When I was a young manager at Boots I had a great boss called Pradip Patel.
He was relentless in making sure I focussed on the most important things in the business. He had a favourite question that he asked me again and again…
“What’s the size of the prize?”
Here’s one of his favourite examples:
“If you had a pound to invest in your business, where would you spend it?”
Then he’d ask:
“What’s the expected payback or the size of the prize?”
He drilled this into me.
If you have a choice, go for the one that gives you the best payback. The best return on your investment. Do that one first and then move on to the next best payback.
Notice that he never suggested that I go for the quick, easy wins. Often the biggest prizes required at lot of focus and effort, but they were worth it.
He’d ask the same question for investments of time and energy.
And again he’d say:
“If you have a choice, go for the one that gives you the best payback.”
I reckon I ask myself this question at least once a day.
It keeps me focused on the most important things in my business; the things that will give the best payback.
It’s a good question to ask at the start of the week and at the beginning of each day.
And then at the end of the week and as you finish your day, ask yourself:
“Did I focus on the biggest prize and create the most value today? Or did I find myself in my comfort zone doing low value activities?”
Make this a habit.