% of them will get done, even if getting done is only a minute or two. But today I’ll be able to look back and see how many of those things leveraged some time that was spent on something else. That never happened before.

Could you say the same for your day when it is over? Show me your data.

In a couple of weeks, I hope to show you mine.

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