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My “not to do” list for being more effective

nottodoI’ve just come out of a whirlwind of activity from planning and hosting our Ascend  leadership development days for the quarter.  It’s one of those frenzied periods that we all have from time to time, working long hours against tight deadlines while life keeps charging full-speed ahead.  I know that you all know exactly what I mean, so I’ll spare you the detail!

But needless to say, with the program complete for the February quarter I was spent… and everyone had had enough of me!  So my primary goal last weekend was to do as little as possible.  To put my feet up, relax and recharge.  Even better, to get out for a gallop on my horse and forget about the mountain of emails… it was bliss!

Taking that time out worked a treat and this week I’m feeling like a new woman!  So it got me thinking about what I could not do next time as the workload and pressure is building, and still be more effective.  So this is my “not to do” list for the coming quarter – I’m going to not do these things and see if it has a positive impact on my effectiveness and stress levels!

  1. I’m not going to take on stuff that’s not my stuff.  If people are difficult or simply playing Princesses for no reason, I’m out.  It’s just too hard. And while I’m happy to play politics if it makes the wheels go round,there’s a difference between being connected and being a gossip.  I don’t have any time for the latter and to be truthful, I really don’t want to work with gossips any more.
  2. I’m not going to do things that my team could do at least as well.  For example, I’m crap at diary management and detail, but Nikki and Sam are great at that.  I’m a disaster when it comes to organizing the office, but that’s Barb’s strength. And though I’m good at business management, Shirley is just as good, if not better.  I reckon if I get out of their way and just let them do it, we’ll get heaps more done together.
  3. I’m not booking back-to-back meetings any more. I’m going to time free each day to think strategically and creatively about my current business priorities.  And meetings I do have will be for 30-45 minutes max, with a gap in between so I can complete any actions straight away whenever possible.  I’ll take my Mac with me to meetings and email information and intros then and there, which should have a huge impact on my to do list and efficiency levels.
  4. I won’t send emails if I can avoid it and I’ll unsubscribe to emails I don’t want to receive. As I’ve said before, I’m not a slave to my emails, but for the next month I’m going to scrutinize my emails even more.  Unless there’s an easy yes/no answer or its just a quick info email, I’m going to use the phone instead.  Let’s see what impact this has on my time.
  5. I’m not going for coffee meetings unless I’ve had a tele-coffee first.  This is an idea from my great friend Robyn Henderson – it’s just so much more efficient to apply this filter first, and then follow up only if necessary with a face-to-face meeting. And the bonus for me is I can have telecoffees from the farm!
  6. I won’t forget to follow up prospects just because there’s so much to do – because I know it’s so much easier to close a warm lead than to start with a cold one.  It’s unforgiveable that I’ve not delivered on all the requests for memberships and speaking proposals that I’ve received in the past fortnight – if one of these was from you, I apologise and I promise I’ll be in touch before the end of the week.
  7. Finally, I’m not going to stop exercising just because I’m busy.  The beagles suffer the most when this happens, because they miss out on their morning walks, but after that it’s me that suffers and everyone else around me, because I get tired and stressed and cranky.  So no more skipping the morning walk, and I’m not going to let a week go by without a decent yoga practice either!

So what do you think – are you ready to start a “not to do” list as well? And what will you put on it?  I’d love to see your suggestions – you can post them here on the blog and we’ll send a sphinxx pamper pack to the 3 best “not to dos”.


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