Point-Of-Sale: The “Do It Now” Theory

21 Aug 2008

Sam Carpenter

In 1984, Sam founded Centratel, the number one commercial telephone answering service in the nation, located in Bend, Ore. With a background in engineering and publishing, he is a telephone answering service industry consultant, writer and speaker, and has served as president of several regional and national answering service organizations.

Sam is author of the book Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less, published by North Sister Publishing, Inc. in April 2008. He also founded and directs Kashmir Family Aid, a 501C3 non-profit that aids surviving school children of the Northern Pakistan and Azad Kashmir earthquake of October 8, 2005.

Originally from upstate New York, and an Oregonian since 1975, he is married to Linda Carpenter. He has a daughter and two grandchildren. He and Linda are also in the process of launching an Internet business that promotes communication between absent adults and their children and grand children. Outside interests include climbing/mountaineering, skiing, cycling, reading, traveling and writing.

Latest posts by Sam Carpenter (see all)

“Why? Because I’m the mommy and I said so.”
Anonymous mommy

Do it now and let’s get on with whatever is next! 

Point-of-sale is a phrase taken from the cash register industry. It describes action “where the purchase takes place.” Consider the latest generation of cash register which instantly updates inventory and orders new product. Before the customer walks out of the store, a replacement for the purchased item is in the works. This concept is a key component of the Work the System method as described in our 30 Principles document, item number 14: Do it NOW. All actions build on “point-of-sale” theory. We don’t delay an action if it can be done immediately. Just like any major retail outlet, we “update inventories and databases at the exact time the transaction takes place.” There is no paperwork floating around the office after a physical transaction. We ask, “How can we perform the task NOW without creating lingering details that we must clean up later?”

The concept of point-of-sale, with its various subtleties, has the single purpose of gobbling up details and tasks as they arise. Accomplishing this is the antithesis of fire-killing. Point-of-sale means being in the offense, eyes open, ready to handle whatever comes up, instead of defensively looking backward, burning up precious time sorting through piles of old details.

For business and personal life, the point-of-sale posture allows you to focus on the path ahead while your other systems-strategies take care of the details that arise behind. Wear the point-of-sale banner on your sleeve and you will experience robust confidence, the opposite of overwhelm. The excuses “I don’t have enough time” and “I’ve been too busy” will disappear from your life.

In a nutshell, here are two point-of-sale strategies that will make your life simple and clean:

1.       The first is to reject procrastination. Get tasks out of the way now by immediately doing them, delegating them, or discarding them. Make it your quest to knock off tasks as they appear!

2.       The second strategy is to eliminate the requirement for personal action by automating and systemizing tasks. By making things happen automatically, the “do it now” goal is achieved without any effort at all.

Here’s an additional benefit of the point-of-sale stance: You will be in an alert, assertive posture, prepared to handle the inevitable body-slams that are part of having a life.

Above excerpt taken from Sam Carpenter’s book, Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Working Less and Making More.

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