Monday, November 21, 2011

Preventative Action

Why does it always take something negative to happen before we take the action we knew we should have taken days, months or even years before?  Case in point.  My life, and perhaps more specifically my two businesses, is on my computer.  For my training business this means over a decade and a half of programs, files, slides and research.  I have had hard drives fail in the past, without adequate back up, and so I have an external hard drive to back things up. 

Now, I must admit that I haven't been backing things up as often as I should... I've gotten complacent.  I've tended to use the external drive primarily as a means of transporting and transferring data from my PC to my laptop for when I need to work remotely.  This past weekend though, I was hit by a trojan virus that appeared to have wiped my PC clean of both programs and files.  Not to worry though... I have my backup files on the external hard drive.  As luck, in particularly mine when it comes to technology, would have it though, I had decided to finally back up my files and my external hard drive was attached at the time of the virus invasion.  You guessed it... those files got wiped out too!

That's it... years of work... gone.  It took seconds.  Much of it I couldn't re-create without significant time and effort and it would certainly have a major impact on the product launches scheduled for January.  With some luck (positive this time!) and the help of a computer genius (previously known as a computer geek but upgraded forever to genius status!) my files were recovered.  However, the lesson was learned.  Not only was a second external hard drive purchased to ensure that a backup would always exist that was not directly attached to the PC, but a second computer as well. 

My original computer was 'older' (okay, maybe hitting the four year mark but in the world of computers it could almost be classified as ancient!!).  My lesson:  the information on my computer is too valuable for me to risk its loss.  I am now doing what I knew I should have all along, but it took the threat of its loss to make me take action.  To take THE action: the action I should have taken from the beginning but kept putting off.

Your lesson?  Certainly, make sure you are backing up your computer regularly but... there is a bigger life lesson here.  What action are you not taking today, that you are putting off, that you know you 'should'...  that you must be taking to ensure that you maintain control over your information, your relationships, your career, your life?

The following list is not exhaustive, but it's a good place to start:
  • Have you got an updated resume?
  • Do those people that matter in your life know how you feel?  When was the last time you said "I love you" to those that you do?
  • Have you been to the doctor for a check up lately?  The dentist?  The optometrist?
  • What about that weight you've been meaning to lose?
  • How's your car running?  Need a check up to ensure you don't get stranded somewhere? Need a roadside assistance membership?
You get the idea.  Often we put off the 'maintenance' aspects of our lives with the belief that we 'don't have time', that 'we'll get to it later'.  The truth is though, we will be forced at some point in time to have to 'make' time'.  When systems break down, when we lose our jobs, we become sick or our car breaks down, we no longer have the option of putting things off.  Typically, these moments will occur when we least expect them, when we have even less time to focus on or devote ourselves to them but... we will no longer have the choice of timing. 

Learn to manage the timing of these critical moments by taking the preventative action you know you need to, you know you should... NOW.  It just might make those moments, if not a thing of the past, much easier to get through.

Now...  I think I better go call my doctor for a check up.  Hmmm...  maybe my mechanic too...

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