Posted by: Brandon W. Jones | January 30, 2012

How A Cost Benefit Analysis Will Save You Time

If my life is anything like yours, you have many opportunities that come your way everyday. People will come into your office and/or send you emails requesting your help on everything you can imagine. Can you participate in this group? Can you help me with this project? Can you review this report? Can you take care of this responsibility? Ther are many other questions that come regularly. So how can you wade through all the requests and still complete your core responsibilities? I have just the solution for you.

Even though many of the requests are for very important things that need to be done, you don’t personally have to fulfill all of them. You can delegate. When you delegate these requests or responsibilities to others, it is important to sift through them so you know what things you absolutely have to do yourself compared to what you can have others do for you. That is where the cost-benefit analysis is very useful.

The cost-benefit analysis will help you to know what you have to identify the things that you have to complete? Every time you get a request you should ask the following two questions:

  1. What is the cost for me to do this project?
  2. What are the benefits for me if I personally do this project?

Costs. When you think about the costs, you must consider all associated costs. Some things to consider are time required to complete the project, resources, financial costs, what will have to be put on hold to do this project first, etc.  There may also be other costs you will need to consider that are specific to your industry or line of work.  As you complete this review, be sure to keep your overall goals and objectives in mind so that you accurately identify the costs.

Benefits.  Many of the benefits will fall into the same categories as the costs.  When you consider the benefits, you should consider financial gains, experience this will give you, future opportunities that will come from this project, etc.  Just as with the costs, you should think about your overall goals and objectives when you identify the benefits. 

After performing a cost-benefit analysis, you will know if you should be the one to complete a particular assignment or responsibility.  You must realize that your time is very valuable and that there is only enough time in the day to do certain things.  You will never be able to do everything because you have limited resources.  If you do one thing you will be passing up a different thing.  Life is all about the choices we make.

What are some other techniques you use to effectively prioritize?  Please share your comments below!


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