I’m definitely not the first one to point this out, but I was reminded today how important it is to consider the opportunity cost of what you’re doing. It’s not easy to do, because we frequently get caught up trying to keep up with the volume of work coming our way and rarely have time to look up and consider long-term strategy. We also have to fight appeals to tradition (“this is the way we’ve always done it”).
Once-a-year planning retreats aren’t enough either – it needs to be something everyone continually re-evaluates (if for no other reason than how quickly the communications mediums around us are changing).
Every task you perform at work is like a square in a garden box; completing it removes the possibility of something else. Not only that, but we’re increasingly having to do more with less. Is that newsletter as effective as a Facebook fan page? Is Yellow Pages advertising as effective as a Facebook ad campaign? Is that annual fundraising event really worth all the bother, or could you get better results with a lot of personal appeals?
You likely know the answers, and you need to give yourself permission and time to ask the questions.