For many executives, more is better. They see themselves as productive when they launch more initiatives, develop more products and engage in more activities.
The constant push to add new projects can stymie your team’s success.
Adopting a less-is-more philosophy can free up time for those high-priority tasks that merit the most attention.
Use this mantra: Do the right things for the right reasons at the right time.
One way in which Steve Jobs saved Apple was to revamp its product development. He limited Apple’s focus to 10 items that he deemed “insanely great products.”
Other tips to maximize your time and energy:
√ Weigh lots of options, but commit to just a few. Explore projects with an open mind, but don’t get caught up in those that lack promise. It’s fine to show curiosity and research myriad possibilities, but know when to move on.
√ Welcome naysayers. If an employee tells you, “No, I prefer to devote my time to something else,” don’t flinch. Listen and dig for information. Perhaps your staffer has a better sense of what priorities produce bottom-line benefits.
√ Invite input. Every three months, gather your team and ask, “If we could only achieve three things over the next three months, what should they be?” Their responses can help you harness everyone’s energy on what matters most.
√ Reject freely. You may think you’ll gain popularity by endorsing every reasonable request. But if you try to please everyone, you’ll spread yourself—and your staff—too thin.
— Adapted from “The Simplest Way to Avoid Wasting Time,” Greg McKeown, www.linkedin.com.