You’re in the middle of a big project or looking for just the perfect gift. You’re just about to finish the project or make the purchase – and then it happens.
The computer crashes, and you lose it all!
Now I don’t know about you, but this does not make my day. You may say (or think) a few choice words, but the fact is, there’s only one thing you can do…
Start over with a clean slate.
In the technology realm, this would be called optimization.
We’re at the time of year when our systems are overloaded. We’re nearing the final days of the year, trying to make plans for the new year. Everyone is talking about it. But they’re missing one key point.
What do you do with the overload from this year?
Making plans with a nice clean slate is truly enjoyable…but trying to plan the new year when the old year’s clutter is still in your mind or on your to-do list is almost impossible. Your system is overloaded.
Here’s what you can do to prevent the crash – it not only works for computers, it works for life and business as well.
Save Your Work
We all know to do this, but we get busy and neglect it. Save your work, and save it frequently. You may lose some part of your work in the case of a crash, but you will not lose it all. As a leader, make it a practice to save (and document) the things that work for you in your business and also in your personal life. Do things to protect yourself and your business now, before you need the protection. This creates efficiency and prevents loss.
Clear Your Cache
Everything you do on your computer is captured as cache. Over the course of time, this takes up a great deal of space and slows your system to a crawl. It can also inhibit access to current website information and such because the old information is still on your computer. Sound familiar?
Over the course of a year, you collect a great number of must-do’s, should-do’s, and want-to-do’s on your list. You collect so many, in fact, that by the end of the year, you have exponentially more on your to-do list than before you started the year…which is the opposite of what all the experts say should happen. You’re supposed to wrap up the year with your goals crossed off and be ready for a brand new year, right? Ideally, yes. But life tends to pile on.
This is why you must engage in the regular maintenance of clearing your cache. This is a matter of clearing what does not belong on your plate.
- First, you get it out of your mind and onto a list. We underestimate the weight on our minds that comes from undone tasks.
- Secondly, remove the No’s. My good friend and mentor, Dan Miller, often asks, “What are you saying No to?” If it doesn’t fit your values, mission, and goals, it’s a no.
To prevent overload, you must do this on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. If you find yourself at the end of the year about to crash, do yourself a favor, and clear your cache. And do it based on your priorities, not on what you should or could be doing.
There’s an amazing little file tool called Disk Defragmenter that organizes your files with great speed. This saves time and makes the computer run faster because everything that needs to work together is in one place.
If your life or business is fragmented, you know it. Things take much longer than they should. You can’t find what you need when you need it. You’re constantly reinventing the wheel because there is no updated SOP. Fragmentation happens as a side effect of high levels of activity.
This is why it is important to “defrag” at least once a week. In our personal lives, we may call it a weekend. Weekends allow us to take time for family, friends, and faith – the elements of our lives that bring back balance. Weekends also allow us time for reflection. The greatest leaders in our history spent time in reflective defragmentation mode.
Defragmenting applies not only to our minds, but also to processes.
- Are your systems clearly defined?
- Do you have a manual for your home and business that keeps them running smoothly?
- Are your mission and vision clearly defined?
- Do you have your three to five main goals defined for the new year…and just as importantly, written down and posted in a prominent place?
Once you’ve done all the above, reboot. New Year’s is a great time to reboot. You start with a clean slate, clear of the previous and unnecessary clutter. This allows you to hit the ground running instead of fixing.
Assess Your Growth.
There comes a time when your computer is simply maxed out. You cannot do the work because the capacity is not there to accommodate it. This happens in life and business as well. If all of the above steps don’t solve your problem, it may be time for an expanded processor. If growth is needed, having done the first four steps will ensure your growth is targeted and your processes are documented in such a way that delegation and growth can be easily accomplished as you build a growing team.
Need help with your business growth in the coming year? Connect with business growth expert, Deb Ingino.