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.
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!