Things not to do list
BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - May 26, 2019 - 12:00am

Two factory workers are talking. The woman says, “I can make the boss give me the day off.” The man replies, “And how would you do that?” The woman says, “Just wait and see.” She then hangs upside down from the ceiling. The boss comes in and says, “What are y ou doing?” The woman replies, “I’m a light bulb.” The boss then says, “You’ve been working so much that you’ve gone crazy. I think you need to take the day off.” The man starts to follow her and the boss says, “Where are you going?” The man says, “I’m going home, too. I can't work in the dark.” It is obvious that these bozos are very wise and productive in a weird way.

Technology has continued to provide productivity tools. I remember having to rely on my "To-Do-List" in order to help me to be more productive. And now the "To-Do-List" comes in terms of software programs and apps and I have no doubt that productivity tools will continue to come. Popular author and business consultant Jim Collins said, “While most of us have a ‘To-Do List,’ the really productive leaders also have a ‘Not-To-Do List.’” And I fully agree. You and I do not just concentrate on “Things to do” in order to be productive. There may be many things that we should not do so we can increase our productivity. And here are some ideas for you to think about. To put it another way, here is a very practical “Things not to do” list that you may want to consider.

1. DO NOT BE ADDICTED TO YOUR PHONE.

Studies have indicated that the average person looks at the phone screen some 80 to even a high 300 times in a day. Perhaps some people take their own selfies with the same frequency (pardon the pun). The none-stop news feed, notifications and incessant vibration or ping you hear always distracts and disrupt the attention and focus needed to zero in on the job. No amount of productivity tools can help us to be productive unless we pour in our focus and attention on what we are doing.

2. DO NOT IGNORE THE POWER OF BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS.

You cannot succeed alone. You need to cultivate a respectul, trusting and professional relationship both with your managers and your peers. You never know as you may be working with them in the future on other projects. As I said many times in my leadership seminars; “one of the dumbest thing to do is to constantly fight people who may turn out to be your boss in the future.”

3. DO NOT REFUSE TO ATTEND YOUR COMPANY'S TRAINING PROGRAMS.

“I don't need to attend that. It will only keep me behind from my work.” Others would say, “I know all that already.” Refusing to participate is a clear sign that you do not value your company’s investment in your personal growth and development and what if… one idea, one nugget of wisdom you may pick from  the seminars equip you with the tool to become more productive? You may just miss it.

4. DO NOT CREATE UNNECESSARY STRESS FOR YOURSELF.

Keep yourself away and distant from company politics. Stay away from gossips. Perhaps many of the load and burdens you are carrying are not even yours in the first place. Why should you pick up negativity and stress from others? It is very much akin to exposing yourself to second-hand smoke and all these trashy things reduce your brain's performance.

5. DO NOT STOP BEING CREATIVE AND SHOWING INITIATIVE.

The demands of work are extensive. Do not go on auto-pilot and fall prey to the pattern and habit of merely doing routinary work. Be curious. Ask questions. Continue to be creative in learning, discovering ideas, improving your own work methodology and suggesting ideas on how to do better. The one quality that leaders are looking for in their people that stands out among the rest is “initiative.” The drive to make things happen and not just wait for things to happen.

6. DO NOT QUIT.

There will be challenges and obstacles. Do not quit. Go through the process. When you go through the difficult situations you emerge tougher and wiser and you become more productive.

7. DO NOT WORK WITHOUT BREAKS AND VACATIONS.

Even machines break down and time is devoted for the maintenance of it. While it has been popularized that 10,000 hours of practice is what is needed in order to reach the level of mastery or virtuosity; it would be good to take a quick break after every 90 minutes of work. Drink water. Move around a bit. Take a quick walk. This way you prolong your level of performance. Taking vacations is important. Spend it with the family. Recharge and re-energize.

Be productive by doing the essentials. Be more productive by elimating the rest; and thus we need to have a "Not-To-Do-List" I have mine. What's yours?

(The next run of Level Up Leadership will happen on July 17-18 and the venue will be announced later. For advanced registration specifically for group rates or other inquiries contact April at +63928-559-1798 or register online at www.levelupleadership.ph)

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