Where is P & O? They are everywhere – unless we aren’t looking and then they are invisible.
Make a list of each.
Two page, label one PROBLEMS, the other OPPORTUNITIES.
On each page, draw a line down the middle.
On the PROBLEMS page, list problems in the left column, list next step(s) to a solution in the right column.
On the OPPORTUNITIES page, on the left list each opportunity; on the right list the next step(s) to take in pursuit of that opportunity.
Every problem and opportunity should be listed …
Then periodically reviewed based on priority [try to avoid ranking by dollar value or urgency – but rather by personal rankings of importance, and there will be a difference].
Repeat this exercise monthly – or tape it to a mirror and review it every day. I have it in my morning reading pile (my ‘between toilet and first cup of coffee’ reading pile). Making this part of my daily ritual ensures I have these priorities and opportunities always reminding me each time I set a priority, each time I take some idea from my head and put it into action, each time the pace of any day or the urgency of ‘that moment’s problem’ might cause me to rethink what is important.
Is there a goal with this? What does success look like?
For me it is ‘replacing things on the problems list with fewer but more challenging ones’.
For the opportunities list, ‘the same’.
I’ve done this exercise many times over the years – a habit I’ve enjoyed but I’ve always slipped off-track, and now I’m back on. I’ve updated my list of problems, my list of opportunities. I still have problems, but each time I look at them this way, I see far more opportunities. Yes, pursuit of those opportunities creates more chances to encounter problems – but the fantastic difference between a problem that keeps you down vis-à-vis one new obstacle on the path to some great new opportunity is that it seems more like a pylon than a mountain, easier to navigate or leap over.
P&O doesn’t replace SWOT – it’s an umbrella for it.