Day 13: The Memento Strategy

Photography by Sidney Diongzon

Photography by Sidney Diongzon

The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.
— Michael E. Porter

Have you ever seen the movie Memento? It's brilliant. Working backwards can really be helpful, especially when you're planning for the future. It's like retracing your steps when you've lost your keys. For me, I thought it would be wise to set one primary goal for the rest of the year, which is to launch a self-sustaining business. I would then create monthly goals to achieve this, then assign weekly tasks to reach those monthly goals, and finally assign daily tasks to reach those weekly goals, thus creating an efficient and effective to-do list. 

During my lunch break, I went to Staples and bought myself an erasable year-view calendar for about $29. I chose a year-view calendar because I believe it's important to the see the big picture to help guide my monthly/weekly/daily goals. I also bought some wet-erase markers for $4 to write with (I got multi-colored markers because I plan on color coding certain tasks). In this digital age, using an old-fashioned calendar may seem outdated, and I'm sure there are tons of apps to help you organize tasks in cool and intricate ways. But to me, simplicity always beats complexity. 

I placed my calendar on a wall next to my desk so I can quickly glance over and see where I'm at with my goals. I haven't written my goals yet, but I plan to have them all written on the calendar this week. I believe this "Memento" strategy will be effective because I know I won't waste time trying to do unnecessary tasks. Rather, I'll be focusing on what really needs to be done by thinking strategically. Sometimes, working backwards is actually working forward.