- Thu, December 29 2011
- Filed under: Nonprofit leadership
The HBR Blog just had a great post from someone lucky enough to have taken a month-long vacation. Dorie Clark returned from the experience with a fresh perspective on how to spend time on what matters rather than soul-sucking activities. Here is a short version of her advice on what to avoid this year:
1. Responding Like a Trained Monkey. Before you rapidly answer every email, let it marinate a while. It may not require action.
2. Mindless Traditions. Do you really have to send out that annual update no one reads? Make sure you’re spending time on traditions that matter to others and positively affect your organization.
3. Reading Annoying Things. Don’t read what you feel you must. Read what gets your mind humming.
4. Work That’s Not Worth It. Don’t chase that grant or start that program just because it sounds good - consider what may be more trouble than it is worth.
5. Making Things More Complicated Than They Should Be. She says:
A while back, a colleague approached me with an idea. She wanted me to be a part of a professional development event she was organizing in her city, featuring several speakers and consultants. She recommended biweekly check-in calls for the next eight months, leading up to the event. “Have you organized an event like this before?” I asked. “Can you actually get the participants? Why don’t you test the demand first?” When none materialized, I realized I’d saved myself nearly half a week’s work — in futile conference calls — by insisting the event had to be “real” before we invested in it. As Eric Ries points out in his new book The Lean Startup , developing the best code or building the best product in the world is meaningless if your customers don’t end up wanting it. Instead, test early and often to ensure you’re not wasting your time. What ideas should you test before you’ve gone too far?
Good advice. What will you avoid in the new year?