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Use the “Start. Stop. Continue.” method to plan your next steps

A simple method to get un-stuck and make some progress

by Josh Doody

Looking back on last year and planning ahead for this year can feel overwhelming. Where do you even begin? This is a perfect time for some “analysis paralysis” to creep in and prevent you from getting anything done.

When things feel overwhelming, it helps to simplify them so you can get un-stuck and make some progress.

Here’s an easy method I use in my strategy sessions to evaluate what’s working for my clients and plan for future progress.

Start.

What’s one thing you can start doing that will make your job easier, make you more productive, save you time, or otherwise make things better?

This doesn’t have to be something big—it can be very small.

Maybe you’ll start putting your time in every Friday afternoon before you leave the office so you don’t have to scramble to get it done at the end of the month.

Or maybe you’ll start blocking 15 minutes every morning to map out your plan for the work day.

Or you could start documenting anything you have to do more than once so it’s not so painful the next time.

Pick something small and start doing it.

Stop.

What’s one thing you can stop doing that made work more challenging last year?

Your workload might be easier to manage if you stop saying “yes” to every meeting invite.

Or maybe you can stop using your busy work schedule as an excuse for skipping workouts.

Look for something small and annoying and see if you can cut it out of your routine.

Continue.

What’s one thing you did last year that worked?

Maybe you started a daily 15-minute stand-up meeting that helps keep your team members on the same page.

Or you might have started working from home every Friday so you can make sure to enjoy the weekend, and it’s really paying off.

Do more of that.

The great thing about “Start. Stop. Continue.” is that it’s useful for lots of different situations. You can use it to evaluate last year and plan for this year, or you can use it when you finish a small project before you start your next one.