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Always keep an empty slot up your sleeve.

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

I've been playing this water challenge logic puzzle and I realised the way to win is to always keep an empty slot up my sleeve. If I'm making a move I need to know it will result in a tube being empty after I've executed it.

The same can be said of life and business. If all our tubes are filled and we get ourselves in a situation where we can't empty one to create space for what crops up we end up breaking a tube, dropping a ball, or losing the game.

We can have many projects on the go in business, we can have a tonne of activities, and generally, we're balancing a bunch of lead and lag measures to create the results we want.

The same in life, though lead and lag measures are more commonly known as habits, rituals, or lifestyle choices in our personal domains.

Whether it's in life or business when we take action we want to ensure we still have a free tube up our sleeves.

I learned to do this when I was operating with very little energy, sleepy or sleeping around 23 hours a day, up to 3 weeks a month, with 4 kids under 7, while running a business...

I had limited 'tubes' so to speak and because it was not uncommon to have chaos come up - a child needing a nappy change as I'm walking out the door, a team member in meltdown, a husband taking the car keys with him to work and not going to be home for 3 days.... Stuff comes up in life.

If you don't have an empty tube up your sleeve it's hard.

This is why we want to create a little flex in our routines. A little space for ourselves. Each and every day. Yes, there will be moments when you have a dozen things going on... and you want to be able to pause them, file them away, and have space, an empty tube, so you can reset, renew, and recharge.

The way to do this is by using lists. A simple system where you can write down what needs to happen, clearly and concisely, so if you need to pause, for whatever reason, you can come back and reignite easily and effortlessly.

Lists & simple systems are the way we make it possible in life to keep a tube empty. Want to learn more about the simple systems and how I use lists? Join us in the DailyFROG group here:

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