As a planner I like to see big ticks next to "things that have been done". The more ticks I see the better I feel, and I hate to admit it, I have sometimes actually written down actions already completed in order to see a big green mark of achievement.
So in reading Jim Collins' book, Good to Great, recently I had to smile and ponder one of his core principles. In order to progress in life and business a "stop doing list" is more important than a doing list. The concept all comes down to having the discpline to focus on your core rather than simply being busy.
Great organisations (and people who lead great lives) are clear about their mission and have defined the answer to these core questions:
1) What am I deeply passionate about?
2) What am I destined to do — what activities do I feel just “made to do”?
3) What makes economic sense — what can I make a living at?
In order to be great you need the discipline to discard what does not fit with your life or business mission. Put your efforts into activities that focus on what you are passionate about, that builds your enterprise and that you have a gift for doing.
This is nothing new. Yet how many people have the discipline to focus on only the things that add value?
So I put the challenge to you - Make time to answer the 3 questions above. Write a stop doing list and put it somewhere you can see it. Start doing your stop doing list.
And my top 3?
Stop saying yes to everything
Stop listening to Nay-sayers