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.