|By Mark Bloom |
Reflecting recently on all the New Year’s Resolutions people were making, it occurred to me that most of these are about starting, trying, or moving to something new. Human nature seems to pull us away from the idea of stopping doing things. So here is a proposal for your resolutions this year:
Start a “Stop Doing List”!
The hardest thing to do may be to stop doing things you are in the habit of doing now.
Many people have “To Do" lists; lists of projects and tasks that have to be accomplished in a timely manner. Yet every day we have many tasks and activities that we do that simply do not help us focus on our goals.
Like stripping barnacles off the hull, layer upon layer of projects eventually will slow you down and make it harder to focus. We are all opportunity rich and resource poor.
One way to create a “stop doing" list is to identify the time wasters in your day. They can range from email, to surfing the web, to people interruptions in person or on the phone, to the door bell for the package delivery van.
Some of those things I do each day are inevitable and the only way out is to make sure that I'm spending as little time as possible on extras inside that task.
If I get an unexpected phone call, I can try to find out quickly what the person wants and try resolve the issues right then, before getting back to what I'm doing.
Putting up a "do not disturb" sign on your cube or just closing your office door can allow you time to focus. Arranging packages ahead of time for pickup can cut down on the time spent for the package delivery van.
Spend a little time deciding what you will not do each day. Try to think about the importance of each task as you start it. Become the master of the time you wish to be!