Guiding Light: Assess, Prioritise, Iterate

Ritesh AswaneyUpdated: Friday, December 30, 2022, 11:02 PM IST
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A common trend that we see today is too much to do and such little time! Whether it's health, home improvement, work or relationships, there’s always room for something more that you can do. So much so that such a huge amount of stuff piles up, that you don’t know where to start! As humans, we naturally don’t tend to deal very well with uncertainty, therefore the more loose ends there are, the harder it becomes, and the lower the probability that anything gets done.

We have a lot to be grateful for to our Japanese friends, and in particular the system of work that evolved in the Toyota factories, which became a model of efficiency for the entire world. If you’ve never heard of the Agile framework, then here’s your quick primer, it consists of doing things in small increments, such that a larger objective is broken down into smaller units, which naturally reduces the uncertainty. In team settings, this is accompanied by daily and periodic syncs, which ensures that everyone is on the same page and aligned to a common objective.

Agile methodologies have become the de facto paradigm in which manufacturing and even software is built in much of the modern world. Such a simple idea, but incredibly effective in maximising efficiency, whilst making sure work isn’t blocked and keeps progressing. Prioritisation of course is paramount in ensuring that you are expending your energy reserves and resources on stuff that really matters to you, rather than operating on auto-pilot. Add to this the ‘Lean’ paradigm, and you’re encouraged to reduce wasteful activities, whilst remaining focused on our objectives, and we could all do with that, given the explosion of inherently distracting social media !

Ikigai is a deeply meaningful concept, literally translating to something that gives meaning to your life. So in a way, it’s your purpose, your mission, it’s what drives you.It is the genesis of a really effective framework which helps you arrive at an intersection between what the world needs, what you’re good at & love and what you can get paid for.

So as we come to the close of yet another year, and are eagerly looking forward to making resolutions, we have an incredible opportunity to firstly prioritise things that meet the Ikigai test above. Once we have made up our minds about what they might be, then the Agile framework helps us structure the work into manageable chunks without becoming overwhelmed. And whilst we may have really lofty ambitions and resolutions, the foundations upon which we will build, can only be put together one brick at a time.

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