Neil’s Rule – Don’t Double Your Work

I have an acquaintance who has a hard and fast rule about expending energy, don’t be dumb about it. I should specify about the actual rule,it pertains to moving house. Neil, our friend, won’t pick up an item unless he knows where he’s going to put it down in it’s final spot. No interim spots are allowed. Point A, point B and the entire route in between must be clear. Putting something down only to pick it back up and finish moving it is extra work. You did the same job twice, you picked it up and put it down, then did it again.


Once you start following Neil’s Rule you might be amazed at how when moving, remodeling, decorating or whatnot that people pick something up and then put it down somewhere other than they intended, only to end up picking it up again.


Neil’s business involves building and installing industrial displays. They’re very heavy, expensive and challenging to move and install. A smooth delivery means that you can get on to other important activities. It also saves you from headache and frustration.


Outside of work, Neil is happy to help move friends, if and only if they’ve got their boxes and furniture plan laid out. Neil tells people this ahead of time, and he was calmly put down boxes put his hands up in the air and declared, “I’m out” as he has walked away.


We try to follow Neil’s Rule at Blue Lasso and have woven its spirit into our methodology as we seek build processes that avoid creating extra work. Build your plan so that you don’t have to put waste your time, your client’s time or their customer’s time.


Stick with plans that succeed and don’t create extra work. Don’t do something twice, when it can be done once.


What makes Neil’s Rule, a great rule, is that it’s both logical and  immediate. When you break Neil’s Rule, you realize your mistake immediately.