Why Value Added Life?
Value-added is a commonly used business term to help businesses make decisions. When deciding if they want to perform an action, or buy a product, or even take a step out of a process, a person can ask themselves or their team: Is it value-added? For example, let’s say we are considering as a team to buy new software. When you ask the question about the value added, you need to dig deep. Will this software add more value than the software you already have or is it just new and pretty looking? Is the value enough to justify the cost of licensing the software and then training all of the staff on how to use it?
My favorite business use for value-added questions is actually getting rid of things. If you take a process and then ask “Is this step value-added?” you would be surprised how many steps can often be removed. If a step adds no value, such as naming a document an overly specific way when it will be named something else by the time the process is over, the step should be removed. Steps with no value can be hard to spot when you have done the same process over and over again. The best thing to do is to try and prevent those steps from entering the process you begin with.
I love the concept of only adding value and removing that which does not have value so much I ask this question constantly in my personal life. If I want to make a purchase, I ask will this add value? How much of a multitasker is it? Do I have anything I could use right now instead? This helps me prioritize my money to going to things that bring me joy, ups my happiness level, or helps me live the bigger life. It can mean the difference between living by my personal values versus living by someone else’s values.
For me, coming up with better ways to live (especially when it involves no money and is an easy change) is one of my favorite hobbies. I can be a bit evangelical about my friends trying new things to make their lives better and I pity the stranger who asks an innocent question or makes a noncommittal statement that sets off my speeches about it. I think about it so much that I decided to start this blog to help me organize my thoughts and give me some direction when I over research topics.
I want to emphasize what would be an improvement to me may not be an improvement to someone else. For example, adopting a dog is a step I plan to take in the future for the fun of having a dog and for all of the benefits that can come from having one. For someone else, this may not improve their lives. Their main goal in life might be to travel and despite improvement with airlines, it can take a lot of additional planning to bring a dog, and not everyone wants to bother with all that. Then again, a person might want to do both and more power to them! The point is, you do you. I hope the experiments I undertake for myself (and perhaps willing guinea pigs?) help others find their own path and that readers get creative. And then TELL me about it! I want to connect and hear what other people have tried and how they feel about research that contradicts their personal experience. For science!
The main purpose of this blog is purely selfish: I hope to use this as motivation to push myself to do better. Research better, cite better (so that I can be called out on my facts) and write better. I also hope to add my voice to the many voices out there that want to help people grow, improve, change, and live a big life. I have been stuck before despite my hobby of constantly wanting to do more, and blogs, books, and podcasts have inspired me to get moving again. If what I write or say encourages someone else in the same way I feel that this blog is definitely value-added.