Stop, then Go

As I sit here in the office today, there is an RFP calendar for this month that is full, an inbox that cries for my attention, and a phone that – if I am honest – I wish to avoid.

In the middle of this, I start reviewing notes. Some of these are written. There are scrawlings from this meeting and that meeting and some of them are no longer relevant to the part of the process I’m in with that client/potential client.

I panic. I wonder if I have forgotten something. I think about how I’m keeping notes and where and realizing that some parts need tweaking, but omg I’ve been following this process for a while to keep up with things and it isn’t working.

This is where I realize I just need to stop and realize that it is seriously and completely okay that something is not working and do something else instead with no further delay. It’s so simple, but it is also very hard. However, where I work, it is of utmost importance that we recognize when something isn’t working at all and either optimize it or cut it off

It really doesn’t matter how long I’ve been doing whatever it is; if it isn’t working, then it isn’t working and the only reason I have to hold on to something that is clearly not working is foolish pride

Let me repeat that as a block quote:

The only reason I have to hold on to something that is clearly not working is foolish pride.

My company can’t afford that kind of pride. My clients can’t afford that. My life outside of work can’t afford that, either. No matter how many articles I’ve read on this, it cannot be stated enough: cut it off if it isn’t working.

After that, I realize that I need to go. Research. Read. Google. Join an incubator. Talk to people that make me feel excessively stupid and glean from their experience. Download the app. Actually, let’s talk about this.

I have three apps on my phone that I want to talk about: Trello, Any.do, and Evernote. I was about to delete them because I had concluded that they weren’t useful at the moment. However, I was immediately smacked in the face with the fact that the tools were not the problem.

I was.

It had been ages since I had used them, but they serve me well when I do.

Go figure.

If you have a process in place and you don’t use it, give it a try and see if it works before you discount it. Yes, that includes processes that seem more complex. Processes are (relatively) easy to modify as you need. Creating a process is a monster and involves perspectives you don’t consider. Save yourself the re-invention of yet another wheel and just use something that works. If it doesn’t work for you, then you can choose another, but you don’t get to complain if you don’t even use it.

TL;DR: Stop doing things that don’t work and try other things. If it works, run with it until it stops working. Lather, rinse, and for god’s sake repeat.

You will never outgrow the need for this and that isn’t the point anyway.

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