Among the many resolutions, goals, changes, or plans you have for 2019, I’ll bet not one of them is “doing less.” Stop and reflect for a moment, however, about what seemed to weigh you down in 2018 and you might begin to find merit in the idea.
When there’s too much on your plate, regardless of the reason, a sense of overwhelm begins to cast a shadow over your day. You look at your day and think, “I’ve got 37 things I need to do today, and if I work really hard, I might get 5 done.” That’s not the kind of mindset that helps you deliver your best work or be your best self.
Another benefit of a “Do less, better” mindset is that you get the maximum benefit from each activity that is in your schedule. For example, if you have a one-on-one meeting with a team member that you prepare very little for because you are so rushed, neither you nor your team member will get what they need from the meeting. If you have a block of time scheduled in your day for “strategic thinking” but you haphazardly engage in it because you have too many other urgent activities clamoring for your attention, it may offer little opportunity for improvement.
Here are some other potential ways you might “Do less, better” this year:
Do less transitions in your day so you can do a better job of finishing the tasks you do undertake.
Do less meetings and have better agendas, action plans, and accountability.
Do less back-to-back scheduling in your calendar so you can do a better job of reflecting on the success/challenge of the previous activity and what actions you should take to improve in the future.
Be less accepting of doing things the way they have always been done so you can look for ways to complete tasks more efficiently and/or effectively.
Doing less of the work someone else should be doing so you can get better at the work only you can do.
Do less checks of your email during the day and have a better plan for managing them when you do check it.
Do less administrative-type tasks when you have lots of mental energy so you can be more creative and strategic.
Be less available to others from time to time so you can better focus on your own work.
Do less venting and “telling” when working with a team member so you can do a better job strengthening the relationship and coaching them.
Do less conversations and interactions with the “takers” or casual relationships in your life so you can better invest in those most important to you.
Enroll your children in less activities so you can help them better excel in the areas most important to them (and you).
Do less social media so you can better invest in the relationships immediately around you.
That’s my challenge to you for 2019. Happy New Year!
Jones Loflin has made it his life’s work to deliver powerful ideas and practical solutions to individuals and organizations struggling with too much to do. His books are described as “illuminating” and his presentations as “unforgettable.” In his 24 years as a speaker and trainer he has helped countless people regain confidence in their ability to achieve greater success in work and life...
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