Face of Big Ben

If you want the time to do good stuff, stop doing stuff you’ll never do well.

Partly attitude and partly system, here’s a plan for doing good stuff:

Push back

Don’t just say Yes every time something crosses your mind, your desk or your In-box. Giving yourself an easy time when accepting requests (especially from yourself) guarantees a hard and frustrating time under a big ticking clock as you try to deliver.

Avoid arm length to-do lists, missed deadlines and low quality by being honest about schedules, commitments and priorities.

Prioritise your list

I remember an executive saying, seemingly without irony, he had seven number one priorities, (no surprise at the end of the year then). Rank everything that you put on your list.

If you’re working for others or in a team, prioritising is team-work. This is important for skippiness!

Finish what you start

This can mean getting to the finish line (yay!) but sometimes it means stopping what you started before the end because you (and your team) realise it’s a waste of time or it’s just not coming together.

It’s often a close call; there’s a fine line between pushing through adversity and bloody mindedness. Seth Godin wrote a whole (little) book, The Dip, on deciding if or when to quit. There’s a Change This version here.

What about you?

How do you make sure you’re working on the good stuff? How do you push back and help out at the same time?

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