In Leaders

“It doesn’t pay to worry.  If you went through last year’s files marked “important”, chances are the only things you’d keep are the paper clips.” – Robert Orben

Sitting at my desk for the first time in 2015, I find the above quote very relevant.  I’m looking at piles of stuff that have been there for months and I don’t even remember what most of it was about.  In fact, the piece of paper I’m holding in my hand right now isn’t even legible.  A whole sheet full of notes and I can’t make out a single word.  Hello, garbage can.

How much of our lives are like that?  How many things do we spend time & energy on that we later realize were of no value?  I think the answer is probably pretty depressing.  Given the limited amount of hours in our lives and the finite amount of energy we have, why do we do that?

I’m sure there are lots of reasons, but a big one I see on a regular basis is a lack of vision and forward thinking.  People get busy doing things because they seem important without really thinking about whether they are important.  Sometimes things are urgent, and some of them do need to be done, but quite often we just do things because they’re in front of us.  We don’t stop to think about our future and whether this particular task or project is an important part of it.

So add this to your list of resolutions for 2015 (make it the first one) – stop and think about your business or your career or your life.  Where do you want it to go?  What’s most important to you?  How do you define success?  After you answer those questions, ask yourself this – what are the most important things I can do to make that happen?  Chances are, you’ll come up with 2 or 3 that really matter.

Make those 2 or 3 your priority this year.  Spend as little time as you can on all those distractions that don’t matter.  Keep those priorities visible and in front of you all year long.  Every so often reflect on how it’s going and whether you need to adjust what you’re doing – but whatever adjustments you make stay focused on what matters.  If you can do that, you’ll be sitting here a year from today without all those piles of junk on your desk and a great feeling about what you accomplished in 2015.  Good luck.

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