Roman Malanke

Corporate Practices for Personal Life

I enjoy observing how people manage their personal lives. Everyone has their own special way to organize themselves. Some rely on complicated time management systems and todo lists. Others just relax and play it by ear all the time.

For me finding the right balance between systematic approach and healthy spontaneity has always been an exciting challenge. Since I became a conscious adult, my self-management approach has evolved through many stages. Today I can say that I am a very organized person who spends little time on self-organization thanks to the well-designed system in place.

Recently as I was thinking about what actually constitutes my system I started to notice that many of the practices that I apply for managing my personal life are very similar to the way big corporations run their businesses. Below are some of them.

1. Maintaining Inventory of Assets

Any business executive should know what assets are at their disposal. In the same way I always have at my fingertips the complete information about all the things I own. About a year ago I spent time on creating an exhaustive inventory of personal possessions. Since then I maintain it up-to-date and keep getting smarter in buying decisions, improving the quality of my wardrobe while spending less money.

2. Accounting for Expenses

Any business needs to carefully control its costs in order to remain profitable and grow further. The same is true on the personal level. Luckily a typical person has much less expenditure items than a business, so that there is no need to employ a full-time accountant to keep track of one’s spendings. In fact, I dedicate no more than five minutes a day to personal finance, and I can tell precisely how much I spent on taxis or eating out during any given month over the last three years.

3. Streamlining Processes

Effectiveness of any business is a function of how well its processes are designed. Personal effectiveness is no different. If I didn’t have a process for making money transactions during the day (which simply consists in collecting receipts in the wallet), I wouldn’t be able to account for my daily expenses in just five minutes in the morning of the following day. If I didn’t fold all my T-shirts and pants in exactly the same way all the time, I wouldn’t be able to get dressed neatly in just a couple of minutes.

4. Having a Preferred Vendors List

Big businesses do not go out buying stuff and services from whomever. Instead they maintain a list of preferred vendors. These are few trusted suppliers with very good reputation. Similarly, I have few brands in my wardrobe, buy groceries in few supermarkets, and have breakfast in few cafeterias. This allows me to benefit from loyalty programs, focused shopping during sales season, and even have a couple of free lunches during the year. Now, that doesn’t mean that I will stick to the same set till the end of my days. Like any big corporation I revise my preferred vendors list regularly to make sure that I’m always getting the best.