Work Waste: Deciding What to Prune
by: Lynda McNutt Foster
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: We’ve just launched our brand new library of NEW, FREE Corcast videos on the topics we’ve been covering on Virginia At Work with Becky Freemal. CLICK HERE to watch or listen. I’ll be on Good Day Virginia with Bill Wadell, Tuesday, July 5, 2016, at 7:40a to discuss the topic of getting what you want by pruning.
I received this in my LinkedIn message box a few weeks ago from a viewer:
“I feel a little overwhelmed at work. I never seem to finish a day’s task list. Sometimes I don’t even get to the first one on the list before I am pulled away to answer someone’s question or have to go to a meeting. I try to schedule time to think about the most important issues my department is facing, but I never seem to find the time. I spend more time thinking about work than I would like to and honestly, it’s starting to affect my health and relationships at home. Do you have any tools you can throw my way that might help?”
I let them know they are not alone. With the tsunami of emails, texts, phone calls, and meetings that require your attention and attendance, it’s difficult to manage. As a leader, you expect yourself to be able to do it all and you probably feel like someone else is managing all of it way better than you are. Maybe. Maybe not.
START HERE: Calculate how many hours a week you are working on average. Now, cut it in half. If you had half the time to work this week, what tasks and activities would you do that no one else can do and that is within your strength zone? Now cut that list in half. What’s left? Do you like to do those things that are left on the list? Are they things that you are motivated to complete?
LET THE PRUNING BEGIN: From the list you crossed through when you were given less time, what can you get rid of completely? I’m not talking about delegating to someone else. What do you need to simply stop doing because it is not delivering the highest-level returns for you or your organization?
Are there people that need to be pruned? So many times there are team members that just don’t fit the job you are having them do. Or, maybe, they are creating dreaded drama triangles that are leading to lower productivity levels and affecting others in a negative way. There’s probably some positions or situations that we need to prune ourselves out of. Sometimes the who might be you.
WATCH THIS short, 4-minute video on pruning. What habits do you need to prune this week? There’s probably a few things that you do habitually that are not serving you, have not served you and will not serve you to reach your desired outcomes and you still keep doing them. Why can’t this be the week you stop them? Replace the habits you want to stop with the behaviors you want to start. Gritting your teeth through behavior change doesn’t work. Your willpower will wear down quickly. Create a vision for your desired outcomes, make sure they are things that will motivate you to want to achieve them, and then take the baby steps, daily, to get there.
Pruning is not simple or easy. It is necessary to change the results you are getting. You must prune and you must do it regularly. The consequences of not pruning can be detrimental to your health, wellbeing, and the growth and vitality of your organization. Go get the sheers!
If you want more information on getting what you want faster by pruning, take a quick listen to our NEW, short, and free, Corcast on the topic debuting Courtland James, an executive coach with Cortex Leadership or check out Time Mastery: 7 Simple Steps to Richer Outcomes.