The Rumble Strips of Life


You have probably experienced the feeling….  You are driving down the interstate highway and become complacent, then you cross the rumble strips on the right side of the road and the rumble it makes immediately snaps you back to focus and back on the road.  Yes, rumble strips are often found on major roads on both the right and left sides to prevent drivers from driving inadvertently off the side of the road.  Studies have shown that their presence significantly reduce accidents with a 3000 to 5000% return on investment.  Why are these so effective in reducing accidents?  Obviously, they provide an immediate warning to the driver that they are veering off course that, when corrected, will prevent an accident.

Rumble strips are also effective in business to provide an early warning.  For example, the use of statistical process control can provide “control limits” that warn the manufacturing operators that the process may be veering off course.  These limits typically elicit action that prevents the process from producing product that is unacceptable or unsafe.  Having an upper and lower limit for acceptable operation is similar to the rumble strips found along highways.

Similarly, establishing “rumble strips” in our lives can also pay dividends.  For example, creating a monthly financial budget with a system to monitor your spending can help ensure that you don’t generate unacceptable debt or spending issues.  Establishing limits on where you will go and what you will do can help protect you from adverse situations or actions.  The key is to “pre-establish” these limits.  If you wait until you drive off the road, it is too late for a rumble strip to serve any purpose.  Likewise, if you have not pre-established limits on your actions, you may go beyond those limits before you realize it.

Having rumble strips in your career can also be important.  When you determine in advance how to maintain a proper work/life balance, you will better prioritize your time and avoid an imbalance in either aspect of your life.  Again, thinking about this and making specific decisions in advance are critical.  Think about what rumble strips you have established and what additional ones you might need.  Today is a good day to establish these.

Thanks for making a difference!  Have a fabulous, “top ten” day!


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