Everything can matter, but everything can’t matter most. In the 1950’s, large US defense projects required a high-level of prioritizing. Contractors had to identify exactly which portions of a project were systems critical in order to reach the end objective. Out of this need was born a process we now know as Critical Path Method (CPM).
The true benefit of utilizing CPM is identification. It is essentially a reverse-engineering approach. You start with an objective, list all the activities required to complete the project, and then design a path to engage impediments. Surfacing these impediments early allows one to thoughtfully consider a work-around long before a work-around is needed. It allows you to triage what needs attention now, and identify what can float. This is important because prematurely engaging a floating activity leads to inefficiency of effort.
In our personal lives, most of us have the same objective — Make Work Optional Forever. I’ve found the CPM approach to be powerful in reaching this goal for my clients. Our financial planning process involves identifying any impediment that prevents financial independence. We engage this impediment on paper long before it shows up in real life.
I’ve found all great plans share one element – simplicity. This is why very few of our financial plans have more than 5 action items. Life is fluid. Your action items will change because your life changes. It is this process that creates resilient wealth. Staying on course isn’t just a matter of aiming properly – but creating a process that’s able to focus only on the most important thing, while having the flexibility to overcome anything that attempts to take your independence off course.