The 1-hour-Solve-It-Yourself-Rule

How many times does this happen to you? A relative, a friend or an acquaintance messages or calls you with a question which they could easily have solved themselves. Yet, for them, it is easier to call you and ask for your help. They often ask you quite random things related to some knowledge that you might have. Mostly with a simple google search, they could have resolved their pending issue.

There are many memes out there portraying this issue:

There is even a website called: Let me google that ( This website is specially created for all those people that find it more convenient to bother you with their questions than to Google it for themselves.

I work in IT. I am the managing director of Adept, a company operating out of Suriname, we specialize in creating software solutions for small and medium-sized companies. I have some expertise in hardware and software I use frequently (mostly Windows). My family and friends however believe that I have endless know-how about everything related to a computer, software (Mac and Windows), IT security, mobile phones (iOS and Android) networks, WIFI routers, servers, hacking, social media and so forth… When I was younger, I was eager to help everybody with any IT-related issue, but now having lived several years in my forties I believe my time should be better spent than being used as a helpdesk.

That is why I came up with the 1-hour-solve-it-yourself-rule. It is quite simple to use and believe me it will better your life. This is how it works:

1)     Somebody calls you with a problem (most of you already recognize which people always ask you for this kind of problem-solving aid)

2)     Do not pick up the phone.

3)     If you are interested in their problem, send them a message stating that you are not able to pick-up the phone or listen to voice messages and can call them back after 1 hour.

4)     If you are not interested in their problem, call them back or send them a message after 1 hour asking why they called, because you could not answer their call at that moment.

5)     I guarantee you that in 95% of the cases they have solved their own problem without needing your help. They will have terrorized somebody else or may have solved their solution in another manner without needing you.

I have been experimenting with this rule for almost 1 year now and I have noticed that fewer people ask me for help. It could be that by not enabling them, they have learned to solve their own problems or have become more self-sufficient in googling. It could also be possible they have found someone else to solve their problems for them. In any case you are off the hook 😊

Try it and let me know if this article has made your life somewhat easier.

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