Stop doing that!

Stop doing thatYou don’t need to do all the things you’re doing.

A recent Harvard Business Review article cites the results of a survey conducted with executives, asking them to estimate the cost to their organization, in dollars per day, of wasted time due to what they called “people issues.”

The average dollar amounts ranged from a low of about $4,200 to a staggering high of almost $9,000.

Per day, per time-wasting task. Not the sum for all the organizations, but for each individual organization, for each separate thing they could have stopped doing – or helped their teams stop doing – in one single business day.

Avoiding conflict, engaging in busy-work, wasting time in meetings, avoiding decisions, creating overly complex solutions to problems … you get the idea.

These time- and energy-wasters are keeping you from what you really want.

And it’s clear from the survey that it’s not just the specific tasks on your to-do list; it’s habitual patterns of behavior.

These are things we can – you can – choose to stop doing.

You’ve probably got more than a few personal favorites.

One client told me that he was going to stop wasting time and energy getting frustrated when it took longer to learn something than he thought it “should” take.

Another said she would stop spending valuable time trying to gain 100% consensus and making sure everyone liked her. It was time for her to step up and be the leader she knows herself to be.

Will it be easy? Probably not; changing a habit is typically (but not always) challenging.

As always, the first step is to become aware.

The second step is to ask yourself a new question each morning. Not just What will I accomplish today?…but also What will I stop doing today?

gljudson Leadership