Slide1One of the most powerful tools I’ve ever learned has 5 parts and a simple formula.

1) Why do/am I ____________?

2) Repeat this 5 times, each time digging closer to the real root of the first question.

3) Avoid explanations.

By the 5th Why you normally hit both a root cause and next step.

Let’s try it.

1) Why do I feel off kilter today?

Because I woke up late and rushed out the door.

2) Why did I wake up late?

Because I spent 2 hours on Facebook last night instead of prepping my bags for tomorrow and falling asleep early.

3) Why did I spend 2 hours on Facebook last night?

I didn’t mean to.  I just…  Nope, explanation.  Honesty pays dividends.

Because I ended up reading updates, looking at photos, and spiraling in to a cycle of comparison instead of sticking to my original goal: respond to my 3 direct messages from friends.

4) Why do I use messenger to communicate with my friends?

Because it was easy to begin with, especially since it’s on mobile, and I was continuing a conversation they started.

5) Why don’t I just ask your friends to use a different type of tool to contact you so you don’t lose friends and don’t lose time and energy in that cycle?

Because I’ve never asked. In fact, I never really thought about the correlation between lost time on the internet, the comparison cycle, my emotions, and the impact to my day.  Sounds like I just need to identify an alternative forum, announce my decision, and stick to it.  Happy days.

The execution and application of your 5th Why is up to you.

♥ Ann

PS – The 5 Whys is a tool used in Six Sigma.  I learned it during my MBA.  You can find lots of additional tips here.  I just saved you at least $15,000 USD.  I love that feeling!