With the changing of the leaves comes the perfect opportunity to make some other necessary changes. We often think of pruning as it pertains to the garden or the closet or any other place where undesirable things that have long since lost their usefulness tend to accumulate. One more place to look is in every corner of your professional life. Longer days, greater accessibility and constant connection via tech have allowed for the accumulation of extra tasks, apps, goals, processes and yes, even team members, which no longer support the goals and objectives you’ve been trying to target.
So, when you start clearing out the hall closet in preparation for the long winter, take a close look at these five things that might need some pruning as well!
The Urge to Do It All – Shared leadership is the only kind of leadership. There are individuals out there who can make your life infinitely more productive. Let them. I have a housekeeper once a month. The space of that four hours for me is immeasurable. I can do it all, but by having someone accomplish that one thing for me frees me up in mighty ways. The same goes for your professional demands. Delegate your duties and engage in leader-making!
The Power Drain – Meetings with no purpose. TV and social media. The news. Endless networking events that result in zero gain. People ask me how I get so much done and I always answer the same way - I have eliminated the things from my schedule that provide no added value. It is all about bandwidth and priorities. If you charged yourself billable hours for productivity, would you get paid?
The Worry Warp – The only thing worry accomplishes is to steal tomorrow’s joy. In "The Kingship of Self-Control," William George Jordan calls it the Great American Disease. I now have an “It is Well with my Soul” journal where I list 25 ways I can focus on contentment. It’s a tremendous way to wrap up the day and to put your mind and heart at ease. All you can do is the best you can do…today. The rest will unfold exactly the way it’s intended.
The Alignment Axle – If one of your team members isn’t all in, it’s time for them to find something that suits them better. It’s like trying to row the boat forward with someone rowing against you. Even if someone has been with you for years, it’s imperative you that you regularly check the "purpose pulse" on each member of the team. Businesses change daily, and so do people’s priorities.
The Stuck-in-a-Rut Syndrome – Even if it’s one weekend a month where you drive with your canine pack so you can stay with your dog loving friends, use air miles to get your hair done and see a dear friend, get away for a birthday celebration, or book a European River Cruise. Life is so much richer when we change up the scenery and people we connect with. You do have the time and you need to get away. Enjoy this incredible planet we live on and our fellow humans!
Although there are always some things outside of your control, the vast majority of our time is our own and we have the tremendously good fortune to be able to choose the ways in which we spend it. In my Dad's "The Three Decisions," he narrows the really important choices in life down to just three. I won't give it away, but I'll leave you with a wonderful Charlie T. Jones original - "Decision making is a fact of life, just like breathing. That's what decision making really is."