My computer is slowing down a little bit. If you’ve got a Mac, you know the little rainbow wheel of death that tells you, “hold on, I am not ready to do something yet–hold on”. Well, all of a sudden, I am now seeing that wheel on a regular basis. I started to wonder if it was time to get another computer, if my internet connection was faulty, or if it was something else. But then I remembered one of the simplest principles I talk about in my book, People First, which is Stop. Start. Continue.
So, I went into my files to see everything I have saved in the past year and a half. Wow, there was a lot there and now I understood why things were slowing down. I didn’t need a new computer and there was no problem with my internet. There was nothing external that needed fixing. I simply needed to clean out by going through my own version of Stop, Start, Continue.
I realized I was hanging onto some things because “maybe someday I will need this”. I also realized that I had 200 documents in my downloaded folder because I was too busy to put them where they belong. Other items I was holding onto that had no place in a file folder.
Like many of us, I have found that I tend to wait until things slow down and aren’t working as well as they should before I take the time to stop and reevaluate. So, I decided I want to be more proactive in this process by practicing what I preach to others. I’ve now scheduled a quarterly stop-start-continue with my computer folders.
Maybe you can relate to this. Do you feel like you ever get overloaded and start moving a bit slower? To prevent the rainbow wheel of death in your life, you’ve got to remember to take time to do the Stop, Start, Continue exercise, both in the physical office, your mental office, and in your personal life. Each of these places have the potential of becoming overloaded and bogged down by unnecessary things.
Here are some guided questions that you can use the next time you feel slowed down:
• What isn’t working anymore?
• What things are impractical or impede other work?
• What isn’t delivering the right impact?
• What is a duplicate of another process?
• What things need to be done that aren’t currently being done?
• What is worth trying or experimenting with for better results?
• Will it reduce waste?
• Will it add value?
• What’s working well?
• What needs more time to start working?
• Do we like it or need it?
In my new book, People First, I share ways you can implement this exercise in your own life so you can avoid being bogged down by things you shouldn’t be bogged down by. The book launched August 24th and you can order it here.
Tell me in the comments below, what have you decided to start, stop, or continue?