Let It Drop

During a recent lunch with a colleague we had a discussion regarding how everyone’s plate is so full these days. We discussed how many workers are being asked to do more with less and it's just impossible to do it all. So how do you decide which tasks we will allow to fall off our plates or can be done in a less than 100% manner?

This discussion has stuck with me as I have contemplated how we have to make these decisions every day in many parts of our lives. Just ask a parent! These decisions can make us feel incompetent, guilty or if we are lucky, more focused and planful. Why is it that some people are more comfortable making the decision to just let things drop and seem comfortable moving forward without regret? Is it birth order, disposition or training? I’d like to suggest that those who have a clear understanding of their own personal values and business objectives may find it easier to face these tough decisions when they appear. Consider asking yourself and writing down your answers to the following questions:

 

What can I not live without in my life? (strong body, healthy relationship with spouse, fun time with my kids)

What key activities will contribute to me achieving the above? (exercise 3 hours a week, have a weekly date night with my spouse, play tennis with my kids)

What will I say “no” to and “yes” to in order to achieve the above? (no to - sitting on couch watching television instead of exercising, working late and missing date night, disciplining my kids when we play tennis)

Why am I in this role at this time in this organization? (provide superior client service, make by boss look good, develop people).

What key tasks most contribute to the accomplishment of the above? (talking to clients to understand their needs, correct any errors I see before work goes out the door, commit to weekly one on ones with my staff).

What will I say “no” to and what I will say “yes” to in order to deliver on the above? (yes to – invitation from client to visit their office, cover a meeting that my boss can’t attend, request from a direct report to attend a meeting with me to observe me in action).

By thinking through these questions ahead of time you will have a focus and a set of values that can guide your future decision making and allow you to let some things drop off the plate. So what should I do next, write my next blog or go for a run?

 

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