As we begin 2015, people all around you have resolved to do all kinds of things.
On the personal front, they are going to lose weight, exercise more and eat healthier.
On the professional side, they are going to work harder to stay close to their clients, and maybe even clean up their office.
All that is fine, of course.
But if all you do is what everyone else does, you never gain a competitive edge.
Let me suggest another kind of action.
We talked previously about the things you should stop doing. While have “to do lists” can be good, having a “not to do list” can actually be better, since if you follow it, you will free up a lot more time and energy–and be more productive.
Who doesn’t want that?
So as we begin a new year, why don’t you resolve to stop doing the following things, some of which we have discussed before (a review never hurts) and some of which are new and equally counter-productive.
We only have so much time. Why would you ever want to waste it? This is the place where your “to do” list can help keep you focused.
2. Waiting. The frustrating cousin of procrastinating. Nothing happens while you are waiting for the phone to ring or the email to arrive. Take action.
3. Having others determine your life. Sure, it’s easier to react to situations as they come along and hope to make something good out of them. But why be passive? Take the initiative. More specifically, take a small step toward your goal and see what happens. This is the antidote to procrastination and waiting
4. Whining. No one goes through life unscathed. We all have problems. Complaining about them doesn’t make them go away, and worse, it is a very short step from complaining to feeling like a victim.
5. Assuming everything will be the same for ever. If you are in a good place, say thank you–often. (And then constantly check to see what could possibly go wrong. If you are in a bad place, don’t assume it will be that way forever. Constantly probe to find an opening.
6. Planning (when you can’t.) This one is similar to waiting, and it is equally bad. Yes, there are some situations in which planning is a good idea. If you know tomorrow is going to be remarkably similar to today, it makes sense to plan. For example, having a detailed plan makes sense if you want to introduce an existing product into a market similar to one you are already in. But most situations are not predictable. When you are facing the unknown, don’t plan. Act. Take that small step we talked about in point No. 3, and see what happens.
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