Janet Walkow Christine Jacobs

Using Resources Wisely

LWP Janet and I were Girl Scout leaders for 6 years, leading our daughters and their classmates.  We loved working together and challenging girls in our troop.  A piece of the Girl Scout Law encourages Scouts to use resources wisely.  The definition of resources is up to you.

On the surface we always used this law to mean using global environmental resources in an efficient and sparing way.  You cannot go wrong with this as a goal. But deeper thinking brings about a more personal view of resources.

Emotional Resources

Some resources are seemingly infinite such as love, happiness, inner peace and joy.  These are emotions that you can feel and share and do not need to be limited. They grow as needed.

Personal Resources

But many of your personal resources exist in finite quantities.  These include your money, your attention, time, learning capacity and energy. You only have 24 hours in a day.  Most of us have limited financial resources available.  How do you want to allocate these resources?  How can you follow the Girl Scout Law and use your resources wisely? How can you set priorities?

Think about how you allocate your time.  What are absolute obligations and where do you have some discretion?  Is your time spent thinking about others or about yourself?  No value judgments are implied by my questions, by the way.  These are all thinks we need to understand for ourselves.  Do you spend it with people you like or are you drawn into relationships that do not make you feel good about yourself?  Do you understand who is in which category?

Evolving Meanings

At different times and different stages of your life the definition of using resources wisely has to change.  When I was single with a busy job, I worked and had plenty of time for friends.  Many years later when I was the single working mother with three children, resources were allocated for the most part to job and children.

Think of other resources.  How do you spend your money?  What are your priorities both short and long term? Doing good work by helping favorite philanthropies sounds good but how do you pick?  Do you do a little bit of work for each of many groups or an intensely good job for one organization?

What about your friendships?  Is it better to have a very wide circle of friends who each get an occasional call or close friendships with a smaller number of people?  Do some friends get pushed to just FACEBOOK updates while others still get personal time?

How you use your resources wisely is a very personal decision.  Think about your priorities for all of your resources and make the decisions consciously.

Christine Jacobs is an experienced corporate executive and a co-founder of Leading Women. Read her full bio.

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