Is this something you can relate to? You feel overwhelmed. You have too many tasks to do and not enough time to do them. You have decisions to make that require research and complex thought and those necessities of leading effectively never seem to occur. You spend more time at work or thinking about work than you would like to, or planned to each week, and it is starting to affect your health and interpersonal relationships. Some days your get up and go has got up and went.
You 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.
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!