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23 Things You Must STOP Doing in 2015


Authenticity, multitasking, positive energy, constantly leveraging strengths. Just stop it. Seriously.
I love this year-end compilation from the Harvard Business Review from Sarah Green & Gretchen Gavett. Instead of resolving what you should do in 2015, they have pulled together a great “stop doing” list. I’ve annotated their list and added a few bullets of my own.

23 Things to Stop Doing in 2015       

  1. Stop multitasking (it can be done). Focus on the tasks at hand, without distraction.
  2. Stop participating in so many meetings. Life will go on without you, and you will have more time to get work actually done. 
  3. Stop procrastinatingsaving work for tomorrow, and waiting to be inspired to work.
  4. At the same time, stop working at an unsustainable pace. It makes leading more difficult, and to do things better, you have to stop doing so much.
  5. If that’s not possible, at least stop complaining about how busy you are. Everyone will thank you.
  6. Stop over-designing everything. Let your darlings - presentations, products, ad campaigns, etc. - learn to fly. Measure and optimize later. 
  7. Stop feeling like you have to be authentic all the time. It could be holding you back.
  8. Stop dressing like a slob. I don’t care what business you’re in, sloppy dressing connotes sloppy thinking. Make a personal brand statement. 
  9. Stop holding yourself back in these five other ways, too.
  10. Stop being so positive — research shows it’s not all that helpful for achieving your goals.
  11. Stop overdoing your strengths (lest they become weaknesses).
  12. And when it comes to evaluating others, stop mistaking confidence for competence.
  13. Stop giving negative feedback as a “sandwich.
  14. Stop overlooking the women in your organization. And stop relying on diversity training programs to fix the problem. They can’t solve it.
  15. Speaking of things that don’t work: Stop ideating and brainstorming.
  16. Stop trying to delight your customers all the time. 
  17. Stop searching for a silver bullet to your strategy dilemmas.
  18. That said, stop using so many battle metaphors when you talk about strategy.
  19. And please, stop using terrible PowerPoints and these equally terrible words in your business communications.
  20. Stop sitting so much. Seriously.
  21. Stop being so clever. There is a fine line between “clever” and “pretentious.”  
  22. Stop getting defensive. (Not that I'm accusing you.)
  23. And if you can’t stop doing any of these things… stop believing that you have to be perfect.

(c) David J. Katz, New York City - January 11, 2015

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