We can put new items at or near the top of our priority lists. Other items will drop off for lack of time — unless we're told to squeeze them in too.
Clear The ClutterWe develop habits and stop noticing how they drain us, unless we pay attention. Where is your time going now? Consider using time tracking tools. Ask others where they think you’re misusing time.
Now, decide what you'll no longer do in your personal and work lives. You then free up time for the new. More important, you free up mental energy.
ExampleMarketing Reflections. The goal is to help you pause, reflect on your marketing and then act. Each issue had links to five articles worth a (re-)read.
I didn't mind creating the issues and readers liked them. That's still not a win/win because of the hours consumed. Also, the newsletter stopped serving a marketing purpose since I already share content via social networks.
The final issue, #42, shipped last week.
Stopping is more difficult than continuing. Even when I decided, I had misgivings. Yet, I felt lighter. That's a sign of a good decision. I knew many readers through past corporate work but we haven’t stayed in touch. The newsletter was maintaining an artificial connection.
A simple newsletter was sapping my mental energy. I didn't know until I stopped.
Your CaseDon’t you do things that make little sense today? Can’t you make better use of that time?
You could stop what seems unnecessary and see if anyone notices. That's cowardly compared with announcing your intention. Give your reasons and you might get commended for being proactive.
IdeasWhat might you stop? Here are ideas.
- Stop waking up to news: feel good instead
- Stop checking email before breakfast: get ready first
- Stop meeting for the sake of meeting: review the need, frequency and format
- Stop checking email all day: focus instead
- Stop disruptive multi-tasking: even if you’re a great juggler
- Stop responding to fake rush requests: you encourage poor planning
- Stop putting out fires: find ways to prevent them
- Stop taking on projects without proper time estimates: be realistic
- Stop being a bottleneck: you're more valuable when you enable and empower
- Stop feeling guilty on vacation: the world will survive
- Stop using two calendars: pick paper or electronic
Best wishes to you and yours during the holidays.
May 2013 be the best year you've seen!
- Three time tracking tools that work
- Tips for setting priorities and organizing your time
- Do you delegate or outsource the wrong things?
- Boost productivity: Three gadgets get things done
- Final post of 2007: Three communication tips
- Final post of 2008: Move beyond “tell them thrice”
- Final post of 2009: Three lessons from 2009
- Final post of 2010: Three tips to master networking events
- Final post of 2011: Are you sick of social media too?
- image courtesy of John Sfondilias