Selective Neglect

Early in my graduate school experience I learned a valuable lesson.  We had six classes each with a theoretical two hours of homework per class hour.  This added up to something like 60 hours of class and homework excluding the team meetings to coordinate group projects.  After a futile effort to “do it all”, I discovered the joys of “selective neglect”. I learned to make the hard decisions about what not to do ahead of time and living with the consequences.  This doesn’t necessarily mean slacking but instead spending time upfront making and communicating your priorities. It is better to make the decisions than to have them make themselves.

If you are like me, January was a month of unbridled optimism with great things in mind for the new year.  All of those programs that never quite got done last year are now on your 2009 marketing plan, right?  Well, February’s reality has set.  Your resources haven’t changed much (if at all) yet you have made commitments you need to keep.

So what can you do?  Working every weekend is a real option but in the long run it isn’t sustainable. My answer is ruthless prioritization and clear communication. It isn’t always straightforward.  As I often say to my teammates, it is easier to decide what you will do than what you will stop doing.

So what are you going to stop doing?

Author: Frank Days

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