In our fast-moving world, we feel the pressure to move faster and faster.
That’s OK as long as you know exactly what you are doing, but how often is that?
Everything we do runs in cycles, problem-solving cycles, with a beginning, a middle, and an end, over and over. Normally we don’t even think what the steps are. It’s automatic. It’s been done before in a certain way that seemed to work, so we do it again that same way, and that’s OK. BUT, what if it’s something new, a significant change in the way we do things?
What are the steps now?
Can we just assume that the new problem is enough like the old that we can work it the same way? After all, we are in a hurry? Right? What is the danger? Well, here are just three dangers.
First, suppose, that we don’t stop long enough to ask ourselves what the problem really is. Maybe the answer is obvious but if you skip that question, you are really flying blind, maybe wasting your time and effort on something that is not the problem, just to “save” that time.
Second, suppose alternatively, that you have the problem right but you haven’t asked yourself about the underlying cause. Skip that question and the proposed “solution” may be irrelevant and useless. Oops! You’ve wasted your saved time again.
Third, suppose that you know the problem and the cause, but you haven’t looked around for the best solution. Skip the search and you saved that time again, but you probably missed the best solution, one that works much better, one that maybe saves a lot of time. Time saved by avoiding search? Time and opportunity lost because you skipped again.
All problem-solving involves steps. Above are just three. Skipping is always tempting, especially when you are under pressure or in a hurry. Sometimes you just have to skip. That’s the reality of life. But realize that if you skip, you may trip, and you may miss the boat entirely.
Have you suffered from any “skipping” lately?
Speed up if you must, but don’t skip the steps.
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