Insights on Productivity

Make a “start, stop, continue” list

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Sometimes, you need to look backward to advance in your business or personal life. Using a “start, stop, continue” list can help.

A “start, stop, continue” list is a helpful tool for reflection and growth. For a business, it can be used to identify projects, initiatives, and activities that are worth starting, stopping, or continuing to achieve specific business goals.

Doing a “start, stop, continue” list can be a valuable exercise for helping you identify areas of your business where you can make positive changes. It is a simple but effective way to reflect on your current business activities and plan to move forward in a more positive direction.

To do a “start, stop, continue” list, you actually need to make three separate lists: one for things you want to start doing, one for things you want to stop doing, and one for something you want to continue doing. This exercise can be done for any business area, such as operations, marketing, and finance.

For the “start” list, think about things you want to start doing to improve your business or reach your goals. This could include reaching out to past clients, attending trade shows, or writing a monthly blog. The key is to make these things specific and achievable, so you can focus on making progress toward them.

For the “stop” list, think about things you want to stop doing that may be holding you back or causing problems for your business. This could include things like procrastinating, overspending, or engaging in unproductive tasks. By identifying these habits and behaviors, you can start working on making positive changes.

For the “continue” list, think about things you are already doing that are working well for your business and that you want to keep doing. This could include things like staying organized, attending strategic networking events, or collecting customer reviews. You can build on your current strengths and successes by continuing to do these things.

Once you have made your “start, stop, continue” lists, you can use them as a roadmap for making positive changes in your business. You can set goals for each item on your “start” and “stop” lists and develop a plan for achieving those goals. One way to do this is to use the SMART goal-setting framework, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. By setting SMART goals, you can increase your chances of success and make progress toward your objectives.

In addition to setting goals, you can do a few other things to increase your chances of success when working on your “start, stop, continue” list. First, enlisting the support of employees, contractors, family, or a coach or mentor can be helpful. Having someone to hold you accountable and cheer you on can make a big difference in your ability to achieve your goals.

Second, it is essential to be flexible and not get discouraged if progress is not made as quickly as desired, as long-term behavior change can take time and effort. Finally, it can be helpful to track your progress along the way, using tools like a journal, spreadsheet, or app to help you stay on track.

Overall, doing a “start, stop, continue” list is a simple but powerful way to reflect on your current activities, habits, and behaviors and plan how to move forward in a more positive direction. By identifying the things you want to start, stop, and continue doing and setting specific and achievable goals, you can work towards making positive changes in your life. By enlisting the support of others, being flexible, and tracking your progress, you can increase your chances of success and make meaningful progress toward your objectives

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