Make a “To-Don’t” List

Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here

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If you aren’t reaching your goals, the solution probably isn’t to take on more work. Instead, consider what you might stop doing. You’ll have more time for what really matters if you eliminate unnecessary busy work. Here’s a simple exercise to make that happen.

o First, identify a specific goal or an area of your work that you’d like to improve.

o Then, take a piece of paper and divide it in half. On the left-hand side, make a list of all of your daily tasks, and on the right-hand side, make a list of your biggest “wins” — the work milestones you’re most proud of. Draw a line connecting each of your wins to related daily tasks, and circle those tasks.

Finally, step back and look at what’s left uncircled on your list. These are the tasks that you should either stop doing, significantly minimize, or delegate to others.

Abandoning work that isn’t helping you meet your goals will give you more time [and energy] to focus on the work that is — and then to revel in your success.

This tip is adapted from Want to Be More Productive? Try Doing Less,” by Kate Northrup.

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Here’s a direct link to dozens of other Management Tips.

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