Being Indispensable Isn’t Best

Too often we think we’re critical to the job or role. Many times, we allow people to burden us with overwhelming duties and expectations, failing to realize that the concept of “less but better” is far more effective and practical.

Essentially, when you choose to allow others to prioritize your life, you’ve put them in charge – of you! I don’t think we really want to do that, since you lose all control over your success, your health, your peace of mind, and much more.

As a youngster, I had choices; three TV channels, two radio stations, two pair of shoes (church pair and play pair), and so on.  Today there are far too many choices. Hundreds of TV channels, thousands of radio stations, 30 pair of footwear (or more), and it never ends.  With so many choices, it’s critical that you become extremely disciplined about the choices (decisions) you make, and even better is when your decision is to eliminate many of the choices. Or, at a minimum, make a conscious effort to minimize feelings of obligation to make all those wasted and irrelevant choices.

In your closet or dresser drawers, you probably have 30 or 40 shirts, 30 or 40 pairs of pants, 30 or 40 Tee shirts, and so on. Maybe it’s time to eliminate some of those choices – especially when you rarely or never wear most of those things! Salvation Army donations needs to be considered.

The best way to narrow your choices:  Evaluate, Eliminate, Execute. It’s simple to do with a wardrobe full of clothes, but much more difficult to do when there is a huge list or pile of papers on your desk that “someone” thinks you need to address.

Regardless if it’s a huge list, a major stack of papers, or even 100 emails in your in-box, prioritizing is crucial, and those that fail to make the top ten, (or top 3) should be relegated to others.  There are many successful executives that will only accept one or two priority items, so they can give their maximum to achieving the goal. Get good at the practice of only taking on those essential tasks, so you can truly handle the important duties and responsibilities with wild success.

When you get good at practicing the philosophy of taking only key and very important tasks, you will realize how non-critical and unimportant so many of those choices are to your success. It’s kind of an unspoken thought of “which problem do I really want?”

For years, I had lists of the many things I wanted to achieve, including the traditional “honey-do” lists that were put on my desk. If you are like most of us, those lists rarely get done, and usually because there were so many items to complete and cross off, that we didn’t know where to start. A much better way (and I’m still learning), is to create a new list with the top two or three – must-do items, and successfully accomplish them. Soon, the other non-urgent tasks aren’t even required at all, or as circumstances change, they simply go away. sometimes it works well to list those items to be done, and then re-list them in order of priority!

No, I’m not talking procrastination to make them go away, I’m just saying many of our dozens or hundreds of choices need to be prioritized and accept the essential choices only.  Life will be simpler, and you will be much more focused, effective, and successful.

Author: Dick Wagner,
Nationally recognized restoration sales coach, speaker and consultant

Specializing in commercial marketing programs