Have you ever been hiking? If so — you might have come across the ingenious spork; a cross between a fork and spoon, cutting down your carry-on needs by one tool and combining them into one.
As much as multitasking is a myth, multipurpose is not. Making sure that the things you do serve multiple purposes, allows you to stretch your available budget — particularly when you are strapped for resources, you have to find ways to maximize the use cases of everything you have.
I often find myself in situations where a piece of equipment (hard- and software) can be repurposed for many things; the same is true for activities we engage in. How can we use a survey we need to query our customers’ preferences as a marketing and sales vehicle at the same time? How can we create an opportunity for a viral referral when we pack and ship an item to our buyer? How can we leverage some backend code across multiple frontend implementations?
With every larger expenditure (both in terms of money as well as in time and energy) ask yourself how you turn the fork or spoon you’re looking at into a spork?
(*) Props to my wife Jane, who’s a master of multi-purposing in her nonprofit The Coaching Fellowship