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The Hardest Habit Of All – Are You Able To Do it?

Here’s a habit I am going to try really, really hard to do this year. Already I know I am failing at it. It’s not easy. For me anyway. But it is a key to a successful year at work – with just about everything really. Are you able to do it? Here it is.

Yesterday, I spent the day with colleagues, at one of our vitally important Fresh Air sessions- where we go offsite, suck in some air, and talk for hours across a range of critical business priorities.

We debated the myriad of opportunities and issues on our plates as we planned a successful 2013. The day progressed. The list lengthened. Then we paused: and reflected. “Hang on- let’s review that list and ensure we follow the hardest habit of all.” And this is what we did.

We chose what we were NOT going to do.

Seriously- we began crossing stuff off the list. Not that it would not get done- it just would not be given the priority focus and attention.

Why Do This?

There is too much to do- too many demands for our time and attention, all seemingly ‘urgent’ and ‘mission critical.’ I find it very easy to be ‘very busy’, but often I am not focusing on what really counts. Then our CEO shared a research report on CEO views of achieving business success in the year ahead- and key insights included:

  1. Choose carefully what NOT to do
  2. Do the really important things ‘insanely well’
  3. Focus relentlessly on what adds REAL VALUE
  4. Keep ensuring you have clarity on where to spend your time

What Will You Do With This Powerful Insight?

Hopefully, something. Here’s an idea. Get those four points typed up, and stick them somewhere where you can see them every day, often. When you do your ‘to do’ lists every day, glance up at these four points…double check against your priorities for the day ahead. Delete the stuff you don’t need to do. Get absolutely focused on the stuff you do. Give it a go!

And A Final Word

I have three days to go before I start my “Quit For Cancer” challenge for February. I am not quitting a bad habit in February- but instead am starting a good habit- meditation every day- for 20 minutes. Frankly- I am petrified. But it’s important for me, it’s a priority, and I want to do it ‘insanely well.” A big thank you again to all my sponsors they helped ensure my $2,000 goal had been solidly exceeded- thank you. And if you missed the story on why I am doing this, you can read this article which appeared in last week’s AdNews.

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11 Responses to The Hardest Habit Of All – Are You Able To Do it?

  1. Rob Davidson January 30, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    Good blog Chris – I too share the meditation goal. I slipped out of this habit last year and really noticed the negative impact in my life. I came across this great clip of Jon Kabat-Zinn talking about how to meditate at the Google campus – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nwwKbM_vJc

    If you have not seen any of his material it is worth watching. Kabat-Zinn is a professor of western medicine who is one of the leaders in the field of meditation training.

    • Chris Savage January 30, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

      Thanks Rob- appreciated!

  2. Nick Souter January 30, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    Chris, I think meditation will be great experience for you precisely because you don’t have to try and do it ‘insanely well’. In fact the less you try, the better. It’s about letting go of everything that makes you want to try or even think about trying. To someone who works and tries as hard as you, that might sound self-negating. And it is! But I think you’ll love mediation if you just allow yourself to fall into it. I’ve been practicing TM for nearly 30 years and it’s kept me sane. I hope it brings you the same peace and happiness. All the best, Nick

    • Chris Savage February 4, 2013 at 10:00 am #

      Thanks Nick- that’s very insightful and helpful. Chris

  3. Simon January 31, 2013 at 5:39 am #

    Your 2013 resolution should be to spend more time in Provence!

    • Chris Savage January 31, 2013 at 8:52 am #

      So true Simon! Already being planned!

  4. Greg Flynn February 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Oh, THAT bad habit of your’s. I thought you meant the one that’s considered, at best, a venial sin but some of the world’s less progessive religions.

    • Chris Savage February 4, 2013 at 9:53 am #

      Watch it!!

  5. Alison Cole February 4, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    Meditation is scary at first because when you stop and listen to your mind it’s hard to believe what’s going on up there. All that wasted energy!

    I love the perspective of what NOT to do. So many times we are briefed on what ‘to do’ and there’s probably a lot more creative freedom when your starting point is what NOT to do.

    I’ve just found your blog and I’m happy I did!

    • Chris Savage February 4, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

      Thanks Alison- glad you are on board!

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