What gets measured gets managed

What gets measured gets managed

What do you measure to manage?

What gets measured gets managed is a common concept, but are you applying it in your life or home?

In my case, all too often if I don’t measure an area of life, I don’t manage it well. If I don’t track my running miles every day, I find later that I haven’t actually been doing the distances I anticipated. When I fail to keep a log of how I spend my time, the hours seem to evaporate. I need the accountability of the record.

When our children were little, I kept a list of books I read with the kids each day. By doing so, I could gauge whether we were meeting our goals. I also like keeping track of books read and authors in case I want to go back to a book at a later time.

Spending. Have you ever gotten to the end of the month or a pay period and wondered where all the money went? Is there a big purchase you’ve been hoping to make but never quite manage to put the money up for it? Do you track where every cent goes each day? Have you written out a budget and compared your spending to it? If you aren’t in this habit, it may feel awkward at first, but doing so will definitely give you a better picture of where your money goes and how to direct it where you would like to put it.

Are you leaking money where you didn’t realize it? Are you spending bits of cash on coffee or treats at the gas station? Do you eat more fast-food meals than you realized? Are you paying monthly payments or subscriptions that are adding up to big expenses?

Time. How many times do you drop in bed at night and wonder where the day went or why you didn’t get as much done as you had hoped? Do you keep a written log of the time you spend on particular tasks? How long does it take to do a load of laundry? How long does dinner preparation usually take? How much time do you spend showering or fixing your hair? Are you spending the time you wanted on special projects? Track how you spend each hour for a week or so. What really is taking up your time? How can you change things to put the hours into what you most want?

Income. If you have multiple streams of income, do you track what you make from each one? Would distributing your time or efforts differently be more profitable? Should you drop something so that you can start something else?

Health. Do you track indicators of your health? How many hours do you spend working out each day or week? What and how much are you eating? Where and when are you eating it?

Travel. Do you keep a log of trips you take and when you take them? I wish I had done a better job of this over the years. I traveled with my mother a lot as a kid and later with my husband and children. I logged a lot of miles of business travel. I have lots of pictures of interesting places. I can tell you about the time I went to a particular place. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly when I went to this or that place and can’t remember some of the details I would like to. Most are referenced in my journals, but a summary would have been a great thing to have.

If you don’t measure things in life right now, pick one area. Start one log and keep it faithfully. Work with it to mold your life in the ways you desire. Then start on another area. Learn to manage your life more effectively.