Time Management. It’s not glamorous, but most all us could use an upgrade in this area.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that you’re stressed out because you are trying to do too much. Everything is not a priority. Say that our loud. “Everything is not a priority.” You cannot do it all. Now, say this out loud. “I cannot do it all.” Try to remember at least one of those things every day.
The Pareto principle is the 80/20 rule: It says that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Many of us get stuck in all of the miscellaneous things that we do that don’t contribute to the 80%. You’ve got to clear some of the clutter:
- The time-sucking tasks
- The tasks that don’t have impact
- The tasks that aren’t consistent with your goals and values
While most people think about what they are going to do, you are going to figure out the things you WON’T do. Make more space for the things you want to do, the things are important and meaningful. Consider:
- What must I do?
- What should I do?
- What can I do at a later date?
- What can I eliminate altogether?
In an international business class I took, I learned about General Electric (GE). GE has thousands of products. But if their product isn’t in the top 3, they drop it. They quit the category because it isn’t worth it. It is taking time and resources away from the things that have more impact.
Seth Godin, a marketing guru, calls this Strategic Quitting, in his book The Dip. It basically says that you need to be strategic about what you get out of so that you can be strategic about what you stay in/what you do. I think this is the secret sauce for stress management.
Of course, saying yes when you want to say no is another reason our plates are too full. But I’ll leave that for another post.
What things are you doing that might make sense to strategically quit?