I’m constantly amazed by how stupid I was two weeks ago.
And I’m OK with that. After all, I invest lots of time and money in self-development. I’d expect to be better today than I used to be.
But there have also been many times when I have been stupid.
Like when, a few years ago, my mum asked me if I wanted some apricot juice.
I said “No thanks. I don’t like apricot-y things… apricot juice, apricot jam, apricot-glazed pork chops, apricot tarte tatin…”
And then it suddenly dawned on me: I don’t like apricot.
I’d never realised that before.
I was 34.
So here’s a question for you: if a total stranger looked at your diary, and saw what you did every week, what would they think was stupid?
For instance, would they see things that:
- You hate doing
- Take miles too long
- Happen too frequently – weekly when they could be monthly etc
- Involve too many people, many of whom don’t need to be there
- Achieve nothing
- Everyone complains about
- Take place very late on Friday afternoons
- Involve too much paperwork and pre-reads…
- …that are often circulated too late to read them anyway
- Watch presentations where the speaker shows a wordy slide and says “you won’t be able to read this but…”
- Send emails called “FYI” and expect people to do anything with them
And after that, what would this stranger advise you do with these things?
For example, let’s say they saw you go to meetings you think are pointless, they might suggest one/more of the following:
- Stop going
- Miss one, and see if you/anyone cares. If no-one does, miss the next one
- See if you’re needed for the whole agenda. If you aren’t, ask the Meeting Owner to put your agenda items at the start, attend for those only, and then leave
- Meet the Owner one-to-one instead
- Dial-in instead of taking the time to travel and attend face-to-face
- Ask for the Actions Arising, instead of attending
- Reduce something – the duration, frequency, number of attendees etc
For me, today’ll be a good day. I won’t eat any apricot.
But in two weeks, I’ll be amazed how stupid I was to do something I did today.
Action pointLook at your diary and ask yourself ‘what do I do that’s stupid?’
And then identify lots of ways to remove/reduce them.
Finally, choose your favourite 1-2 ways and do them. Two weeks from now, you’ll be amazed… ;-)
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