Sunday, September 16, 2012

If Your "To-Do" List Was A "Don't Do" One, You Might Get More Done

It's risky to tell someone to do less, but that didn't stop Built to Last author Jim Collins from advising it. "I watched one company grow from zero to $10 million in revenues almost overnight, based on the founder's ability to create revolutionary products. Unfortunately, the company stalled out and was eventually acquired, because it never made the transition from being a company with an innovative founder to being an innovative company. The founder tried to solve the company's problems by working extra hours on new products--in short, by more doing . . .he should have done less, which would have forced the company to become innovative independent of his genius."

So, if you had to create a "Don't Do" list, what would be on yours? Here's a sample to get you started.

• Do what can be delegated to others for less money and maybe even less time!
• Book wall-to-wall meetings, pushing your workday into a corner.
• Micro-Manage your employees - instead, hire ones you know can do the job needing to get done and let them do it.
• Do jobs you are not good at. You wouldn't have your accountant cleaning your house, or your housekeeper doing your accounting, so why are you doing jobs you are not trained to do?
• Skip things thinking that you're doing more or being more efficient. These "things" include might breakfast, breaks, or even hiring an expert to help you get necessary systems in place.
• Overbook. Airlines do it, and then offer incentives for people to change their schedules, but overbooking steals something valuable from you: time and the freedom to choose how to use it.
• Take your work home.
• Take on clients who you know can't or won't pay. Ah-ah. You might be saying, "I don't do that" but how many "friends" have you helped lately out of the "kindness of your heart"? Exactly.
• Allow your time to be sucked away by chatty naysayers.
• Always say yes. It's okay to say no.
• Forget to treat yourself to something special for accomplishing something.
• Get glued to e-mail. It's easy to do, but set aside time for emails and follow ups and stick to your schedule.
• Show up if you're not truly "there" and present, whether this means work-related things or personal. Be present.

Selfish, maybe. But better to be selfish and successful, with time to spend with family and friends, than to be overworked, stressed to the max, angry, bitter, and feeling like you're carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, right?

What are some ways business owners are doing the don'ts?

A. A California company decided against performance evaluations, maintaining that that was "looking back" and they want to "look forward". Instead, they focused efforts on training and personal growth for their employees

B. Innovative decision making on the part of one company led them to close their warehouse for one day a week, forcing their salespeople to figure out a way to sell the goods so that they wouldn't pile up.

C. Another business owner cross-trained an employee so that he didn't have to hire two people. By increasing the salary of one, he saved considerably, and had confidence in and the support of the team member he chose.

So, now it's your turn. What will go on your don't-do list? Let me know what you decided. You will be amazed at what a little don't can do for the do.

For advice and proven systems to advance your business, visit ActionCOACH Cal Team at:
Peter Williamson helps business owners like you find instant and lasting solutions to increase your profits by 61% or more - guaranteed. Email

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