The New Year always brings endless possibilities for more. As a go-getter, I am always fired up to set new goals and take new ground. But, one can only take on so much. To that end, as a leader I want to always evaluate the tasks I am asking team members to do because I cannot continually add to that “to-do” list. So, clarifying what they can “quit” is not only humane, but also gives them renewed energy to pursue what is important now. Similarly, I have found that I need to do the same for myself. What follows are three things I am quitting for 2021. The purpose of this short post is for you to begin thinking about the things you need to quit as well. Then, I would challenge you to write them down prior to deciding when you are going to let them go in 2021.
Here is my list:
Social Media: No judgment to anyone else with what I am about to share. But, while social media has never been a complete time-suck for me, it has been a continual temptation for me to project a better version of myself than what is reality. Specifically, this is true on Instagram, where I have failed to share pictures of myself in anything other than positive light. (C’mon! You know we ALL do it!) Couple this with my tendency to compare my life to others, I realized this year that social media is, in many ways, unhealthy for me. So, to that end, I have decided to get off Facebook/Instagram/Twitter and not sign up for anything new – I will continue to post this blog on LinkedIn however, so, if you are reading this on LinkedIn, know that I am not going anywhere.
Multi-tasking: If the first item was not aspirational enough, here is one that is extremely so. Having said that, I have come to realize that this is another huge problem for me. A few years ago, I received feedback in a 360 review that I often checked email when I had a person sitting in front of me in my office. This crushed me because my intent was never to tune anyone out. As a “doer,” however, I often find myself moving almost automatically from one thing to the next, but, I do not want to be that person! Rather, I want to be a single-tasker. I want to give the person in my office my FULL attention. Unlike social media, this is something virtually impossible to quit all the time. So, my plan going forward is to notice when I am multi-tasking, remember my intention to quit it, and stop. In most cases, this will probably mean putting the phone down or turning the computer screen off (something I’ve learned and highly recommend when someone else is present in your office).
Putting off going to the doctor: Going to the doctor for a yearly checkup has not been a challenge for me. But, going to the doctor for an injury has been. This year I learned that playing through pain does not work like it used to. So, I am committed to going to the doctor and addressing problems when they come up. While this is truly one of my chosen items to quit next year, I am also including it to encourage other leaders to go to the doctor for yearly check-ups. I have had too many conversations with leaders this year who have been putting this off. The reality is that you are no good to your family, or your workplace, when you are not healthy. So, please take your health seriously in 2021.
There is nothing magical about what I have shared above. But, notice how my selections came from reflecting on the past. Similarly, I encourage you to reflect on the past year and decide what you need to quit going forward. This will help you recalibrate for the year ahead.