Tuesday, 23 February 2010

What should I NOT do today?

We seem to live in a business world that is determined to do more and more. Until very recently I’ve been right up there in my eagerness to add things to my To Do list.

Just lately, though, I’ve concluded that my strategy is all wrong. Instead of adding things to my To Do list, I should be taking things off. Not just little things, but big things. Whole great swathes of stuff that takes up my time need to go.

So one by one I have been reducing my commitments, and freeing up my time for project work and planning.

Jim Collins in Good to Great made the point that great leaders start by figuring out what Not to Do, before they decided what Needs to be Done. What markets should NOT be served? What expertise are we NOT going to employ in-house? What services are we NOT going to offer? Of course there are more things that we don’t do than we actually do, but the point is well made.

Of course what I should not do today is not the same as what I could not do today. I could leave a whole bunch of stuff until tomorrow, but what should be done today, is still better being done and not put off.

Making good choices about what not to do is the greatest time saver ever, but more importantly it frees up brain power for the stuff we really want to excel at.

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