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May 25, 2021

Identifying Constraints

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Life is complex with many different factors all contributing to one result. Sometimes it’s hard to point out what plays the largest role in outcomes being generated, so let’s think about what we need to look for. It’s most common to think about what’s going well, but what may be more influential is managing what is limiting you.

And that’s where this idea of constraints comes in. When it comes to a process, what is the limiting factor that, if fixed, would allow for things to flow more smoothly? Call it a bottleneck, call it a failure point, but if you can identify and correct a deficiency then you’re truly optimizing a system where it matters most.

The classic example is a hose with a kink. If you want better water pressure you don’t need to turn the water on more from the faucet, you need to fix the area that is preventing the water to flow, which is the kink. Or more practically for personal development, look at your exercise routine. What is the most common things that keeps you from working out. Is it that you’re too tired, you have to travel far, or you don’t know what exercises you’ll benefit most from?

This idea challenges you to see things through a new lens where you get critical about what might be hindering performance. Then you can devise a way to correct it and allow the system to flow more easily, until you identify a new constraint. You tweak and adjust and fix things one at a time until you start generating the outcomes you want without the same resistance.

Everything has something that is holding it back from operating at its ideal state. Working to identify and correct constraints will help things flow more efficiently more often.

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