There is an amazing and hilarious YouTube video out there with Bob Newhart called “Stop It.” Take five minutes and enjoy it. I’ve recommended it to clients when I get a sense they are off track on things and thoughts that interfere with their goal achievement.
Sometimes, you just need to tell yourself to “Stop It!” To reinforce this I recently ran across an article by Peter Drucker, an author and management consultant, who nailed it when he said, “We spend a lot of time teaching leaders what to do. We don’t spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop doing. Half the leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop”. Fascinating.
Technology has made us more efficient—or at least feel like we are more efficient. We have greater access to information, faster laptops, smarter phones, and can connect with subject matter experts via the web and Ted talks.
We keep adding to our plate, taking on more and more in a never ending effort to get more done.
But what’s the cost?
Are we really getting more productive in total or are we doing a lot more things just not as well.
I remember rather clearly when I went out on my own after my franchise venture ended and started promoting 3 businesses propositions at the same time. Three C+’s. Dropped two and got an A. A good example of clarity and focus. Your actions and accomplishments probably dictate a little closer look.
So what should you stop doing?
Here are a few ideas to at least get you thinking:
-- Anything that you can pay someone $12 an hour to do. You don’t think it’s much but it’s a TON. On a regular basis I see the business owner/leader doing the work that is the least valuable instead of most valuable. Your time could be worth $250 hour (or more). So Stop It!
-- Carrying your phone in your hand at all times. Simon Sinek jokes that you might be an addict if you need something with you at all times. So Stop It!
-- Looking at your email every 10 minutes. OhMyGoodness, has there ever been a greater waste of time? So Stop It!
-- Giving lengthy verbal and/or written responses to questions, emails, letters, etc. Give your folks a break and be short and to the point. So Stop It!
-- Trying to add your spin to an idea your team came up with. You just made the ownership of the idea yours. Your team just lost interest. So Stop It!
-- Not training your team because you think they will leave you and go to the competition. Train them so you don’t have to keep doing all the work. So Stop It!
The key may not be how to do more, but to figure out what to do and what not to do. If you give yourself a fixed inventory of time, where is your best and most valuable time spent?
Go take action today on a few things you should stop doing and let your team flourish.
Now Go Run a Lap! Business is Fun!
Tony Marder is a Gastonia resident and President of ASM Ventures Corporation. His clients are family businesses and their teams who need to develop strategies to make more profit. You can reach him for questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org