In a recent article on local government in Chicago entitled, “Your Town’s Toughest Challenge,” the predominant challenge listed was resource allocation. Specifically, how do leaders decide where to focus their time, energy and budget dollars to grow their communities? Whether it’s in business, government or the not-for-profit sector, resource allocation is an age-old challenge. But it doesn’t have to be.

The first step in effective resource allocation is determining how your resources are being allocated today. Like the map in the amusement park with the big red dot signaling “You are here,” an assessment of where you’re allocating your time, talent and budget today is an essential element of making productive changes. Take a small notebook and carry it with you for a week, jotting down specifically how you’re spending your time in 15 or 30 minute increments. When the week is finished, go back and bucket the categories (i.e, meetings, checking email, putting together presentations, etc.) and record the total time invested in each. How does it look? Are you spending your time on the things that will provide you, your business and your family the most value? Stay tuned for Step 2 next blog post.

In the meantime, I’d love your feedback on innovative ways you’ve found successful in allocating resources.

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