Okay, in this post I want to do things a bit differently. Instead of giving you some ideas, tips, techniques and processes to do I want to share with you some ideas on some things not to do! In my humble opinion there are things that you should not spend much (or any would be ideal!) time thinking and worrying about. Over my decades, I’ve seen lots of Middles spend an ungodly number of hours dwelling and working on things that were bottom line, a waste of their time.
My guess is that as some of you read this post you will think “this is bull” that these “things” are extremely important “things” to do, but trust me, once I was removed from the working world and reflected back on all of the things that I did over those years I realized the importance (or lack thereof) of these items and suggest to you that they are pretty much a waste of your time. I suggest that you focus on empowering and rewarding your Teamers, managing your projects and monitoring your quality. Having a positive working relationship with your clients and vendors will prove far more beneficial to you and your team than dwelling on any of these topics.
Plus, perhaps you can find the time to do some of the other ideas, tips, techniques and processes presented in this website by not spending time on any of these topics. Here’s a list of topics that I think are basically a waste of time worrying and thinking about.
What You Can’t Control - This one is simple. Why spend time thinking, worrying or working on “things” that you can’t control or influence? The older I get, the more I realize that there are just things in your life that you just can’t control - the stock market, politics or your Coworkers’ attitudes or opinions for example. Only spend your time and energy on what you can control.
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”
- Steve Maraboli
Money and Budget - I’ve spent countless hours doing budgets only to find out that my Senior already had a funding level in their mind. I humbly suggest that you simply “cut to the chase” and just ask your Senior your budget number and work with it!
“If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area of his life.”
- Billy Graham
Your Senior’s Attitudes - You may influence your Senior’s attitudes, but you can never really change them. Learn to deal with it!
“I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed.”
- George Carlin
Egos – Everyone has one, but don’t get into “battles” to see who is the smartest or fastest or most in-the-know, that’s just a waste of time.
“We also consider our ego as essential, this self that we have constructed! But let me tell you that you haven’t constructed that self. Somebody has done it for you. People have told you whom you should be and whom you should not be, how you should move, how you should smell, and how you should do most of what you do. How wonderful to step back and do what the Asian says: ‘Leave your ego on the table.’ Step out of yourself and leave it there. Say, ‘You just wait a while.’ That is the only way that new messages are going to come in.”
– Leo Buscaglia
Living, Loving & Learning
Office Politics, Rumors and Gossip - This is everywhere, big organizations and small. My suggestion is to simply ignore politics, rumors and gossip.
“Put your heart, mind and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”
- Swami Sivananda
The FUD Factor - FUD stands for fear, uncertainty and doubt. I believe that some Organizations actually try to create an environment where Teamers worry about things to keep them and that limits your Teamer’s ability to feel empowered and happy doing their work.
“It’s the little things you do that make the big things happen.”
- Mike Dooley
Fear of Failure - Don’t worry about making a mistake. If you take a risk, you risk making a mistake. Only make sure that you learn from them.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
- Albert Einstein
Resource Wars - If you provide a product or service, you may encounter “wars” between your clients for what you can provide them. The bottom line is they ask for more resources and capacity than you have and usually The Boss or your Senior won’t help with more resources or limiting their complaining sessions.
My fundamental suggestion is that you only work on projects that are really ready to be worked on. Don’t spend resources on projects that haven’t been properly defined with a budget, a plan and necessary approvals.
“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after other have let go.”
- William Feather