What’s On Your Stop Doing List for 2011 (Contest)
Are you like me – do you have a to-do list that never seems to get any shorter? This time of year it seems like the list is never ending. My blackberry is loaded up with task reminders, appointments, and meeting after meeting. My desk is wallpapered with post-it note lists of things to do, phone calls to return and I have a huge whiteboard detailing the many projects I need to tackle. On top of all of that, now there is yearend wrap-up and 2011 planning. So when I heard the following statement from Jim Colllins’ Good to Great it was a game changer for me:
”STOP doing lists are more important than to-do lists”!
According to Collins, one of the things that all great leaders do is create “pockets of quietude” to disconnect from their hectic schedule and focus on thinking. Imagine that - taking planned time to sit back and think about your next big idea. But how in the world can we fit that quiet time into our busy lives? We can take a good look at our to-do lists and pick things that we are going to commit to stop doing.
A few weeks ago my department watched a video of Jim Collins’ presentation at The 1 Credit Union Conference. I had the pleasure of watching him speak live back in July, but getting to watch it with my team was even more impactful. A group of us were so fired up afterwards that we’ve decided to start a discussion group to take the concepts and turn them into actionable items that will help take our team from good to great.
Our first group assignment was to take one of the concepts and apply it to our personal roles here at CUNA. We eventually plan on tackling some bigger group challenges, but we needed to start somewhere, so we’re starting with our own little realm of control. I decided to try out the stop doing concept. Somewhere along the line it seems like all of my tasks started to feel urgent, and I wanted to figure out what tasks truly were important. For this first week’s exercise I found one thing that was getting in my way to really focus on big ideas was my e-mail notification. Every time it would pop up I’d get distracted from the projects that were most important.
So the first action on my stop doing list: I am going to stop allowing every single e-mail to pull my attention away from the bigger tasks at hand. I’ve turned off the e-mail notification alert on both my blackberry and computer and have set up scheduled time to address my e-mail inbox. It’s a really small first application of the stop doing concept, but for me it’s been a huge help. In just one week I’m already feeling much more focused and am having a lot of fun tackling the bigger projects on my to do list.
I urge you to do the same, sit back and determine activities to work on that are really contributing to your own personal success and the success of the goals of your credit union. It’s a really eye opening exercise. Those tasks that are blocking you from those key activities – add them to your stop doing list!
So, what’s one thing you can stop doing in 2011 (or now if you’re so inclined)? It can be small or huge – you’ve just got to start with something.
Answer that question in a comment below and we’ll do a random drawing on December 20th to give away a signed copy of Collins’ most recent book – How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In!
CONTEST DETAILS: Contest begins today and ends on Monday, December 20th at 11:59PM (CT). No purchase necessary to win. Make sure you leave an email address where you can be contacted. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will also be announced on the blog. Multiple comments are allowed as long as you have a valid idea in each comment. (No duplicate comments) The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants received. Void where prohibited.
UPDATE (12/21): THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED – CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER, BILL CLANCY, WHO WON A SIGNED COPY OF JIM COLLINS’ BOOK HOW THE MIGHTY FALL. THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!