Types of Values and Prioritization
Value. I've previously mentioned a bit about Values, specifically three types of Values:
Plus-Value, Non-Value and Minus-Value.
-- Plus-Value: When something brings you a particular type of value, like more efficiency for example, or time, or even money, it has plus-value. A process can be plus-value-adding. An object can be plus-value adding.
e.g. A coffee machine brings you value, by helping you reduce the time it takes to make coffee. You can just add the ingredients (aka coffee and water) and it does the job for you. It brings you value in the form of time and efficiency. It has a "plus-value".
-- Minus-Value: When something makes you lose something, brings damage, or makes you lose money, time, efficiency, it brings you minus-value. A process that is done inefficiently is minus-value. A dish-washing machine that stopped functioning and just sits idly in your kitchen, it brings you minus-value, both as in the fact that it lacks efficiency, and it takes away your space, the space you would otherwise have used for something else.
-- Non-value: Something that you own, but doesn't do anything for you, neither gives value nor takes. Like a lawnmower that sits idly in the garage. It's working, it's not in your way, but you don't use it for days in a row. You might use it a few times a year. Except for the time you use it, which is when it adds value, the rest of the time it's non-value-adding.
When you start thinking of everything you own as value-adding, non-value-adding or minus-value, you suddenly realize the millions of things you could do to improve your life.
Waste And Value - How Are They Connected?
If something doesn't add plus-value to your life, it's wasteful. Makes sense, right? If you could imagine a way to add value to your objects 24/7, the amount of waste will decrease.
E.g. You have a portable drilling machine. You used it once when you moved to the new house. Then you used it again 3 years later when you punched a hole in the wall to put up a shelf. Then you stopped using it and now it sits gathering dust in your attic. Imagine you could lend that drilling machine to someone that needs it. You can even ask for money if it's something valuable. Or you can even swap it for something you use more often, like a hair dryer for example.
When a room in your house is not being used, and you work 10h/day at the office, imagine how amazing it would be if you could rent your room to a young 14 year old who wants to become a violinist, but has nowhere to practice because she lives with 5 other siblings and her grandma. You could let her practice in that room, in exchange for walking your dogs for example. Things that normally don't provide value, could become value-adding.
As such, if an extra room is not being used, it becomes waste, when it is used, it has value.
That applies to every object we own. When you stop using it, it stops providing value, so it ends up as waste. Find someone who needs it, and it will stop being waste.
Same goes with our trash. Nothing we throw away is waste, unless you stop giving it value. Food scraps are waste unless they become fertilizer. Plastic packaging is waste unless you recycle it. Electronic devices are waste unless you repair them or sell them to those who need the working parts. And so on.
Now, look around the house and see how many objects are providing value and for how much time in a day/week/month/year.
Zero Way means making all the objects around the house work for you. About making your employees actually work for you and not procrastinate.
One great example of efficiency is the sharing economy.
Sharing economy is a new concept that simply means building an economy that is centered on sharing rather than ownership.
Some examples: Uber, or any rental car or bicycle rental service. Coin laundries. Co-working spaces. You can do this with objects, but also with space. For example, if you have a club that only runs during the night, imagine sharing the space and making it a rental dance studio during the day. That is an example of efficient use of space.
But what are the first objects we should look at first? Well, you start with the objects and spaces that are used less often. Everything in your garage or those top shelves, everything you haven't touched for years, everything that you use once or twice a year - sports equipment, tools, hobbies you've quit, electrical equipment etc.
A recent trend I really love is the neighborhood book-exchange boxes: People have started sharing their books in little boxes they've set up outside the house and have called it the "book sharing movement".
What type of sharing movement can you start in your neighborhood?
Leave us a comment below with your ideas or DYI projects!