As a bit of a productivity "junkie", I'm constantly looking for meaty information, but from sources that are...well, a productive use of my time. This book is getting off to a great start and I'd like to share one of the concepts that seems a bit counterintuitive at first...but really makes sense under further exploration - Reducing forward momentum.
Momentum is certainly a good thing. As a runner, even a pebble in my shoe isn't a good reason to stop going...you know, bodies in motion tend to stay in motion. And in our professional settings, getting going or getting started is one of the toughest things - especially after a holiday! Once you seem to get your rhythm, things go much easier. The concept of reducing forward momentum isn't attempting to counter that mode of operation, it's just meant to stir it up a bit.
As Bregman explains, the essence of why reducing forward momentum works is that it frees you from the beliefs, habits, feelings, and busyness that may be limiting you. So what's the secret? Slow down. Start Over.
In the hectic pace of life, we are constantly moving from one thing to another - we get on autopilot and don't re-evaluate our actions or direction. Have you ever dug your heels into a position so strongly that later you realized you could have helped drive a better solution if you would have listened more? Bregman recommends that you Slow Down by reducing the emphasis on arguing your point and listen more - ask more questions, "tell me a little more about that". I think this concept applies more broadly to life as well. Slow Down the pace of life and enjoy a few quiet moments of reflection - I bet your best ideas come flooding in.
The Start Over concept is a mental game that asks: If I were starting from scratch on this project or endeavor, would I do it all over again. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but this provides insight into whether your decision was the right one. For example, if you hired someone and asked the Start Over question as to whether you would still hire him knowing what you know, and the answer is "no", then it's probably time to let the person go.
Our ability to re-evaluate and maybe give up a little of our ego for a long term better solution, certainly will make us more productive and successful. How about it? Give it a try and you might just see that reducing momentum is real forward movement!