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