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This Is What You Need More Than a To-Do List

By | Robert Glazer | Entrepreneur, Best-Selling Author and Speaker | Founder & CEO @ Acceleration Partners

They say quitters never win, and winners never quit. But that statement really depends on what you’re quitting and why. Quitting smoking, for example, is a great idea.

What about quitting a volunteer position, professional commitment or even a friendship? The sad fact is that all sorts of obligations can linger past the point where the activity is interesting or of value. It’s hard to stop doing stuff, so instead of pruning “busyness” out of our lives, too often we fill up our schedules like we fill up our attics.

We can’t climb to our full potential when so many unfulfilling tasks, obligations, and even relationships are dragging us down.

That’s why every year I evaluate my obligations, focus on what’s most important to me and create a “stop doing” list. This amazing exercise really frees up time for reflection and long-term planning, the very activities most likely to propel your life — and your business — forward.

Here are five tips for creating your own “stop doing” list.

1. Have a firm grasp of your core values.

The easiest way to know what to stop doing is to get clarity on your core values. Then, begin your stop-doing list by cutting out activities that don’t support your values. Typically, such activities will just not feel productive or inspiring to you.

Personally, I am driven to find a better way to do things. I therefore prefer to work with smaller organizations where I can apply my experience to drive improvement. I tend to avoid projects that are mired in politics, ones where the organization is not likely to improve, or where involvement requires a lot of meetings and formal processes.

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