As I get older, I continue to learn more about my work style and my leadership. I continue to learn, I continue to look ahead and I continue to want to make a bigger impact in the world, so evaluation is a part of my everyday life.
I’ve realized that I often spend 99% of my time thinking of NEW things I need to do, NEW areas I need to grow into, NEW habits I need to form, NEW goals for the future. While it’s important to be looking forward, I have forgotten to identify things in my life that I need to STOP doing.
As I add NEW things, I haven’t eliminated OLD things.
Can you see the problem here?
My wife told me of a friend that had a rule when it came to her clothes: Whenever she bought something new and brought it home, she had to find something in her closet to get rid of.
Why wouldn’t this concept work in our lives as well?
Here’s an example:
My inbox of email overwhelms me. Yesterday, I took the time to weed through a couple of hundred emails, responding to them, filing them, and deleting them. It feels great to “cleanse” my inbox. However, this morning, 80 new messages arrived. As I looked through the incoming messages I realized that I have subscribed to a number of email newsletters that I never read. I just spent 10 minutes unsubscribing from 13 newsletters that I never read, these letters just clutter up my email.
The lesson: Be more cautious in distributing my email address, because that results in a full inbox which at times overwhelms me.
I have a pretty healthy list of things I need to STOP doing, and I’m sure my wife could add some things to my list:
– Stop playing solitaire on my phone and go to bed!
– Stop making excuses for not making it to the gym.
– Stop complaining about a conflict I’m in. Deal with it instead!
– Stop drinking sugar-laced drinks.
The list can go on and on.
What in your life do you need to STOP doing?
In STOPPING, how will that help you with the NEW things?
3 simple thoughts of STOPPING:
#1) Take time to do a personal audit
A personal audit can be done in many areas of your life: time management, eating, drinking, exercise, watching tv, phone & computer use, etc…. Identify the area you want to evaluate. There are lot’s of ways to do this, but I choose to make it simple: Take a 7-day period of time and keep a journal of everything you do during that period of time. If it’s time-management, write down your schedule and detail your time. If it’s eating, write down everything you consume. If it’s computer use, write down the time you’re on and what you’re doing. Yes, this is laborious, but some things will jump out at you, and you will easily identify some things you need to STOP doing.
#2) Invite someone to keep you accountable
When you’ve identified something you want to STOP doing, invite someone to help to hold you accountable. Give them permission to ask you hard questions, and commit to being honest with them.
#3) Educate yourself along the way.
Some things are difficult to stop doing. Take some time to learn from others. Learn what has worked for some, talk to people who are dealing with similar issues, research new methods of breaking a habit or breaking a pattern. Be a learner.
I’ve just created a new category on the Leadonesource pages that will continue to address things that we need to STOP doing. I already have a couple of these tip sheets up. Check these out, then be sure to share with me what you’re learning of STOPPING.