Make it count

Did I ever tell you about my retirement plans?  I’m going to write a world-beating, best-selling, craze-launching, product-spawning diet book and live a life of luxury on the proceeds.  I can already picture the book: on each right-hand page, it says “Eat less”, and on each left-hand page, “Move more”.  Oh blast: now I’ve given the game away.  But there is something oddly seductive about finding a simple philosophy by which to live and work.  And over the Christmas break (remember that – glitter, terrible music, Quality Street?) I came up with mine for 2013, and here it is: make it count.

I dislike waste, and (thanks to some rather obsessive menu planning and shopping to a list) am quite good about not wasting food.  But I am not quite as good about not wasting time or effort – and this is what I am trying to tackle.  What I hope is make everything I do actually count – so, for instance, I won’t read something unless it is of use or gives pleasure.  (This means that I shall stop reading any copies of “Heat” or “OK!” that I find in airports – I always feel slightly grubby and unenlightened afterwards, and depressed about the ghastliness of famous people these days.)  In a bid to apply this new philosophy to my website, I have started recording and analysing visitor statistics so that I can see whether it’s actually of any use or value to anyone.  And if someone proposes a meeting, I am now asking myself whether it will actually count – will it actually help them or me?  And if it won’t, I try to encourage them to think again.

The beauty of the “make it count” idea is that it fits in so nicely with [heavenly chorus] the risk-based approach.  Yes, it’s all about applying your effort where it will have the best effect.  And it does seem to mean that I have fewer of those days when I leave the office and wonder what on earth I have achieved.  Mind you, if I go to the Amazon website in a couple of months’ time and see that the book about the seven moving habits of cheese has been knocked off the self-help top spot by a slim volume called “Make it Count: The Risk-Based Approach to Life and Love”, I shall be looking very askance at the subscribers to this blog.

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5 Responses to Make it count

  1. Graham Thomas says:

    Hi Susan

    “Make it count” sounds like a good philosophy for 2013, similar to the ever popular “life’s too short”. I’d suggest a small change though to “make it count – most of the time” !!

    It’s all very well maximising your efficiency and achievements but I think that it’s important to supplement this with some well earned relaxing, even if the said relaxing is actually doing nothing or reading those illicit copies of “Heat”.

    More importantly though, I’m glad to see that the snow didn’t stop you getting in to the office as I know you have a particularly long and difficult commute.

    Best wishes … and be careful on the way home


    • Hi Graham

      You are absolutely right – relaxation is essential, but the key it to make sure that you really do relax. Too often I cram my weekend with boring chores, and end up feeling just as hassled on Monday as I did on Friday! So relax – but make it count!

      And I’ll have you know that my commute today has been a major trek so far: drive to Southend Airport, sleazyJet flight to Jersey delayed by an hour, therefore missed connection to Guernsey and now waiting for next flight. Oh how I long for my little office above the garage….! (How spoilt am I?)

      Best wishes from Susan

  2. Claire says:

    I like this attitude! Yes, the diet book will be a best seller, with a 100% guarantee. Unfortunately I can see a chocolate bar stuck to the back cover 😉 So the advice should include: don’t put this book down! (or don’t leave chocolate lying around)
    I also get terribly annoyed by these gossip magazines. I will peek at the headlines, wondering who in their right mind pays to read these stories? I believe the reason people do is jealousy: “If you are rich and famous, you should suffer for it and be haunted by cameras day and night. Every detail must be magnified into ugly proportions. And you should be shamed, so I can feel good about myself. ” Then of course we come to the point of what gives you pleasure? Something negative, or something positive? I do the same as you, Susan, I think about what value someone or something can add to my life. Some people prefer to destroy (it can be done very subtly and very slowly, even with a smile).
    Your blog is still of value, as it makes people think about stuff like this. Things we take for granted, like abuse of power. We are just submissive, because we think we can’t fight it. We admire the fancy Ferraris of rich people, without wondering if they earned that money honestly. Or just are happy if we can get a ride along. Lots of people still think that white collar crime is not that bad, it is actually fun. I accept not everyone has the same values. But if they clinch too much with some of my core values, I take distance of that person. So the more stories we read about money laundering and the likes, the more we will value honest business dealings. Make people aware.
    I think I am going to write a book about recycling those leftovers in new – delicious – dishes, and join you in retirement paradise with a big fat bank account!

  3. Graham Thomas says:

    Hi Susan (& Claire)

    I’m sorry to hear that today’s commute is not going to schedule. I have my fingers crossed that everyting else goes to plan for you.

    I agree with Claire wholeheartedly re this blog being of value. It’s surprising how often you’ll remind me of some key principle or point of learning that my mind has inconveniently filed away, and always in a relevant and interesting way.

    Happy travels


  4. Dear Claire and Graham

    How wonderful to know that this blog “counts”! You have given me a real boost – thank you both.

    Best wishes from Susan

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